James Malcolm

Professor, Biology


Ph.D. Biology, Harvard University 1979;

B.A. Zoology, Oxford University, 1973


Biology, Hedco Hall
P: 909.748.8737
P: 909-748-8920
E: james_malcolm@redlands.edu

Office Hours: Variable by semester

Research, Academic Interests, and Areas of Expertise

Conservation Biology: work with a local stickleback fish and the highly endangered Ethiopian wolf.
Evolutionary Biology: Current interests include the evolution of senescence and acorn infestation.
Animal Behavior: I have studied fish, birds and mammals including packrats.

Professional Background

My PhD in the mid-1970s was on altruism in African wild dogs in Tanzania. It was squarely in the field of sociobiology and I worked with one of the major theorists in the field, Robert Trivers at Harvard. The major paper arising from this work has received over 100 citations.

It was clear over 35 years ago that the African wild dog was rare and I collected data on numbers and distribution. While a grad student, I took a trip to Ethiopia to study the rarest of all members of the dog family, the Ethiopian wolf, and published the first systematic paper on the species.

Coming to Redlands in 1981, I looked at stickleback fish for several years. I brought to light a new form of stickleback, which was declared endangered, and work has included many efforts to protect the new form and investigate its origins.

Since 1975, I have continued to work in Ethiopia using my sabbaticals. In 2002 I did a survey of the large and beautiful mountain nyala which occurs only in SE Ethiopia. In 2004, I was selected to be the Project Manager for the Ethiopian Wolf Conservation Programme. The programme is run from Oxford University of which I was an employee. I lived in Ethiopia and supervised a staff of 25 Ethiopians as they collected data, offered an education program and inoculated dogs to prevent rabies from spreading to the wolves.

In 2015, I started a study of packrats more formerly  called woodrats. The animals build very larges nests made of thousands of sticks. The nests are on the ground in the branches of California Juniper trees. Our study site is within a mile of the campus. Working with students, we have found that he animals orient their nests by the compass, which has not been recorded before. We are now trying to find out why they prefer to nest on the south sides of Junipers.

Courses Offered at Redlands

Principles of biology, Philosophy of Science, Extinction, Development of Human Behavior, Development, Evolution, Animal Behavior, Contemporary issues in Ecology, Africa Today, Conservation Biology, The Wolf, Conceptions of Nature, Introduction to Environmental Studies, Introductory Design Studio in Environmental studies, Zoology

Awards, Honors and Grants

Fauna and Flora Preservation Society 1976
National Geographic Society 1987
California Department of Fish and Game 2000


Research presentations at Harvard, Princeton, Berkeley, Oxford, Arizona State, and the Smithsonian.

University of California Riverside
Cal State University Long Beach
Loma Linda University, La Sierra
Loyola Marymount University

Professional Affiliations

Animal Behavior Society
Society of Conservation Biologists
East African Wildlife Society
Ethiopian Wildlife and Natural History Society