Dr. Bret E. Olson
Professor of Range Ecology
313 Animal Bioscience Building; MSU-Bozeman
Bozeman, MT 59717
Phone: (406) 994-3721
Fax: (406) 994-5589
- B.A. University of California, Berkeley, Botany, 1977
- M.S. University of California, Berkeley, Range Management, 1982
- Ph.D. Utah State University, Range Ecology, 1987
- NRSM 240 Natural Resource Ecology
- NRSM 453 Habitat Inventory and Analysis
- ARNR 541 Range Ecophysiology
- Determine how livestock use the landscape on winter range.
- Develop effective grazing recommendations for controlling noxious weeds.
- Determine metabolic rates and heart rates of beef cattle as they change seasonally, and in response to different management scenarios.
Accomplishments and Interests
- Assessed cattle use patterns on winter range to identify how to minimize weight loss
- Identified effects of sheep grazing on two noxious weeds in Montana, using several approaches from basic plant biology to animal behavior and nutrition
- Conducted a unique, longterm study to assess effects of livestock grazing on grasshoppers, and cumulative effects of livestock grazing and grasshopper herbivory on plant communities
- Used the stable 13C isotope as a tracer to assess carbon allocation in plants, and used background levels of 13C/12C in plant tissues to indicate water use efficiency of leafy spurge and spotted knapweed and native grasses
- Using 15N isotope as a tracer to assess N uptake in spotted knapweed and native plants
- Conduct studies and develop models that indicate the importance of solar radiation for the thermal balance beef cattle grazing winter rangeland
- O'Neill, K. M., Olson, B. E., Wallander, R. T., Rolston, M. G., Seibert, C. E. 2010. Effects of livestock grazing on grasshopper abundance on a native rangeland in Montana. Environ. Ento. 39:775-786.
- Whitney, T. R., Olson, B. E. 2010. Can sheep and cattle rumen microorganisms be conditioned to invasive weeds? Sheep and Goat Res. J. 25:26-31.
- O’ Neill, K. M., S. Blodgett, B. E. Olson, and R. S. Miller. 2008. Impact of livestock grazing on abundance of Miridae and Reduviidae (Hemiptera) in crested wheatgrass pastures. J. Econ. Entom. 101:309-313.
- Thrift, B. D., J. C. Mosley, T. K. Brewer, B. L. Roeder, B. E. Olson, and R. W. Kott. 2008. Prescribed sheep grazing to suppress spotted knapweed on foothill rangeland. Rangeland Ecol. Manage. 61:18-25.
- Keren, I. N. and Olson, B. E. 2007. Applying thermal imaging software to cattle grazing winter range. J. Ther. Biol. 32:204-211.
- Whitney, T. R. and Olson, B. E. 2007. Will molasses or conditioning increase consumption of spotted knapweed by sheep? Rangeland Ecol. Manage. 60:533-537.
- Hill, J. P., Germino, M. J., Wraith, J. M., Olson, B. E., Swan, M. B. 2006. Advantages in water relations contribute to greater photosynthesis in Centaurea maculosa compared with established grasses. Inter. J. Plant Sci. 167:269-277.
- Keren, I. N., and Olson, B. E. 2006. Thermal balance of cattle grazing winter range: model development. J. Ther. Biol. 31:371-377.
- Keren. I. N., and Olson, B. E. 2006. Thermal balance of cattle grazing winter range: model application. J. Anim. Sci. 84:1238-1247.
- Whitney, T. R., and Olson, B. E. 2006. Conditioning ewes and lambs to increase consumption of spotted knapweed. Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci. 100:193-206.
- Olson, B. E., and K. Launchbaugh. 2006. Managing herbaceous broadleaf weeds with targeted grazing. In: Targeted grazing: A natural approach to vegetation management and landscape enhancement. pp 32-39. American Sheep Industry Association
- Henderson, J., and B. E. Olson. 2006. Understanding plant response to grazing. In: Targeted grazing: A natural approach to vegetation management and landscape enhancement. pp 58-67. American Sheep Industry Association
- Hook, P. B., Olson, B. E., and Wraith, J. M. 2004. Effects of the invasive forb Centaurea maculosa on grassland carbon and nitrogen pools in Montana, USA. Ecosystems 7:686-694.
- Blicker, P. S., Olson, B. E., and Wraith, J. M. 2003. Water use and water use efficiency of spotted knapweed and three native grasses. Plant Soil 254:371-381.
- O’ Neill, K. M., Olson, B. E., Rolston, M. G., Wallander, R. T., Larson, D. P., and Seibert, C. E. 2003. Effects of livestock grazing on rangeland grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) abundance. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 97:51-64.
- Olson, B. E., and Blicker, P. S. 2003. Response of the invasive Centaurea maculosa and two native grasses to N-pulses. Plant Soil 254:457-467.
- Olson, B. E., and Wallander, R. T. 2003. Comparing indicators of sheep grazing leafy spurge and perennial grasses. Sheep and Goat Res. J. 18:101-108.
- Sperber, T. D., Wraith, J. M., and Olson, B. E. 2003. Soil physical properties associated with the invasive spotted knapweed and native grasses are similar. Plant Soil 252:241-249.
- Blicker, P. S., and Olson, B. E., and Engel, R. 2002. Traits of the invasive Centaurea maculosa and two native grasses: effect of N supply. Plant and Soil 247:261-269.
- Olson, B. E., and Wallander, R. T. 2002. Does ruminal retention time affect leafy spurge seed of varying maturity? J. Range Manage. 55:65-69.
- Olson, B. E., and Wallander, R. T. 2002. Effects of invasive forb litter on seed germination, and seedling growth and survival. Basic and Applied Ecology 3:309-317.
- Olson, B. E., and Wallander, R. T. 2002. Influence of winter weather and shelter on activity patterns of beef cows. Can. J. Anim. Sci. 82:491-501.
- Olson, B. E., and Wallander, R. T. 2001. Sheep grazing of spotted knapweed and Idaho fescue. J. Range Manage. 54:25-30
- Olson, B. E., Wallander, R. T., and Beaver, J. M. 2000. Comparing nondestructive measures of forage structure and phytomass. Can. J. Plant Sci. 80:565-573.
- Olson, B. E., Wallander, R. T., and Paterson, J. A. 2000. Do windbreaks minimize stress on cattle grazing foothill winter range? Can. J. Anim. Sci. 80:265-272.