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Amy Ulappa, Ph.D.

Portrait of Amy UlappaClinical Associate Professor, Dept of Biological Sciences

Year Arrived at BSU: 2016
Mailing Address:
Dept of Biological Sciences
Boise State University
1910 University Dr
Boise, ID 83725-1515

Office Location: Science Building, Room 123
Office Number: 208-426-4590
Office Fax: 208-426-1040

E-Mail Address:


  • Ph.D. Wildlife Ecology, Washington State University, 2015
  • M.S. Biology, Boise State University 2011
  • B.S. Biology (Zoology), Boise State University 2005
A deer tagged and collared with its mouth open in a field.


  • BIOL 192 – Diversity of Life (Zoology portion): Survey of the animal kingdom form, function, and evolution
  • BIOL 306 – Communication in the Biological Sciences: Analysis of scientific literature in professional written and oral forms
  • BIOL 485 – Undergraduate Research in the Biological Sciences: Synthesis of research methods and creation of research posters for undergraduate researchers (paired with BIOL 479)
  • BIOL 601 – Biometry: Introduction to experimental design and inferential statistics (graduate course)
  • ZOOL 301 – Comparative Vertebrate Anatomy: Advanced form, function and evolution of vertebrate systems (includes 6 hr dissection laboratory)
  • ZOOL 421 – Mammalogy: The biology of mammals: ecology, life histories, reproduction, classification, identification, distribution, and adaptations

Teaching Philosophy

My goal in the classroom is to give students opportunities to practice skills and move towards expertise thru application of their knowledge. In my courses, students will regularly solve problems and discuss concepts in class, read scientific literature, and receive training in lab techniques and critical thinking. I strive to have an engaged and welcoming learning environment and encourage questions and peer-teaching.

Research Interests

Animal decisions are linked to their morphology and physiology and the resources available in their habitat. My past research primarily focused on understanding how animals, specifically vertebrates, make decisions within the constraints they face (i.e. habitat, morphology, energy budgets). I studied the foraging dynamics of specialist and generalist herbivores in the wild and captivity to understand the nutritional quality of natural and managed habitats, in addition to the cues animals use to select plants while foraging. Study species I have worked with include sage-grouse, pygmy rabbits, and mule and black-tailed deer. While I do not have a research program, I actively contribute students committees and collaborative projects in my field.