Danny Baker

Affiliate Biomedical Sciences


(970) 556-8518

About Danny

Dr. Baker is a professional wildlife scientist and has been conducting scientific research for over 35 years. His early research career began as wildlife researcher for the Colorado Division of Wildlife (CDOW), Terrestrial Research Section in Fort Collins, Colorado. At that time, his research generally focused on the nutritional ecology and physiology of wild ungulates (e.g. mule deer, elk, bighorn sheep) and the application of this knowledge to the conservation and management of these species. These studies involved both clinical research with captive animals at the CDOW’s Foothills Wildlife Research Facility in Fort Collins, and applied field investigations with free-ranging wild ungulates in national parks, wildlife conservation areas, and urban wildlife refuges. In 2006, Dr. Baker began collaborative research, as an affiliate faculty member at the Animal Reproduction and Biotechnology Laboratory (ARBL), on the Foothills Campus at Colorado State University. The focus of this research provided him the opportunity to interact with experts in the field of reproductive physiology and endocrinology and who were also interested in developing, testing, and applying novel fertility control technologies as an alternative management tool for reducing overabundant free-ranging wild ungulate populations. This research included clinical trials with GnRH-toxin in mule deer, clinical and field studies with GnRH- agonist in elk, and GnRH-vaccine (GonaCon) in captive and free-ranging elk and wild horses. This research involved not only assessing the potential effectiveness of these contraceptives but also an evaluation of behavioral and physiological side-effects of treatment. Of particular importance and success for Dr. Baker, was leading an interagency, multi-disciplinary research effort (2009-2020) to evaluate the GnRH-vaccine (GonaCon-Equine) in free-ranging horses at Theodore Roosevelt National Park with funding from the Morris Animal Foundation and Bureau of Land Management (BLM). Results of this investigation are currently being incorporated into management operations of the BLM to provide a more effective and humane approach for suppression of growth rates of overabundant wild horse populations in the western United States. Dr. Baker has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed scientific publications, as well as numerous technical reports, and conference presentations, is an active member of Sigma Xi scientific research honor society and has mentored many students.


B.S., Colorado State University, 1973M.S., Colorado State University, 1976Ph.D., Colorado State University, 1988


Baker, DL, Powers, JG, Ransom, JI, McCann, BE, Oehler, MW, Bruemmer, JE, Galloway, NL, Eckery, DC, and TM Nett. 2018. Reimmunization increases contraceptive effectiveness of gonadotropin-releasing hormone vaccine (GonaCon-Equine) in free-ranging horses (Equus caballus): Limitations and side effects. PLoS ONE 13(7):1-23, e0201570. Powers, JG, Baker, DL, Davis, TL, Conner, MM, Lothridge, AH, and TM Nett. 2011. Effects of gonadotropin-releasing hormone immunization on reproductive function and behavior in captive female Rocky Mountain Elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni). Biology of Reproduction 85: 1152-1160. Powers, JG, Baker, DL, Ackerman, MG, Bruemmer, JE, Spraker, TR, Conner, MM, and TM Nett. 2012. Passive transfer of maternal GnRH antibodies does not affect reproductive development in elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) calves. Theriogenology 78:830-841.Conner, MM, Baker, DL, Wild, MA, Powers, JG, Hussain, MD, Dunn, RL, and TM, Nett. 2007. Fertility control in free-ranging elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) using gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist leuprolide: effects on reproduction, behavior, and body condition. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 2346-2356.

Research Specialty

Development and evaluation of fertility control technologies in wild ungulatesNutritional ecology and physiology of wild ungulatesBehavioral ecology of wild ungulates