Valerius Geist

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Valerius Geist
Valerius Geist.jpg
Valerius Geist in 2011
Born (1938-02-02) February 2, 1938 (age 81)
ResidenceVancouver Island, B.C.
Alma materUniversity of British Columbia
Scientific career
InstitutionsUniversity of Calgary
ThesisOn the behaviour and evolution of American mountain sheep (1966)
Doctoral advisorIan McTaggart-Cowan
Other academic advisorsKonrad Lorenz

Valerius Geist (born February 2, 1938) is a Canadian biologist and a professor emeritus in the Faculty of Environmental Design at the University of Calgary. He is a specialist on the biology, behavior, and social dynamics of North American large mammals (elk, moose, bighorn sheep and other wild ungulates).


He was born on February 2, 1938 in Mykolaiv, Ukraine, USSR and raised in Germany and Austria.[citation needed]

He holds an honours B.Sc. in zoology (1960), and a Ph.D. in zoology (1967), both from the University of British Columbia. He completed his postdoctoral studies in Seewiesen, Germany at the Max Planck Institute for Behavioral Physiology (1967-1968) under Konrad Lorenz. His doctoral thesis was entitled On the behaviour and evolution of American mountain sheep.[1]

Since 1977, he has taught at the University of Calgary, where he is a founding member and first Program Director of Environmental Science in the Faculty of Environmental Design.[citation needed] He now resides on Vancouver Island, B.C.[citation needed]

Public work[edit]

He is a champion of ethical hunting and a wildlife artist.[citation needed]

He has acted as an expert witness in many areas, including animal behavior, environmental policy, native treaties, wildlife law enforcement and policy, and wildlife/vehicle collisions cases in the United States and Canada.[citation needed] He has testified on wildlife conservation policy in court, before Senate of the State of Montana and before the Parliamentary Committee on Environment, and Sustainable Development in Ottawa.[citation needed]

Professor Geist once supported “game ranching” as a way to use wild animals while preserving them.[2] However, he later rejected the idea and now opposes game farms, in the belief that legalizing the sale of wild game will create an open market on all animals that live in the wild.[citation needed]


Geist won the Wilderness Defenders Award from the Alberta Wilderness Association in 2004.[3] He is the only North American hunter to be honored with professional membership in both the Boone and Crockett Club and its European counterpart, the International Council for Game and Wildlife Conservation (Conseil International de la Chasse).[citation needed]

Selected publications[edit]

  • Living on the Edge: The Mountain Goat's World, by Valerius Geist, Dale E. Toweill, October 19, 2010
  • Moose: Behavior, Ecology, Conservation, by Valerius Geist, Robert Wegner (Foreword By), Michael H. Francis (Photographer), November 26, 2005
  • Whitetail Tracks: The Deer's History & Impact in North America, by Valerius Geist, Michael H. Francis (Photographer) September 2001
  • Antelope Country: Pronghorns: The Last Americans, by Valerius Geist, Michael H. Francis (Photographer) 2001
  • Return of Royalty: Wild Sheep of North America, by Valerius Geist, Dale E. Toweill, Ken Carlson (Illustrator) 1999
  • Mule Deer Country, by Valerius Geist, Michael H. Francis, October 31, 1990
  • Deer of the World: Their Evolution, Behaviour, and Ecology, by Valerius Geist, Swan Hill Press (February 16, 1999)
  • Buffalo Nation: History and Legend of the North American Bison, by Valerius Geist, May 9, 1998 (also 1996)
  • Wild Sheep Country, by Valerius Geist, Michael H. Francis (Photographer), September 1993
  • Elk Country, by Valerius Geist, June 1993 (also 1991)
  • Life Strategies, Human Evolution, Environmental Design: Toward a Biological Theory of Health, by Valerius Geist, January 26, 1979
  • Mountain Sheep: A Study in Behavior and Evolution. Wildlife Behavior and Ecology Series, by Valerius Geist, 1971
  • Wildlife Conservation Policy, by Valerius Geist and Ian McTaggart-Cowan October 15, 1995


  1. ^ University of British Columbia
  2. ^ Andy Marshall "Wildlife Scientist Devotes Rich Life to Educating the Public" Wild Lands Advocate 12(5): 8-9, October 2004 [1]
  3. ^ Alberta Wildlife Society
  • "Valerius Geist". The MARK. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  • "Valerius Geist". October 15, 2001. Retrieved 5 August 2012.
  • Canadian Who’s Who 1993
  • Nature Canada, Spring, 1987