Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources


Alex Wright

Education Background

B.S. Ecology, University of Georgia
Current M.S. Student, University of Georgia



Research Focus

Long-term population ecology and large-scale movement patterns of gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) in Southwest Georgia


Project Overview

This study aims to investigate the long-term population ecology and large-scale movement patterns of gopher tortoises on large, contiguous areas of high quality habitat, and how habitat and landscape characteristics affect large-scale movement patterns of gopher tortoises to assess functional connectivity. More specifically, I will be conducting a follow up mark-recapture study by re-surveying four study sites with gopher tortoises previously marked between 1995 and 1999 as well as the habitat surrounding the original sites, or “core” areas, as to measure long term dispersal. The data collected in this study will be used for metapopulation modeling of this species which will aid reserve design and decision analysis. This collective research effort will result in a conservation plan to be used and implemented by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources for protection of the gopher tortoise, a recent candidate for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act for its eastern populations.




Additional Information

Funding for this research is provided by the USGS and Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center



Wright, A.D. and Barrett, G.W. 2011. Golden mouse (Ochrotomys nuttalli) and white-footed mouse (Peromyscus leucopus) dietary resource partitioning under experimental field conditions. Georgia Journal of Science 69: 114-122.