Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources

 

Heather Abernathy

Education Background

B.S. Ecology, University of Georgia


 

Research Focus

Interactions between regional variation in precipitation and land cover effects on the distributions and abundances of salamanders and migratory birds

 

Project Overview

I am a new master’s student in the wildlife program at the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources.  I graduated from the Odum School of Ecology in 2013, and worked previously in the lab as a Coweeta LTER REU student.
I have always had a passion for rare and or endemic species and have always felt a desire to protect and educate the public about such species; however, as of late I have become increasingly interested in such organisms on a landscape scale. Specifically, I am interested in how human influenced changes such as fragmentation and localized climate change affect such aforementioned species. Which really got me interested in the various ways we manage those species with these ever present problems and how and to what extent those processes affect species population arrangements. For my master’s work I will continue to work at the Coweeta LTER looking at the interactions between regional variation in precipitation and land cover effects on the distributions and abundances of salamanders and migratory birds. My goal is to monitor the effects of land use history, precipitation, and isolation on local populations and note how these variables affect species arrangement.

 

My research interests include habitat fragmentation, land management strategies for endemic and endangered species, population ecology, climate change impacts on the Southern Appalachian forests, and landscape management.

 

Additional Information

 

This project paritally funded by the Coweeta LTER