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Jennifer Seavey

Graduate Student (PhD)

Seavey
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Jennifer Seavey earned her PhD from the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts in 2009, where she studied piping plover (Charadrius melodus) abundance and productivity on the barrier islands of New York. She received her MS from the Wildlife Science Program in the College of Forest Resource at the University of Washington in 1997, where she studied habitat selection of the ash-throated flycatcher in central Washington. She received her BS from the Department of Biology at Lewis and Clark College in 1991. She is currently the Assistant Director of the Seahorse Key Marine Laboratory at the University of Florida, and maintains an adjunct faculty position in the Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida and Sante Fe College.

Jennifer's PhD research in the Landscape Ecology Lab focused on piping plover abundance and productivity in relation to environmental heterogeneity at multiple scales on the barrier islands of New York. The challenge of discovering ecologically relevant landscape patterns at multiple scales is critical to improving our abilities to recover endangered species, such as the piping plover. The majority of piping plover research has been based on observations at local/spatial and short/temporal scales; no piping plover studies have included a multiple scale approach explicitly. The current focus on local scale research for plovers may lead us to overlook habitat patterns that occur at broader scales. This missing knowledge could reduce endangered species recovery success, especially given that a broad-scale understanding is necessary for undertaking landscape-level recovery efforts. This missing broad-scale knowledge was the target of our research.

Jennifer's multi-scale approach explicitly examined broader scales than previously observed and allowed us to examine ecological patterns over a broad range of scales from nest site to landscape. She exhaustively sampled plover and environmental data, which allowed us to derive models that explain the distribution, abundance, and productivity of plovers based on environmental patterns at multiple spatial scales. Her results contribute to an understanding of how environmental patterns vary across spatial and temporal scales of observation.

Jennifer's PhD work work resulted in the following publication:

  • Seavey J, B Glimer, and K McGarigal. 2011. Effect of sea-level rise on piping plover (Charadrius melodus) breeding habitat. Biological Conservation 144:393-401. (pdf)

For more information, please contact:
Dr. Kevin McGarigal
Department of Environmental Conservation
University of Massachusetts
304 Holdsworth Natural Resources Center
Box 34210, Amherst, MA 01003
Fax: (413) 545-4358; Phone: (413) 577-0655
Email: mcgarigalk@eco.umass.edu

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