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Ethan Plunkett

Research Associate


Ethan Plunkett earned his MS from the Department of Natural Resources and Conservation at the University of Massachusetts in 2009, where he studied the metapopulation dynamics of marbled salamanders. He received his BA in 2000 from the Department of Biology and Environmental Studies at the Williams College. He is currently a research fellow in the Landscape Ecology Lab in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

Ethan's MS research in the Landscape Ecology Lab focused on continuing the research Lloyd Gamble began on the metapopulation dynamics of a local marbled salamander (Ambystoma opacum) population. Using seven years of data on breeding effort and success across 14 vernal pools he constructed a metapopulation model of the population and then used that model to asses the population’s viability under a range of hypothetical land use scenarios. This model unites ecological theory with empirical data to create a better understanding of how specific land use decisions might effect both this population and vernal pool breeding amphibians in general, and hopefully will allow land managers and policy makers to make more informed decisions.

Ethan assists Dr. McGarigal and his students on a wide variety of projects in the Landscape Ecology Lab; however, he is involved principally with the Designing Sustainable Landscapes (DSL) project, where he is lead analyst responsible for statistical analyses and computer software development.

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

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