Grant Connette received a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology from Davidson College in 2008. In the Fall of 2009 he began a Ph.D. program in Biology at the University of Missouri. His general research interests include various aspects of the population ecology, movement behavior, and landscape-scale distributions of animals. Much of his current research focuses on the behavior, population dynamics, and landscape ecology of terrestrial salamanders in forest landscapes managed for timber production.
Recently we asked Mr. Connette about his research, why it is important and so on. Here is what we learned from him:
Q. Let us start with your research topic. What is your research area? Will you please tell us a bit more on this? What did you find?
Grant Connette: I study the dynamics of salamander populations in forests of the eastern United States. Much of my current research focuses on how salamander populations respond to timber harvest (i.e. logging). In a recent study, Dr. Raymond Semlitsch and I found that salamanders are less common in “young” forest (even areas harvested 80-100 years ago) than in more mature forest. We also found that salamander species which differ in their ability to disperse, or move across the landscape, recovered from timber harvest at different rates. Species that naturally tend to move more may have recovered faster because there is emigration from surrounding areas that helps rebuild populations after a disturbance like timber harvest. (more…)