Department of Zoology

Michelle D. Boone
Associate Professor
Ph.D. Univ. Missouri-Columbia, 2000

178 PSN

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Biographical Information:

One of the important goals in community ecology, and one of my central research interests, is understanding the origin and maintenance of local biological diversity, and how changes in the physical, biological, and chemical environment affect a community’s trajectory. Changes in the environment have been shown to reverse the outcome of competition and predator-prey interactions in simple systems, effects that can transform a community’s species richness and diversity. By examining how environmental changes influence species in a community, directly and indirectly, we can glean a greater comprehension of community regulation. My research commingles questions of population and community ecology with those of applied, conservation ecology in addressing how natural and prevalent anthropogenic factors can act, singly and in combination, in altering community dynamics. This approach leads to implications for conservation managers, but also contributes to the knowledge base of community ecology by providing insight into the relationships within the food web and the relationship of biotic and abiotic factors in structuring the community.

I work with amphibians to examine how human manipulations of the natural world can influence individuals, populations, and communities. To date, I have conducted experimental research that focuses on the singular and interactive effects of natural factors (like competition and predation) with invasive species, chemical contamination, ultraviolet radiation, and pathogens in the aquatic and terrestrial environment. Please see my web site for additional information about my research:

Recent Publications:

  1. Boone, MD, EE Little, and RD Semlitsch. Overwintered bullfrog tadpoles negatively affect salamanders and anurans in native amphibian communities. Copeia 2004:683-690.

  2. Boone, MD, RD Semlitsch, JF Fairchild, and BB Rothermel. 2004. Effects of an insecticide on amphibians in large-scale experimental ponds. Ecological Applications 14:685-691.

  3. Boone, MD, and SM James. 2003. Interactions of an insecticide, herbicide, and natural stressors in amphibian community mesocosms. Ecological Applications 13:829-841.