Population Structure of Pond Turtles in Relation to an Urbanization Gradient
Instructor: Todd Fredericksen, Ph.D.
Students interested in environmental science or biology.
Aquatic turtles throughout the world are threatened by habitat destruction and direct
exploitation. Adult females are particularly vulnerable to mortality in urbanized
areas because they leave water bodies to lay eggs during the summer and may need to
cross roads and grassy areas where they may be run over by automobiles or mowers.
Likewise, hatchlings are subjected to the same mortality risks on their way to ponds,
as well as an additional risk of predation because of their small size. In the past
two summers, Ferrum College students have participated in a national collaborative
project to determine if higher mortality risks with increasingly urbanized environments
results in skewed sex and age ratios in pond turtles. The student working in this
project will capture, measure, and mark turtles in two ponds on the Ferrum College
campus, adding to our campus and national database.
Todd Fredericksen, Ph.D.
Todd Fredericksen is Associate Professor of Forestry and Wildlife in the School of
Natural Sciences and Mathematics at Ferrum College in Virginia. He teaches courses
in forestry, wildlife, ecology, natural resource management, conservation biology,
and natural history. His research interests include the effects of forest management
on biodiversity, natural history and conservation of animal species in the Blue Ridge
Mountains, tropical and temperate silviculture, and forest regeneration ecology. He
has served as an editor for the journal Forest Ecology and Management since 2007 and serves on the editorial boards of three other scientific journals.
He is currently President of the Virginia Natural History Society and Treasurer of
the Virginia Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
If you have specific questions about this project, please contact Dr. Fredericksen
directly at TFredericksen@ferrum.edu.