Jim Shaffer

  • PhD Candidate
  • Graduate Teaching Assistant
  • Biology
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
  • Environmental and Sustainability Studies
  • Greenhouse
109 MDR3
(859) 323-3284
Research Interests

I am a broadly trained ecologist interested in human impacts on the function of ecological communities and ecosystems and the techniques we can use restore them to proper ecological functioning or to prevent their degradation. Previously I have looked at how land use change along the urban-rural gradient has impacted water quality, the extirpation by an introduced invasive beetle of a dominant subcanopy tree in the southeastern maritime forests, and the distribution of a federally endangered terrestrial gastropod. Currently my research focuses on the recruitment of hardwood tree seedlings into the unique and globally imperiled Kentucky Bluegrass Savanna-Woodland. In this project my goals are to replicate ecological filters to determine which species may successfully recruit into this community, determine efforts we can utilize to manage remnant savanna parcels for native biodiversity and habitat, and elucidate some of the basic biology on this group of understudied tree species.


B.S. in Ecology & Biodiversity from Sewanee: The University of the South (2006)
M.S. in Biology from the University of Kentucky (2013)

Graduate Training

PhD Candidate and Graduate Teaching Assistant, Department of Biology, University of Kentucky

Selected Publications: 

Shaffer, James D. 2013. "Factors Influencing the Establishment and Survival of Native Hardwood Tree Seedlings of the Kentucky Inner Bluegrass Blue Ash-Oak Savanna-Woodland". Theses and Dissertations--Biology. Paper 15. http://uknowledge.uky.edu/biology_etds/15/

Shaffer, J.D., Gleeson, S.K., Cox, J.J, and Lhotka, J.M. 2014. Ecological Factors Influencing Native Hardwood Seedling Establishment in the Kentucky Inner Bluegrass Blue Ash-Oak Savanna-Woodland. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Annual Research Highlights, 2013. Volume VII. Publication of the Wildlife and Fisheries Division. October 2014: 90pp (p 45). http://fw.ky.gov/More/Documents/2013ResearchHighlights.pdf

Shaffer, J.D. 2016. Tree Restoration in Kentucky Bluegrass Woodlands. EcoLink: Newsletter of the Ecological Research and Education Center (Field Station of the Bluegrass). Ecolink 1(1): 2. http://darwin.uky.edu/~erec/documents/EcoLink_V01-I01_Feb2016.pdf

Shaffer, J.D. 2016. Emerald Ash Borer Threatens Native Ash Trees. EcoLink: Newsletter of the Ecological Research and Education Center (Field Station of the Bluegrass). Ecolink 1(2): 2. http://darwin.uky.edu/~erec/documents/EcoLink_V01-I02.pdf

Enter your linkblue username.
Enter your linkblue password.
Secure Login

This login is SSL protected