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 interactions with the function of ecological communities and ecosystems. Understanding how plant communites form and how disturbances (e.g. fire, herbivory, invasive species) interact with plant recruitment and species traits will better inform restoration techniques used to restore ecosystem function. 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. Previously I have looked at how land use change along the urban-rural gradient has impacted water quality; the extirpation of a dominant subcanopy tree by an introduced invasive beetle; and the distribution of a federally endangered terrestrial gastropod.

 

Education
BS in Ecology & Biodiversity, Sewanee: The University of the South (2006)
MS in Biology, University of Kentucky (2013)
PhD Qualifying Exam, University of Kentucky (2017)
Graduate Training

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

Selected Publications: 

Shaffer, James D., Gleeson, S.K., and Cox, J.J. 2016. Incorporating Disturbance Ecology into Native Hardwood Tree Seedling Restorations of the Kentucky Inner Bluegrass Savanna-Woodland. Kentucky Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources Annual Research Highlights, 2015. Volume IX. Publication of the Wildlife and Fisheries Division. November 2016, 85 pp. https://fw.ky.gov/More/documents/2015researchhighlights.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

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., 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, 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/

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