Carola A. Haas

Carola A. Haas
Professor of Wildlife Ecology

B.A., Wellesley College (1983)
Ph.D., Cornell University (1990)

Academic Interests:

Wildlife population in managed landscapes (e.g. production agriculture and forestry system); Behavioral and population ecology; birds, reptiles, and amphibians; landscape effects on reproduction and dispersal; wildlife response to wetland restoration

Courses Taught:

Principles of Fisheries and Wildlife (with Eric Hallerman); Wildlife Field Biology; Preparing Vertebrate Museum Specimens; Earth Sustainability Food & Agriculture; Sustainable Food Graduate Seminar (with Elena Serrano); Wildlife Population Dynamics; Dispersal Graduate Seminar; Behavior and Conservation Graduate Seminar (with Jeff Walters), Vertebrate Dispersal Behavior (with John Phillips); Conservation of Reptiles & Amphibians (with Robin Andrews)

Professional Achievements:

NSF Postdoctoral appointment (1990-92), Yamanashi University, Japan; Coordinator, North American Section, International Shrike Working Group; Associate Editor, Southern Journal of Applied Forestry(1996-2001); American Ornithologists' Union Elective Member, 2000; Virginia Tech College of Natural Resources Diversity Award 2001; Virginia Tech Advancing Women Award, 2006; LGBT Caucus at VT Safe Zone of the Decade Award, 2000; Associate Editor, Journal of Wildlife Management (2011-Current); CNRE Undergraduate Advising Award (2011).

Recent Activities:

Restoration of wetlands in longleaf pine flatwoods
The extensive longleaf pine ecosystem of the southeastern US has been extremely reduced and degraded after decades of exploitation and fire suppression. Although land managers have worked to successfully restore conditions to uplands using prescribed fire, ephemeral and riparian wetlands in this system are still not burning at natural frequencies.  These degraded wetlands may have altered litter, light penetration, hydroperiod, and emergent herbaceous vegetation. We are partnering with the state of Florida’s Aquatic Habitat Restoration and Enhancement program and federal agencies on an adaptive management project to study how rare and declining amphibians respond as we attempt restoration of a more open midstory and more grassy understory.

Effects of 7 Silvicultural Practices on Terrestrial Salamanders in Southern Appalachian Forests
Southern Appalachian forests have one of the highest densities and diversities of salamanders in the world. Salamanders occur in lower densities in forest stands that have been recently clearcut. However, few studies have addressed the effects of other timber harvesting practices on terrestrial salamanders. The size and type of timber harvest produce different effects on wildlife habitat, and may influence salamander populations differently. This project compares several economically viable methods of forest management. For the past 15 years, we have monitored the effects of 7 different oak regeneration techniques at 6 sites in Virginia and West Virginia. Preliminary results indicate a decline in relative abundance of salamanders on plots with any disturbance to the forest canopy. See link to project website below.

Southern Appalachian Silviculture and Biodiversity (SASAB) Project

Wetland soils and hydrology and nesting ecology of the bog turtle in Virginia
The bog turtle is a small freshwater turtle found in isolated sphagnum bogs and marshy meadows in the eastern United States. Habitat loss and collection for the pet trade have caused many populations to decline and the bog turtle is now afforded legal protection in every state in which it is found. We examined importance of habitat corridors, soils and hydrology of occupied wetlands, and reproductive ecology.

Status and ecology of flatwoods salamander and Florida bog frog on Eglin Air Force Base
The flatwoods salamander and the Florida bog frog are rare amphibians with small geographic ranges. For both species we are evaluating how habitat affects small and large scale distribution and whether current management practices are effective for these species. The maintenance of historic fire patterns and connectivity of habitats may be critical to the survival of these species, but challenging to implement.

Selected Publications(students under my direction indicated with an asterisk)


Fenolio, D., T. A. Gorman, K. C. Jones, M. Mandica, L. Phillips, L. Green, H. Mitchell, And C. A. Haas. 2014. Rearing the federally endangered Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander, Ambystoma bishopi, from eggs through metamorphosis. Herpetological Review 45: 62-65.

Da Silva Neto, J. G., T. A. Gorman, D. C. Bishop, and C. A. Haas. 2014. Population demographics of the Florida bog frog (Lithobates okaloosae). Southeastern Naturalist 13: 128-137.

Williams, S. T., S. D. Powell, T. A. Gorman, and C. A. Haas. 2014. Pioneering the utility of a mineral oil mixture for fluorescent powder tracking of salamanders. Herpetological Review 45: 20-22.

Gorman, T. A., C. A. Haas, and J. G. Himes. 2013. Evaluating methods to restore amphibian habitat in fire-suppressed pine flatwoods wetlands. Fire Ecology 9: 96-109.

Homyack, J. A. and C. A. Haas. 2013. Effects of repeated stand entries on terrestrial salamanders and their habitat.  Southeastern Naturalist 12: 353-366.

Powell, S. D., K. C. Jones, T. A. Gorman, and C. A. Haas. 2013. Ambystoma bishopi (Reticulated Flatwoods Salamander) egg survival after fire. Herpetological Review 44: 290-291.

*Feaga, J. B., J. A. Burger, and C. A. Haas. 2013. Bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) wetland habitat: an emphasis on soil properties. Natural Areas Journal 33:404-412.

*Feaga, J. B., J. A. Burger, and C. A. Haas. 2012.  Water table depth, surface saturation, and drought response in bog turtle (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) wetlands.  Wetlands 32: 1011-1021.  10.1007/s13157-012-0330-8.

Jones, K. C., P. Hill, T. A. Gorman, and C. A. Haas. 2012.  Climbing behavior of flatwoods salamanders (Ambystoma bishopi/A. cingulatum).  Southeastern Naturalist 11: 537-542.

*Bishop, D.C., C.A. Haas, and L. O. Mahoney. 2012. Response of Lithobates okaloosae, L. clamitans, and L. sphenocephala tadpoles to chemical cues of snake and fish predators. Florida Scientist 75: 1-10.

*Gorman, T.A. and C. A. Haas. 2012. Tadpole competition: the influence of a common tadpole on the growth of a rare congener.  Florida Scientist 75: 11-18.

Keyser, P. D., L. A. Williams*, K. M. Kelly*, C. A. Haas, V. L. Ford, T. B. Wigley. 2011. An assessment of distribution patterns of terrestrial salamanders in the Central Appalachians using two landscape models. American Midland Naturalist 166: 194-210.

*Homyack, J. A., C. A. Haas, and W. A. Hopkins. 2011. Energetics of surface-active terrestrial salamanders in experimentally harvested forest. Journal of Wildlife Management 75: 1267-1278.

*Gorman, T.A. and C. A. Haas. 2011. Seasonal microhabitat selection and use of syntopic populations of Lithobates okaloosae and Lithobates clamitans clamitans. Journal of Herpetology 45: 313-318.

*Homyack,J.A., C. A. Haas, and W. A. Hopkins. 2010. Influence of temperature and body mass on standard metabolic rate of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Journal of Thermal Biology 35: 143-146. (2010),doi:10.1016/j.jtherbio.2010.01.006

*Homyack, J. A., E. B. Sucre, C. A. Haas, and T. R. Fox. 2010. Does Plethodon cinereus affect leaf litter decomposition and invertebrate abundances in mixed oak forest? Journal of Herpetology 44: 447-456.

*Priestley, A. S., T. A. Gorman*, and C. A. Haas.  2010.  Comparative morphology of Rana okaloosae and Rana clamitans clamitans tadpoles.  Florida Scientist 73: 20-26.

*Homyack, J. A. and C. A. Haas. 2009. Long-term effects of experimental forest harvesting on abundance and reproductive demography of terrestrial salamanders. Biological Conservation 142: 110-121.

*Gorman, T.A., D. C. Bishop*, and C. A. Haas. 2009. Factors related to occupancy of breeding wetlands by flatwoods salamander larvae. Wetlands 29: 323-329.

*Gorman, T.A., D. C. Bishop*, and C. A. Haas. 2009. Spatial interactions between two species of frogs: Rana okaloosae and R. clamitans clamitans. Copeia 2009: 138-141.

Rose, N., E. Serrano, K. W. Hosig, C. A. Haas, D. W. Reaves, S. M. Nickols-Richardson. 2008. The 100-Mile Diet: A community approach to promote sustainable food systems impacts dietary quality.  Journal of Hunger and Environmental Nutrition 3: 270-285.

Askins, R. A., F. Chavez-Ramirez, B. C. Dale, C. A. Haas, J. R. Herkert, F. L. Knopf, P. D. Vickery. 2007. Conservation of grassland birds in North America:  Understanding ecological processes in different regions.  Ornithological Monographs 64: 1-46.

* Bishop , D.C. and C.A. Haas. 2005. Burning trends and potential negative effects of suppressing wetland fires on flatwoods salamanders. Natural Areas Journal 25: 290-294.

*Carter, S.L., B. D. Horne, D.W. Herman, D.K. Nichols , C.A. Haas, and J.C. Mitchell. 2005. Bacterial pneumonia in free-ranging bog turtles, Glyptemys muhlenbergii , from North Carolina and Virginia . Journal of the North Carolina Academy of Science 121: 170-173.

*Amidon, F.A., C. A. Haas, and J.M. Morton. 2004. Breeding biology of the endangered Rota Bridled White-eye. Wilson Bulletin 116:342-346.

Vega Rivera, J.H., D. Ayala , C.A. Haas. 2003. Home-range size, habitat use, and reproduction of the Ivory-billed Woodcreeper ( Xiphorhynchus flavigaster ) in dry forest of western Mexico . Journal of Field Ornithology 74: 141-151.

* Knapp, S.M., C. A. Haas, D.N. Harpole, and R.L. Kirkpatrick. 2003. Initial effects of clearcutting and alternative silvicultural practices on terrestrial salamander abundance. Conservation Biology 17:752-762.

*Carter, S.L. , C.A. Haas, and J.C. Mitchell. 2000. Movements and activity of bog turtles ( Clemmys muhlenbergii ) in southwestern Virginia . Journal of Herpetology 34: 75-80.

*Carter, S.L., C.A. Haas, and J.C. Mitchell. 1999. Home range and habitat selection by bog turtles in southwestern Virginia. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:853-860.

*Harpole, D.N. and C.A. Haas. 1999. Effects of 7 silvicultural treatments on terrestrial salamander species richness and relative abundance. Forest Ecology and Management 114: 349-356.

Haas , C.A. 1998. Effects of prior nesting success on site fidelity and breeding dispersal: an experimental approach. Auk 115:929-936.

Haas , C.A. and K.H. Haas. 1998. Brood parasitism by brown-headed cowbirds on brown thrashers: frequency and rates of rejection. Condor 100: 535-540.

*Vega Rivera, J.H., W.J. McShea, J.H. Rappole, and C.A. Haas. 1998. Wood thrush postfledging movements and habitat use in northern Virginia . Condor 100:69-78.

Haas , C.A. 1995. Dispersal and use of corridors by birds in wooded patches on an agricultural landscape. Conservation Biology 9:845-854.

Titus, R.C. and C.A. Haas. 1990. Singing behavior of American Robins in linear and non-linear habitats. Wilson Bulletin 102:325-328.

Current Graduate Students
Danielle Bridgers - Nesting Ecology and Ovarian Cycle of Bog Turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in Southwestern Virginia
Houston Chandler - Interactions among invertebrates and amphibians in restored flatwoods wetlands
Jesse Overcash - Bird communities in forest harvest openings - US Forest Biologist

Current Positions of Former Graduate Students


David C. Bishop
Project leader for the ACE Basin / Savannah River
The Nature Conservancy
Charleston, SC

Shawn L. Carter
Senior Scientist
U.S. Geological Survey
National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC)
Reston, VA

Jeffrey B. Feaga
Community Restoration Coordinator
County Office of Sustainability & Environmental Resources
Frederick County, MD

Jorge Humberto Vega Rivera
Research Scientist
Chamela Field Station
National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM)

Shannon M. Knapp
Assistant Professor
Dept. of Economics, Applied Statistics & International Business
NewMexico State University

Fred Amidon
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Ecologist
Pacific Islands Ecoregion
Honolulu , HI 96850

Amy Meehan
Wildlife Biologist
Maine Dept. Inland Fisheries and Wildlife

Doug Harpole
Director, Northern Virginia, 4-H Center
Virginia Cooperative Extension - Fauquier County

Lori Williams
Nongame Wildlife Biologist
North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission

David Garst
US Fish & Wildlife Service employee
PhD Student, Biological Sciences
Virginia Tech

Tom Gorman
Research Scientist, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences
Virginia Tech

Jessica Homyack
Wildlife Scientist
Weyerhaeuser NR Company

Kate Kelly
Resoruce Science Assistant
Missouri Department of Conservation

Last update October, 2014