Sarah Karpanty

Sarah Karpanty
Associate Professor
Assistant Department Head
Graduate Program Coordinator

B.S., Zoology, Miami University , 1998
Ph.D., Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
The State University of New York at Stony Brook, 2003

Academic Interests:

Shorebird and Waterbird Ecology and Conservation, Primate and Avian Behavioral Ecology, Carnivore Ecology, Multiple Predator-Multiple Prey Interactions, Indirect Effects in Wildlife Management, Tropical Forest Restoration, Endangered Species Management

Short Bio

Courses Taught:

Principles of Fisheries and Wildlife Management (FiW 2114, Fall 2006-present, approximately 160 students/semester)  

Vertebrate Population Ecology and Management (FiW 5314, Fall 2007-present, ~15 students/semester)

Conservation Biology (FiW 4314, Course under development)

Professional Achievements:

2011 Certificate of Teaching Excellence, Virginia Tech
1998-2003 National Science Foundation Pre-doctoral Fellow
1999-2002 Environmental Protection Agency STAR Fellow
2000 Wildlife Conservation Society Research Fellow
1997-1998  Barry M. Goldwater Scholarship for Excellence in Science
1997-1998  Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Mercury Seven Scholar

Current Graduate Students:

Completed Graduate Students:

Ongoing Research Activities:

U.S.-Based Projects

Red Knot Project: Linking foraging and habitat ecology in the Delaware Bay and Coastal Virginia to population dynamics of birds and crabs throughout their range, 2004-present

Defense Coastal Estuarine Research Program:  Understanding the Top-down and Bottom-up Influences on Shorebird Productivity, Survival, Habitat Use, Foraging Dynamics and Demography in Relation to Beach Management Practices on MCBCL.

Virginia Coastal Energy Research Consortium: Preliminary Mapping of Offshore Areas Suitable Wind Development in Virginia, with Identification of Excluded Areas to Avoid Potential Conflicts, and Mapping of Offshore Avian Habitats.

Behavioral ecology of wintering Piping Plovers in Oregon Inlet, North Carolina, 2006-2007

International Projects:

Behavioral and ecological interactions of fossa, raptors, and lemurs in southeastern Madagascar : A multiple-predator approach, 1999-present

Assessing and implementing ecological restoration of the Eastern Rainforest Corridor of Madagascar:  Developing an Action Plan for Forest Restoration at Ambohilero, June 2005-present

Ecological and socio-economic requisites for restoration of biodiversity and sustained resource use in corridor eco-regions: Madagascar , March 2005-Present  

Native tree reforestation and school-based environmental education in Madagascar, 1999-present

Selected Publications:

Lead author noted in bold text; *graduate, **undergraduate student, ***post-doc under my direction

  • Fraser, J.D., Karpanty, S.M., Cohen, J.B., and Truitt, B.  2013.  The red knot (Calidris canutus rufa) decline in the western hemisphere: Is there a lemming connection?  Canadian Journal of Zoology, in press.
  • Farris, Z.J.*, Kelly, M.J., Karpanty, S.M., Ratelolahy, F., Andrianjakarivelo, V., and Holmes, C.  2013.  Brown-tailed vontsira (Salanoia concolor) documented in and around Makira Natural Park, Madagascar:  new insights on elevation, range, and capture rates.  Small Carnivore Conservation, in press.
  • Villamagna, A. Murphy, B., and Karpanty, S.M.  2012.  Community-level waterbird responses to water hyacinth (Eichhornia crassipes).  Invasive Plant Science and Management 5:  353-362.
  • Hillman, M.D.*, Karpanty, S.M., Fraser, J.D., Cuthbert, F.J., Altman, J.M., Borneman, T.E. and Derose-Wilson, A.  2012.  Evidence for long-distance dispersal and successful interpopulation breeding of the endangered piping plover.  Waterbirds, 35: 642-644.
  • Laurance, W.F….Karpanty, S.M. et al. 2012.  Averting biodiversity collapse in tropical forest protected areas.  Nature 489: 290-294.
    (Karpanty, S.M. 36th out of 216 authors, ranked by contribution of data to analyses and participation in manuscript production).
  • Gerber, B.*, Karpanty, S.M., and Randrianantenaina, J.  2012.  Activity patterns of native and exotic carnivores in Madagascar: implications for species coexistence,  Journal of Mammalogy 93:667-676.
  • Gerber, B.*, Arrigo-Nelson, S., Karpanty, S.M., Kotschwar, M.*, and Wright, P.C.  2012.  Spatial Ecology of the Endangered Milne-Edwards’ Sifaka (Propithecus edwardsi): Do Logging and Season Affect Home Range and Daily Ranging Patterns?  International Journal of Primatology 33:305-321.
  • Gerber, B. *, Karpanty, S.M., and Randrianantenaina, J.  2012.  The impact of forest logging and fragmentation on carnivore species composition, density, and occupancy in Madagascar’s rainforests.  Oryx 46:414-422.
  • Gerber, B.*, Karpanty, S.M., Kelly, M.J.  2012.  Evaluating the potential biases in carnivore capture-recapture studies associated with the use of lure and varying density estimation techniques using photographic-sampling data of the Malagasy civet.  Population Ecology 54: 43-54.
  • Cohen, J.B.***, Gerber, B.*, Karpanty, S.M., Fraser, J.D. and Truitt, B.R.  2011. Day and night foraging of red knots (Calidris canutus) during spring stopover in Virginia, USA. Waterbirds 34:352-356.
  • Karpanty, S.M., Cohen, J.***, Fraser, J.D., and Berkson, J. 2011.  Evidence of sufficient horseshoe crab eggs for a reduced red knot population during spring migration stopover in Delaware Bay USA.  Journal of Wildlife Management 75: 984-994.
  • Crowley, B., Carter, M., Karpanty, S.M., Zihlman, A., Koch, P., and Dominy, N.  2010.  Stable carbon and nitrogen isotope enrichment in primate tissues.  Oecologia 164: 611-626.
    Karpanty, S.M.  2010. Madagascar Serpent-Eagle.  In Tingay, R.A. and Katzner, T.  (eds.), The Eagle Watchers: Observing and conserving raptors around the world.  Cornell University Press, Ithaca, NY.
  • Cohen, J.B.***, Karpanty, S.M., and Fraser, J.D. 2010.  Habitat selection and behavior of red knots (Calidris canutus) on the New Jersey Atlantic Coast during spring stopover.  The Condor 112: 655-662.
  • Cohen, J.B.***, Karpanty, S.M., Fraser, J.D., and Truitt B.  2010. The effect of benthic prey abundance and size on red knot (Calidris canutus) distribution at an alternative migratory stopover site on the US Atlantic Coast.  Journal of Ornithology 151: 355-364.
  • Gerber, B.*, Karpanty, S.M., Crawford, C.**, Kotschwar, M.*, and Randrianantenaina, J.  2010. An assessment of carnivore relative abundance and density in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar using remotely-triggered camera traps. Oryx 44: 219-222.
  • Fraser, J., Karpanty, S.M., and Cohen, J.B.***  2010. Shorebirds forage disproportionately in horseshoe crab nest depressions. Waterbirds 33: 96-100.
  • Haas, C., Frimpong, E.  and Karpanty, S.M. 2009.  Ecosystems and Ecosystem-Based Management.  In: K.M. Moore (ed.) The Sciences and Art of Adaptive Management: Innovating for sustainable agriculture and natural resource management. Soil and Water Conservation Society, Ankeny, IA.
  • Villamagna, A.* and Karpanty, S.M.  2009.  An ecosystem approach to invasive species management: An aquatic ecosystem case study.  Journal of Natural Resources and Life Sciences Education 38: 71-81.
  • Cohen, J.B.***, Karpanty, S.M., Fraser, J.D.,Watts, B.D., and Truitt, B.R. 2009.  Residence probability and population size of red knots during spring stopover in the mid-Atlantic region of the United States.  Journal of Wildlife Management 73:  939-945.
  • Cohen, J.B.***, Karpanty, S.M., Catlin, D.H., Fraser, J.D., and Fischer, R.A.  2008.  Winter ecology of piping plovers at Oregon Inlet, North Carolina.  Waterbirds 31: 472-479.                                                                                                                  
  • Karpanty, S.M., and Wright, P.C. 2007.  Predation on lemurs in the rainforest of Madagascar by multiple predator species:  Observations and Experiments.  Pp. 77-99.  In: Gursky, S.L. and Nekaris K.A.I. (eds.), Primates and their Predators. Springer, New York.         
  • Karpanty, S.M., Fraser J.D., Berkson, J., Niles, L.J., Dey, A., and Smith, E.P. 2006. Horseshoe crab eggs determine red knot distribution in Delaware Bay habitats.  Journal of Wildlife Management 70(6): 1704-1710.
  • Karpanty, S.M.  2006.  Direct and indirect impacts of raptor predation on lemurs in southeastern Madagascar. International Journal of Primatology 27(1): 239-261.
  • Karpanty, S.M., and Grella, R.A.**  2001.  Lemur responses to diurnal raptor vocalizations in the eastern rainforests of Madagascar.  Folia Primatologica 72: 100-103.
  • Karpanty, S.M., and Goodman, S.M.  1999.  Prey profile of the Madagascar Harrier-Hawk, Polyboroides radiatus, in southeastern Madagascar. Journal of Raptor Research. 33(4): 313-316.
  • Sinsabaugh, R.L., Antibus, R.K., Jackson, C.R., Karpanty, S.M., and Franchini, P.  1997.  A B-sitosterol assay for fine root mass in soils.  Soil Biology and Biochemistry 29(1): 39-44.

Reports, Manuals, Popular Press

Karpanty, S.M., Dillaha, T., and Welch, C. 2007. Development of an action plan for restoration in Didy Forest, Ambohilero Region exploited by Latitude Timber Company. Prepared for USAID Madagascar, 42pp.

Karpanty, S.M., Fraser, J.D., Welch, C. 2005. Rapid assessment of damage and regeneration potential in Didy Forest exploited by Latitude Timber Company. Prepared for USAID Madagascar , 35pp.

Karpanty, S.M. 2003. Osprey Productivity on Long Island (1989-2000) and Connecticut (1985-1999): Trends for Concern on Long Island . Theodore Roosevelt Audubon Sanctuary, 26pp.

*Grella, R. and Karpanty, S.M. 2001. The Future of Our World's Primates: What is Your Vision? Odyssey Magazine , October.

*Grella R. and Karpanty S.M. 2001. Reforestation Laboratory Manual (English, Malagasy, Spanish translations) Copyright Aiza Biby®

Selected Leadership , Service, Outreach Initiatives

  • Virginia Tech Presidential Search Committee Member (2013-2014)
  • Virginia Tech Faculty Senate President (2012-2013)
  • Faculty Representative to Board of Visitors
  • Member, President’s Academic Council
  • Provost’s Appointee, Virginia Tech’s New Precinct Plan Committee (2012-2013)
  • Chair, Commission on Faculty Affairs at Virginia Tech (2011-2012)
  • Committee Co-Chair, Presidential Taskforce on Strategic Planning (2011-2012)
  • Presidential Appointee to Virginia Tech’s committee to review the siting of a new indoor athletics practice facility (i.e. the Stadium Woods controversy, 2012)
  • Co-Program Chair, 8th Biennial Conference on University Education in Natural Resources at Virginia Tech (2010)
  • Fraser, J.D., Karpanty, S.M., and Catlin, D.H.  23 November 2012.  Too close to the shore: Our building habits are unsustainable.   The Washington Post, Op-Ed.  


Last updated May 30, 2013