Ecology, evolution and conservation of birds and snails
David Haskell studies the ecology, evolution and conservation of animals. His research currently has two focal areas: (i) understanding how and why animal communities respond to modification of their habitats causes by human housing development, and (ii) examining the evolution of endangered and range-restricted land snails on the Southern Cumberland Plateau.
Exurban development: Low density housing development is the fastest growing kind of human modification of habitats in the U.S. This so-called exurban development covers about one quarter of the lower forty eight states, yet the ecological and conservation consequences of these exurban developments are poorly known. We have studied bird and invertebrate communities in exurban areas and in undeveloped forests to understand how and why biodiversity changes in these areas.
Land snail evolution: The land snails of the southern Cumberland Plateau are extraordinarily diverse. We are studying the genetics, ecology and morphology of these snails to understand why this group became so diverse and to help with conservation efforts of these species. We have a special focus on the tigersnails (genus Anguispira) that are particularly diverse in our area.
There are opportunities for hard-working students to become involved in any of these projects.