Undergraduate Degree: B.A., University of Virginia, 1993
Graduate Degree: Ph.D., University of California, Davis, 2000
Effects of Climate Change on Endemic Mountaintop Salamanders
Virginia is home to several endemic salamanders that are restricted to tiny ranges on one or several mountaintops. My lab is studying several of these species in order to determine their biogeographic origins and their likely responses to climate change. With Big Levels Salamanders (just described in 2004), we are examining the structure of contact zones with the more common Red-Backed Salamander, and we are using mitochondrial DNA to understand the evolutionary history of the two species. We are also studying the relative responses of Big Levels Salamanders and Red-Backed Salamanders to temperature fluctuations in order to predict the likely effects of climate warming on the interaction between the two salamanders. With Peaks-of-Otter Salamanders, we are monitoring responses to logging and habitat disturbance and using mtDNA to examine population history.
Population Dynamics of Terrestrial Salamanders
Although terrestrial salamanders are often the most common vertebrates in Eastern forests, the fossorial lifestyle of these salamanders means that little is actually known about many aspects of their life history. We are using a large mark-recapture dataset to examine the life-history of these animals. We are examining seasonal dynamics, size-dependent mortality and reproduction, and the costs and benefits of dispersal.
Disease Ecology (BIOL 111)
Statistics for Biology and Medicine (BIOL 301)
Introduction to Behavioral Ecology (BIOL 105)
Animal Behavior (BIOL 243)
Field Herpetology (BIOL 242)
Bayer, C.O., Sackman, A.S., Bezold, K., Cabe, P.R., and Marsh, D.M. 2011. Conservation genetics of a mountaintop salamander with an extremely limited range. Conservation Genetics, online early.
Schieltz, J.L., Haywood, L.M, and Marsh, D.M. 2010. Effects of cover object distribution on the socioecology of a terrestrial salamander. Herpetologica 66: 276-282.
Marsh, D.M. 2009. Evaluating methods for sampling stream salamanders across multiple observers and habitat types. Applied Herpetology 6: 211-226.
Marsh, D.M., and Trenham, P.C. 2008. Current trends in monitoring programs for animal and plant populations. Conservation Biology 22: 647-655.
Marsh, D.M., Page, R.B., Hanlon, T.J., Corritone, R*., Little, E.E.*, Seifert, D.E.*, and Cabe, P.R. 2008. Effects of roads on patterns of genetic differentiation in red-backed salamanders, Plethodon cinereus. Conservation Genetics 9: 603-613.
Marsh, D.M, Page, R.B., Hanlon, T. J., Bareke, H.* Corritone, R.* Jetter, N.*, Beckman, N.G.*, Gardner, K.*, Seifert, D.E.*, and Cabe, P.R. 2007. Ecological and genetic evidence that low-order streams inhibit dispersal by red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus). Canadian Journal of Zoology 85: 319-327.
Marsh, D.M. and Hanlon, T.J. 2007. Seeing what we want to see: confirmation bias in animal behavior research. Ethology 113: 1089-1098.
Cabe, P.R., Page, R.B., Hanlon, T.J., Aldrich, M.E.*, Connors, L., and D. M. Marsh. 2007. Fine-scale genetic population structure and gene flow in a terrestrial salamander living in continuous habitat. Heredity 98: 53-60.
Marsh, D.M. 2007. Edge effects of gated and ungated forest roads on terrestrial salamanders. Journal of Wildlife Management 71: 389-394.
Marsh, D. M., Milam. G. S.*, Gorham, N. P.*, and N. G. Beckman*. 2005. Forest roads as partial barriers to terrestrial salamander movement. Conservation Biology 19: 2004-2008.
Adams, V. M.*, Marsh, D. M., and J. S. Knox. 2005. Importance of the seed bank for population viability and population monitoring in a threatened wetland herb. Biological Conservation 124: 425-436.
Marsh, D. M. and Hanlon, T. J. 2004. Observer gender and observation bias in animal behaviour research: experimental tests with red-backed salamanders. Animal Behaviour 68:1425-1433.
Marsh, D. M., Thakur, K. A.*, Bulka, K. C.*, and L. B. Clarke*. 2004. Dispersal and colonization through open fields by a terrestrial woodland salamander. Ecology 85: 3396-3405.
Marsh, D. M. and Beckman, N. G.* 2004. Effects of forest roads on the abundance and activity of terrestrial salamanders in the Southern Appalachians. Ecological Applications 14:1882-1891.