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Beth Forys
Professor of Environmental Studies
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Eckerd College
4200 54th Avenue South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711

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Environmental Studies

Environmental Studies

Elizabeth Forys, Ph.D.

Professor of Environmental Science & Biology

Beth ForysEckerd College - NAS
4200 54th Ave. South
St. Petersburg, FL 33711
727-864-7880
Email Profesor Forys

I am interested in how to preserve declining and rare species.  Much of my current research focuses on beach-nesting birds and the use of GIS to better understand and manage these threatened species.

Black Skimmers
Black Skimmer pair with chicks from a successful colony.  Photo by Irene Hernandez

Education

Ph.D. University of Florida, Wildlife Ecology & Conservation, May 1995.

"Metapopulations of marsh rabbit: a population viability analysis of the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri)."

M.S. University of Virginia, Environmental Sciences/Ecology, 1990.
"The effect of immigration on island colonization and population persistence of Oryzomys palustris on the
barrier islands of Virginia."

B.A. University of Virginia, Environmental Sciences, 1988.

Positions Held Following Award of Doctoral Degree

9/05- present Professor of Environmental Sciences and Biology, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711.

9/01-8/05 Associate Professor of Environmental Sciences and Biology, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711.

6/96-8/01 Assistant Professor of Environmental Sciences and Biology, Eckerd College, St. Petersburg, Florida 33711.

1/95-5/96 Endangered Species Biologist, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Marathon Key, Florida 33050.

Grant Support Activities

2007-2010:  The Influence of Oceanographic and Biological Processes on the Distribution of Cetaceans on the West Florida Shelf.  $1,663,761.  National Science Foundation.  David Mann, University of South Florida, is Principal Investigator and I am a Contributing Investigator. 

 2006-2009.  "Can education help make Florida municipal beaches more suitable for beach nesting birds?  $29,713.  Nongame Program, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.   With Alison Ormsby and Monique Borboen-Abrams.   

2005 "Beach Nesting Bird Monitoring." $2,600. Gulfstream Environmental Research Trust. With Monique Abrams, St. Petersburg Audubon Society

2003-2004. "Least Tern Conservation & Public Education. $3,500. Tampa Bay Estuary Program. With Monique Abrams, St. Petersburg Audubon Society.

2003. "Assessing the success of replacing fallen Least Tern chicks back onto rooftop nesting areas." $2,500. Sandpiper Technologies. This equipment grant was with Elizabeth DeVries, Eckerd student.

2000-2003. "Recovery actions for the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri) and the silver rice rat (Oryzomys palustris natator)". $18,100. United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

2001. "A Proposal for Summer Support of Exceptional Undergraduates under the Auspices of the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR): Water Scarcity in the Tampa Bay Area - renewal". $25,000. Lancy Foundation, National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

1999. "A Proposal for Summer Support of Exceptional Undergraduates under the Auspices of the National Conference for Undergraduate Research (NCUR): Water Scarcity in the Tampa Bay Area". $44,500. Lancy Foundation, National Conference for Undergraduate Research.

1999. "Population ecology of the ornate diamondback terrapin in Tampa Bay, Florida". $3,000. National Audubon Society.

1997-1999. "The effect of red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on gopher tortoises (Gopherus polyphemus) at Camp Shelby, Mississippi." Eckerd received $3,000 plus my travel expenses for two years. My project is part of a $64,279.60 grant to Deborah Epperson, Mississippi Natural Heritage Program, from the Department of Defense.

1997-1999. "Spatial analysis of the effect of red imported fire ants on the Florida Grasshopper sparrow." Eckerd receivee $8,000 over 2-3 years plus me & 2 students' travel expenses. My project is part of a $40,000 grant to C. R. Allen at the University of Florida from the Department of Defense.

1996-1998 "An integrated approach to assessing the social behavior and habitat use of bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops truncatus) in Boca Ciega Bay." Howard Hughes Program for Student-Faculty Research. With John E. Reynolds. (my role is to use GIS to examine dolphin behavior in relation to habitat attributes)

1996-1998 "The potential for negative impacts by red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on listed herpetofauna, mammals, and invertebrates in the lower Florida Keys." $14,000. Nongame Program, Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission.

1997. "Eckerd College's Xeriscape Garden and Public School Video." $5,000. Southwest Florida Water Management District.

1995. "The impact of fire on red important fire ant densities on Nature Conservancy property in the Lower Keys." $2,000. The Nature Conservancy.

1992. "Recovery of the Lower Keys marsh rabbit. $3,500. United States Fish and Wildlife Service.

1992. Impact of a prescribed burn on the mammalian fauna in the Keys. $2,000. The Nature Conservancy.

Refereed Publications

Forys, E. A. and M. Borboen-Abrams.  2006.  Roof-top selection by Least Terns in Pinellas County, Florida.  Waterbirds 29:407-524. 

Forys, E. A. and C. R. Allen. 2005. The impacts of sprawl on biodiversity: the ant fauna of the Lower Florida Keys. Ecology and Society (formerly called Conservation Ecology). 10: 25. [online] URL: http://www.ecologyandsociety.org/vol10/iss1/art25/

Forys, E. A, Abrams, M. and S. J. King. 2005. Cooper's hawk predates on Least Tern chicks on a rooftop in Pinellas County, Florida. Florida Field Naturalist. 33: 53-54.

Mazzocchi A. B.* and E. A. Forys. 2005. Nesting habitat selection of the Coastal Least Tern. Florida Field Naturalist. 33: 71-80.

Wyatt, J. L.* and E. A. Forys. 2005. Conservation Implications of Predation by Cuban Treefrogs (Osteopilus septentrionalis) on Native Hylids in Florida. Southeastern Naturalist. 3:695–700.

DeVries, E. A.* and E. A. Forys. 2004. Loss of tar and gravel rooftops in Pinellas County, Florida and potential effects on Least Tern populations. Florida Field Naturalist. 31:1-6.

Forys, E. A., Kelly, W. B. and D. T. Ward*. 2003. Invasion Biology on your campus: investigating the red imported fire ant in the Southeastern United States. American Biology Teacher. 2003: 53-55.

Forys, E. A., and C. R. Allen. 2002. Functional group change within and across scales following invasions and extinctions in the Everglades ecosystem. Ecosystems 5:339-347.

Forys, E. A., Allen, C. R. and D. P. Wojcik. 2002. Influence of the proximity and amount of human development and roads on the occurrence of the red imported fire ant in the lower Florida Keys. Biological Conservation 108:27-33.

Herrington, K. L.* and E. A. Forys. 2002. Distribution and abundance of dolphin watching companies in Florida. Florida Scientist 65: 273–280

Forys, E. A., Quistorff, A.*, Allen, C. R. and D. P. Wojcik. 2001. The likely cause of extinction of the tree snail (Orthalicus reses reses SAY). Journal of Molluscan Studies. 67: 369-376.

Forys, E. A., A. Quistorff* and C. R. Allen. 2001. Potential fire ant (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) impact on the endangered Schaus swallowtail (Lepidoptera: Papilionidae). Florida Entomologist. 84:254-258.

Allen, C. R., Forys, E. A., Rice, K. G. and D. P. Wojick. 2001. Effects of fire ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) on hatching turtles and prevalence of fire ants on sea turtle nesting beaches in Florida. Florida Entomologist. 84:250-254

Wojcik, D. P., Allen, C. R., Brenner, D. A., Forys, E. A., Jouvenaz, D. P., and R. S. Lutz. 2001. Red imported fire ants: impact on biodiversity. American Entomologist 47:16-23.

Forys, E. A. 1999. Food habits of the Lower Keys marsh rabbit (Sylvilagus palustris hefneri). Florida Scientist 62:106-110.

Allen, C. R., Forys, E. A. and C. S. Holling. 1999. Body Mass Patterns Predict Invasions and Extinctions in Transforming Landscapes. Ecosystems 2:114-121.

Forys, E. A. and S. R. Humphrey. 1999. The importance of patch attributes and context to the management and recovery of an endangered lagomorph. Landscape Ecology 14:177-185.

Forys, E. A. and C. R. Allen. 1999. Biological invasions and deletions: community change. Biological Conservation 87:341-347.

Forys, E. A. and S. R. Humphrey. 1999. Use of population viability analysis to evaluate management options for the endangered Lower Keys marsh rabbit. Journal of Wildlife Management 63:251-260.

Forys, E. A. and S. R. Humphrey. 1997. Comparison of 2 methods to estimate density of an endangered lagomorph. Journal of Wildlife Management 61:86-92.

Forys, E. A. and S. R. Humphrey. 1996. Home range and movements of the Lower Keys marsh rabbit in a highly fragmented environment. Journal of Mammalogy 77:1042-1048.

Forys, E. A. and N. D. Moncrief. 1994. Gene flow among island populations of marsh rice rats (Oryzomys palustris). Virginia Journal of Science 45:3-11.

Forys, E. A. and R. D. Dueser. 1993. Inter-island movements of rice rats (Oryzomys palustris). American Midland Naturalist 130:408-412.

*denotes an Eckerd College current student or graduate

Selected Non-refereed Publications

Forys, E. A. and S. Jewell. 2002. They're not multiplying like rabbits. Birdscapes. Winter:25.

Forys, E. A., C. R. Allen, and D. P. Wojcik. 1998. The potential for negative impacts by red imported fire ants (Solenopsis invicta) on listed herpetofauana, mammals, and invertebrates in the Lower Florida Keys. Florida Game and Fresh Water Fish Commission, Tallahassee, Fla. NG95-018. 60 pp.

Doty, S.M., Forys, E. A., Reynolds, J. E., III, Urian, K. W. and R. S. Wells. 1998. Analysis using GIS of home range characteristics and habitat use by bottlenose dolphins, Tursiops truncatus, in Boca Ciega Bay, Florida and surrounding waters. Proceedings of the 1998 Annual Atlantic Coast Dolphin Cooperative Conference.

Forys, E. A., Gallizzi, E. L., Reynolds, J. E., III, Doty, S. M.*, and S. D. Eide*. 1998. Field application of technology to assist photo-identification research of bottlenose dolphins in the Tampa Bay area. Proceedings of the 1998 Annual Atlantic Coast Dolphin Cooperative Conference.

Forys, E. A., P. A. Frank, and R. S. Kautz. 1996. Recovery Actions for the Lower Keys marsh rabbit, silver rice rat, and Stock Island Tree Snail. Final Report to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service (Cooperative Agreement #1448-0004-94-9164).

Forys, E. A. and S. R. Humphrey. 1994. Biology and Status of the Lower Keys Marsh Rabbit. Final Report to the Florida Fresh Water Fish and Game Commission. (#90058)

Forys, E. A. (under contract to the United States Fish and Wildlife Service). 1993. Recovery plan for the Lower Keys marsh rabbit. Atlanta, Georgia. 15 pp.

Memberships

Colonial Waterbird Society
Florida Academy of Scientists
Ecological Society of America
Society for Conservation Biology
The Wildlife Society

Classes Taught

Introduction to Environmental Studies
Introduction to Environmental Biology
Conservation Biology
Environmental Studies Senior Research and Exam Class
GIS for Environmental Studies
Environmental Internship (winter term class)
Research in the Florida Keys (winter term class)
Field Ornitholgoy (winter term class)

Life After Eckerd

Molly Rockamann '03
NRDC Growing Green Award winner
Young Food Leader

YouTube Video
Watch the Video »

Recognition

Fiske Guide to Colleges
Eckerd College has been recognized for environmental studies in the Fiske Guide to Colleges 2013.