Virginia Tech®home
The Effect of Land Use and Microhabitat on Stream Salamander Abundances

William Mark Ford

W. Mark Ford is the Unit Leader of the U.S. Geological Survey Virginia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit housed within the College of Natural Resources and Environment at Virginia Tech.  He holds a BS in wildlife and fisheries science from the University of Tennessee, an MS in wildlife ecology from Mississippi State University and a PhD in forest resources from the University of Georgia.  Prior to coming to the Virginia unit, he served as research wildlife biologist for the U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, the USDA Forest Service Northern Research Station and the Westvaco Corporation’s Forest Resources Division.   His research interests and activities largely focus on the use of active management and ecological restoration to support endangered species management and recovery, biodiversity and sustainable multiple-use on public and corporate lands in the Appalachians and on Department of Defense lands throughout the East.

Academic Interests:

Wildlife habitat interactions (forest management and prescribed fire) in the Southeast and mid-Atlantic, ecology and management of bats, ecology of Glaucomys sabrinus, white-tailed deer management, and high-elevation/relict forest management and restoration in the Appalachians.



Post-doctoral Research Associate, University of Georgia and USDA Forest Service, Savannah River Site, 1994-1995

Wildlife Biologist and Ecosystem Research Forest Administrator, Westvaco Forest Resources, 1995-1999

Research Wildlife Biologist, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, 1999-2009

Research Wildlife Biologist, U.S. Army Engineer Research and Development Center, 2009-2010


Professional Achievements:

Certified Wildlife Biologist, The Wildlife Society, 1998

Young Alumnus of the Year, School of Forest Resources, Univ. of Georgia, 2000

Associate Editor, Wildlife Society Bulletin, 2000-2002

USDA Forest Service Senior Leaders Program , 2005-2006

Editor (with M.T. Griep and B.C. Chapman), The Land Manager’s Guide to Mammals of the South.  2007. USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy, Durham, NC. 546 p.

Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies Best Paper Award (with M. R. Schimacher, S.B. Castleberry and K.V. Miller), 2007


Recent and Ongoing Activities:

Distribution and ecology of the spotted skunk– Virginia

Effects of a hierarchal and spatially differential disruption of roosts and roost areas on non-random assorting (social) dynamic in bats -Fort Knox, Kentucky

Assessing white-nose Syndrome impacts to a bat community using acoustical and radio-telemetry methodologies – Fort Drum, New York

Evaluating Ecological Threats Under Climate Change – CONUS Department of Defense Installations (Army emphasis)

Occupancy and detection modeling for the Virginia and Carolina northern flying squirrel – West Virginia and North Carolina

Micro-habitat characteristics of Virginia northern flying squirrel foraging sites: relating structure, composition and soils to habitat identification, conservation and restoration needs – West Virginia

White-tailed deer impact and vegetative response in the Blue Ridge, Ridge and Valley and Appalachian Plateau of Virginia in relation to landscape and land ownership characteristics – Virginia

Cross-scale assessment of functional and structural ecological changes from surface coal mining in Appalachia through development and application of an index of biological integrity – Virginia


Selected Publications:

Coleman, L.S., W.M. Ford, C.A. Dobony, and E.R. Britzke. 2014. Comparison of radio-telemetric home range analysis and acoustic detection for little brown bat habitat evaluation in northwestern New York, USA.  Northeast Naturalist (in press).

Coleman, L.C., W.M. Ford, C.A. Dobony, and E.R. Britzke. 2014. A comparison of passive and active acoustic sampling for monitoring a bat community impacted by white-nose syndrome.  Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management (in press)

Jachowski, D.S., J.B. Johnson, C.A. Dobony, J.W. Edwards and W.M. Ford. 2014. Space use and resource selection by foraging Indiana bats at their northern distribution. Endangered Species Management (in press)

Jachowski, D.S., C.A. Dobony, L.S. Coleman, W.M. Ford, E.R. Britzke, and J.L. Rodrigue. 2014. Disease and community assemblage: white-nose syndrome alters spatial and temporal niche partitioning in sympatric bat species.  Diversity and Distributions (in press).

Silvis A., A.B. Kniowski, S.D. Gehrt and W.M. Ford. 2014. Roosting and foraging social atructure of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). PLoS ONE 9(5):1-12(e96937). doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0096937

Silvis, A., W.M. Ford, E.R. Britzke, and J.B. Johnson. 2014. Association, roost and social networks of Myotis septentrionalis maternity colonies. Behavioral Processes 103:283-290

Coleman, L.S., W.M. Ford, C.A. Dobony and E.R. Britzke. 2014. Effect of passive acoustic sampling methodology on detecting bats after declines from white nose syndrome.  Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment 6:56-64.

Ford, W.M., C. A. Kelly, J.L. Rodrigue, R.H. Odom,  D. Newcomb, L. M. Gilley and C. A. Diggins. 2014. Late winter and early spring home range and habitat use of the endangered Carolina northern flying squirrel in western North Carolina.  Endangered Species Research 2:73-82.

Johnson, J.B., J.H. Roberts, T.L. King, J.W. Edwards, W.M. Ford and D. A. Ray. 2013. Genetic structuring of northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) at multiple spatial scales. Acta Theriologica 59:223-231. *

Silvis, A., W.M. Ford, E.R. Britzke, N.R. Beane and J.B. Johnson. 2012.  Forest succession and maternity roost selection by Myotis septentrionalis in a mesophytic hardwood forest.  International Journal of Forestry doi:10.1155/2012/148106. 8 p.

Riedel, B.L., K.R. Russell and W.M. Ford. 2012. Physical condition, sex, and age-class of eastern red-backed salamanders (Plethodon cinereus) in forested and open habitats of West Virginia.  International Journal of Zoology.  doi:10.1155/2012/623730. 8 p.

Francl, K.E., W.M. Ford, D.W. Sparks and V. Brack. 2012.  Capture and reproductive trends of summer bat communities in West Virginia: assessing the impacts of white-nose syndrome.  Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 3:33:42

Johnson, J.B., J.W. Edwards and W.M. Ford. 2012.  Nocturnal activity patterns of northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) during the maternity season in West Virginia (USA).  Acta Chiropterologica 13:391-397

Johnson, J.B., W.M. Ford and J.W. Edwards.  2012.  Roost networks of northern myotis (Myotis septentrionalis) in a managed landscape.  Forest Ecology and Management 266:223-231).

Ford, W.M., E.R. Britzke, C.A. Dobony, J.L. Rodrigue and J.B. Johnson. 2011.  Patterns of acoustical activity of bats prior to and following White-nose Syndrome occurrence.  Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management  2:125-134.


To learn more about Dr. Ford,  visit