Ray Semlitsch, Ph.D.

rev-RaySemlitsch-May2004Curators’ Professor
Division of Biological Sciences

212 Tucker Hall
University of Missouri
Columbia, MO 65211


Scopus Citation Analysis

Research Interests

My research focuses on understanding basic ecological and behavioral processes in both natural populations of amphibians and those under varying degrees of disturbance or land use. It is specifically directed at understanding: 1) how land use affects population dynamics, 2) the role of species differences in population persistence, 3) the mechanisms of connectivity and spatial dynamics, and 4) basic principles or tools used to manage and conserve wetland species.


Adult ringed salamander (Ambystoma annulatum), a forest-dependent, endemic species of the Ozark Highlands

My lab currently has three primary research interests: 1) movement behavior and connectivity among populations, 2) spatial structuring and source-sink dynamics of populations, and 3) sustainable timber harvest and forest management practices such as prescribed fire. We are trying to understand how vital rates of amphibians like growth, reproduction, and survival are altered by disturbance factors and land use. Our studies often compare species in an attempt to understand why species vary in their ability to tolerate disturbance. Our studies range from mechanistic laboratory experiments to large-scale forest or wetland manipulations to computer simulations of individual-based movement and dispersal.

The goal of my research is to understand how populations of amphibians persist and how we can maintain their biodiversity in human dominated landscapes. The ultimate goal is to provide biologically-based principles for amphibian management and conservation to natural resource managers and policy makers.