Dr. Jeff Larkin

  • Jeffrey Larkin in Colombia Contact Information
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    PhD Animal Sciences – University of Kentucky

    MS Forestry – University of Kentucky

    BA Biology – Ithaca College


    Wildlife Ecology and Management, Conservation Biology, Landscape Ecology, Restoration Ecology


    During my academic and professional career, I have been involved in several research projects on a variety of wildlife conservation topics. This reflects my diverse research interests, including songbird ecology and conservation, habitat management and restoration, wildlife-habitat relationships, large mammal restoration, small population biology, and impacts of human disturbances on biodiversity. My research is best describe as applied. That is, my students synthesis their research findings into applied information that is used by various government agencies and conservation organizations to better manage and conserve wildlife and their habitats.

    Prior to joining the IUP faculty, I was a research associate at the University of Kentucky and a visiting scholar at Yellowstone National Park. I have published extensively in professional journals and has contributed chapters to several books, as well as editing Large Mammal Restoration: Ecological and Sociological Challenges in the 21st Century, which won the 2002 Wildlife Society book award. My students and I have presented our research findings at numerous national and international symposia and conferences. I promotes active scholarship and applied research within the IUP Biology Department. I am a member of the Wildlife Society, the Society for Conservation Biology, the Cerulean Warbler Technical Committee, and the Golden-winged Warbler Working Group. Since 2013, I have been serving as the American Bird Conservancy's Forest Bird Habitat Coordinator. My primary role in this position is to work with conservation partners to implement science-based conservation in North, Central, and South America. I believe strongly that researchers should take an active role in converting their conservation science into conservation action!

    Research projects that my students and I have recently finished or are actively working on include: 1) Estimating black bear population size in Kentucky; 2) Estimating fisher population size and distribution in Pennsylvania; 3) Cerulean Warbler response to forest management in the Daniel Boone National Forest, Kentucky; 4) Golden-winged Warbler breeding ecology and response to habitat management in Central Pennsylvania; 5) Identifying high-quality habitats of the Allegheny Woodrat within the Chestnut and Laurel Ridge systems of Pennsylvania; 6) Multi-scale resource selection of Pennsylvania elk; 6) Survival, movements, and habitat use of fledgling Golden-winged and Cerulean Warbler; 7) State-wide genetic atlas for Allegheny Woodrats and fisher in Pennsylvania; 8) Ecology and conservation of Honduran Emerald in the Agalta Valley, Honduras; 9) Use of wildlife overpasses by moose and roe deer in southwest Sweden; 10) Range-wide monitoring of American Woodcock, Golden-winged Warblers, and associated songbirds in response to young forest management on public and private lands.


    Bakermans, M. H., B. W. Smith, B. C. Jones and J. L. Larkin . 2015. Stand and within-stand factors influencing Golden-winged Warbler use of regenerating stands in the central Appalachian Mountains. Avian Conservation and Ecology 10(1): 10. [online] URL: http://www.ace-eco.org/vol10/iss1/art10/

    Aldinger, K.R., T.M. Terhune II, P.B. Wood, D.A. Buehler, M.H. Bakermans, J.L. Confer, D.J. Flaspohler, J.L. Larkin , J.P. Loegering, K.L. Percy, A.M. Roth, and C.G. Smalling. 2015. Variables associated with nest survival of Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) among vegetation communities commonly used for nesting. Avian Conservation and Ecology 10 (1): 6.[online] URL: http://www.ace-eco.org/vol10/iss1/art6/

    Leuenberger, W.L., S. Bearer, P. McElhenny, B. Leppo, J. Duchamp, S. Johnson, and J.L. Larkin. A comparison of Lepidoptera communities inhabiting restored and late successional pitch pine-scrub oak barrens in Pennsylvania. Natural Areas Journal in press

    Bakermans, M., C. Zeigler, and J.L. Larkin .  American Woodcock and Golden-winged Warbler Abundance and Associated Vegetation in Managed Habitats.  Northeastern Naturalist in press

    Streby, H.M., R.W. Rohrbaugh, D.A. Buehler, D.E. Andersen, R. Vallender, D.I. King, J.L. Larkin , and T. Will. Research on Golden-Winged Warblers: recent progress and current needs. Studies in Avian Biology in press

    Rohrbaugh, R.W., D.A. Buehler, S. Barker-Swarthout, D.I. King, J.L. Larkin , K.V. Rosenberg, A.M. Roth, R. Vallender, and T.Will. Conservation Perspectives: using new science to improve strategic Golden-Winged Warbler conservation. Studies in Avian Biology in press

    Boves, T.J., A.D. Rodewald, D.A. Buehler, P.B. Wood, J.L. Larkin , P.D. Keyser, and T.B. Wigley. Habitat quality from individual to population-level perspectives and implications for management. Wildlife Society Bulletin 39:443-447.

    Bellush, E.C., J. Duchamp, J.L. Confer, and J. L. Larkin. Influence of plant species composition on golden-winged warbler foraging ecology. Studies in Avian Biology in press

    Frantz, M., K.R. Aldinger, P.B. Wood, J.D., T. Nuttle, A. Vitz, and J.L. Larkin . Space and habitat use by breeding Golden-Winged Warblers in the central Appalachian Mountains. Stud.in Avian Bio in press

    Terhune, T.M., K.R. Aldinger, D.A. Buehler, J.L. Confer, D.J. Flaspohler, J.L. Larkin , J.P. Loegering, K.L. Percy, A.M. Roth, C. Smalling, and P.B. Wood. Golden-winged warbler nest-site habitat selection. Studies in Avian Biology in press

    Maigret, T.J., J.J Cox, D.R. Schneider, C.D. Barton, S.J. Price and, J.L. Larkin . 2014. Effects of timber harvest within streamside management zones on salamander populations in ephemeral streams of southeastern Kentucky. Forest Ecology and Management 324:46-51

    Sheehan, J. P.B. Wood, D.A. Buehler, P.D. Keyser, J.L. Larkin , A.D. Rodewald, T.B. Wigley, T.J. Boves, G.A. George, M.H. Bakermans, T. A. Beachy, A. Evans, M.E. McDermott, F.L. Newell, K. A. Perkins, and M.B. White. 2013. Avian response to timber harvesting applied experimentally to manage Cerulean Warbler breeding populations. Forest Ecology and Management 321:5-18.                 

    Unger, D.E., J.J. Cox, H.B. Harris, J.L. Larkin , B. Augustine, S. Dobey, J. M. Guthrie, J.T. Hast, R. Jensen, S. Murphy, J. Plaxico, and D.S. Maehr. 2013. History and current status of the Black Bear in Kentucky. Northeastern Naturalist 20:289-308.

    Boves, T.J., D.A. Buehler, P.B. Wood, A.D. Rodewald, J.L. Larkin , P.D. Keyser, and T.B. Wigley. 2014. Multiple plumage traits convey information about age and within age-class qualities of a canopy-dwelling songbird, the cerulean warbler. Auk 131:20-31.

    Newell, F.L., J. Sheehan, P.B. Wood, A.D. Rodewald, D.A. Buehler, P.D. Keyser,  J.L. Larkin , T.A. Beachy, M. Bakermans, T.J. Boves, A. Evans, G.A. George, M.E. McDermott, K.A. Perkins, M.B. White, and T.B. Wigley. 2013. Comparison of point counts and territory mapping for detecting effects of forest management on songbirds. Journal of Field Ornithology 84: 270-286.

    Gess, S.W., E. H. Ellington M. Dzialak, J. Duchamp, M. Lovallo, and J.L. Larkin . 2013. Rest site selection by fishers (Martes pennanti) in the eastern deciduous forest.  Wildlife Society Bulletin (37:805-814).

    Boves, T.J., D.A. Buehler, J. Sheehan, P.B. Wood, A.D. Rodewald, J.L. Larkin , P.D. Keyser, F.L. Newell, A. Evans, G.A. George, and T.B. Wigley. 2013. Spatial variation in breeding habitat selection by Cerulean Warblers throughout the Appalachian Mountains. The Auk 130:46-59.

    Boves, T.J., D.A. Buehler, J. Sheehan, P.B. Wood, A.D. Rodewald, J.L. Larkin , P.D, Keyser, F.L. Newell, G.A. George, A. Evans, M.H. Bakermans, A. Evans, T.A. Beachy, M.E. McDermott, K.A. Perkins, M. White, and T.B. Wigley. 2013. Emulating natural disturbances for declining late-successional species: A case study of the consequences for cerulean warblers (Setophaga cerulea). PLoS ONE. 8(1): e52107

    Larkin, J.L., P. B. Wood, T. J. Boves, J. Sheehan, D. A. Buehler, P. D. Keyser, A. D. Rodewald, T. A. Beachy, M. H. Bakermans, A. Evans, G. A. George, M. E. McDermott, F.L. Newell, K. A. Perkins, M. White, and T. B. Wigley. 2012. Breeding Season Concerns and Response to Forest Management: Can Forest Management Produce More Breeding Birds? Ornitologia Neotropical 23: 283-287.

    Smith, B., J. Botero, J.L. Larkin , A.D. Rodewald, P.B. Wood, P.N. Angel, and S. Eggerud. 2012.  Integrating conservation management, species protection, and economic viability into sustainable land use practices for the Cerulean Warbler ( setophaga cerulea) in the Appalachian and northern Andes Mountains. Ornitologia Neotropical 23: 329-334.

    Smyser, T.J., J.E. Duchamp, S.A. Johnson, J.L. Larkin , and O.E. Rhodes, Jr. 2012. Consequences of metapopulation collapse: Comparison of genetic attributes between two Allegheny woodrat metapopulations. Conservation Genetics 13:849-858.

    Dodd,L.E., M.J. Lacki, E.R. Britzke,D.A. Buehler, P.D. Keyser, J.L. Larkin , A.D. Rodewald, T.B. Wigley, P.B. Wood, and L.R. Rieske. 2012. Forest structure affects trophic linkages: how silvicultural disturbance impacts bats and their insect prey. Forest Ecology and Management 267:262-270.

    Frary, V., J. Duchamp, D.S. Maehr, and J.L. Larkin . 2011. Density and distribution of a colonizing front of the American Black Bear (Ursus americanus). Wildlife Biology 17:404-416

    DeVivo, M.,  W.O. Cottrell, J. M. DeBerti, J.E. Duchamp, L. M. Heffernan, J.D. Kougher, and J.L. Larkin. 2011. Survival and cause-specific mortality of elk calves in a predator rich environment. Wildlife Biology 17: 156-165.

    Larkin, J.L., M. Gabriel, R. Gerhold, M. Yabsley, J. Wester, J. Humphreys, R. Beckstead, and J.P. Dubey . 2011.  Prevalence to Toxoplasma gondii and sarcocystis spp. in a reintroduced fisher (Martes pennanti) population in Pennsylvania. Journal of Parasitology 97: 427-429.

    Larkin, J.L., J.C. Wester, W.O. Cotrell, and M.T. DeVivo. 2010. Documentation of the rabies virus in free-ranging fisher (Martes pennanti) in Pennsylvania.  Norttheastern Naturalist 17:523-530.

    Patton, L.L., D.S. Maehr, J E. Duchamp, S. Fei, J.W. Gassett and J.L. Larkin . 2010. Do the Golden-winged Warbler and Blue-winged Warbler Exhibit Species-specific Differences in their Breeding Habitat Use?. Avian Conservation and Ecology 5 (2): 2. [online] URL: http://www.ace-eco.org/vol5/iss2/art2/

    Olsson, M.P.O., J.J. Cox, J.L. Larkin , P. Widen, and A. Olovsson. 2010. Space and habitat use of moose in southwestern Sweden. European Journal of Wildlife Research 1-9.

    Vallender, R., S. VanWilgenburg, L.P. Bulluck, A. Roth, R.A. Canterbury, J.L.Larkin , R.M. Fowlds, and I.J. Lovette. 2009. Extensive Rangewide introgression indicates substantial cryptic hybridization in the Golden-winged Warbler. Avian Conservation and Ecology 4 (2): 4 URL: http://www.ace-eco.org/vol4/iss2/art4/

    Hartman, P.J., D.S. Maehr, and J.L. Larkin. 2009. Habitat Selection by Cerulean Warblers in Eastern Kentucky . Wilson Bulletin 121:469–475

    Olsson, M.P.O., P. Widen, J.L. Larkin . 2008. Moose and roe deer use of a highway overpass in Sweden. Landscape and Urban Planning 85:133-139.

    Larkin, J.L., . D.S. Maehr, J. Krupa, K. Alexy, J.J. Cox, D. Unger, and C. Barton. 2008. Small Mammal Response to Vegetation and Soil Conditions on a Reclaimed Surface Mine in Eastern Kentucky. Southeastern Naturalist 7:401-412.

    Olsson, M.P.O., J.J. Cox, J. L. Larkin , D.S. Maehr, P. Widen, and M.W. Wichrowskil. 2007. Movement and activity patterns of Reintroduced Elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) on an active coal mine in eastern Kentucky.  Wildlife Biology in Practice 3:1-8.

    Cox, J.J., D.S. Maehr, and J.L. Larkin .  2007. Florida Panther Habitat Use: New approach to an old problem.  Journal of Wildlife Management 70: 1778-1785.

    Maehr, D.S., P. Crowley, J.J. Cox, M.L. Lacki, J.L. Larkin , T.S. Hoctor, L.D. Harris, and P.M. Hall. 2006. Of cats and Haruspices: genetic intervention in the Florida panther.  Animal Conservation 9:127-132.

    Schneider, J., D.S. Maehr, K. Alexy, J.J. Cox, J.L. Larkin , and B.C. Reeder. 2006. Food habits of reintroduced elk in eastern Kentucky.  Southeastern Naturalist 5:535-546.

    Maehr, D.S., J.J. Cox, and J.L. Larkin . 2007.  Elk (Cervus elaphus). Pages 526-532 In M. Trani-Griep, editor. The land manager's guide to mammals of the South.  USDA Forest Service and The Nature Conservancy.

    Dzialak, M.R., T. Carter, M. J. Lacki, J.L. Larkin , and S. Vorisek. 2005. Corridors affect dispersal initiation in reintroduced peregrine falcons. Animal Conservation 8:421-430.

    Seward, N.W., J.J. Cox, J. Brown, and J.L. Larkin . 2005. Eastern phoebe uses elk hair as nesting material. Kentucky Warbler 81: 33

    Maehr, D.S. and J.L. Larkin. 2005. Response to Beckage et al. (2004): Fire regimes and large terrestrial carnivores in south Florida. Natural Areas Journal 25:8-9.

    Wichrowski, M. W., D. S. Maehr, J.L. Larkin , J. J. Cox, and M. Olsson. 2005. Activity and movements of reintroduced elk in southeastern Kentucky. Southeastern Naturalist 4:365-374.

    Seward, N.W., D.S. Maehr, J. Gassett, J.J. Cox, and J.L. Larkin . 2005. Field searches versus vaginal implant transmitters for locating elk calves. Wildlife Society Bulletin 33:751-755.

    Graduate Student Theses (Primary Advisor)

    1. McNeil, D.J. 2015. Habitat characteristics and territory density of Golden-winged Warblers (Vermivora chrysoptera) in-shrub wetlands of the Appalachian Mountains.
    2. Mibroda, Julie. 2014. Habitat Use of the Endemic Shorthead Garter Snake.
    3. Moon, Stephanie. 2014. A Comparison of the Abundance and Size of Lepidoteran Prey on Native and Invasive Shrub Species in Natural Areas Managed for Nesting Songbirds.
    4. Frantz, Mack. 2012. Is Spot Mapping Missing Important Aspects of Golden-Winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera) Breeding Habitat?
    5. Bellush, E.C. 2012. Foraging Ecology of the Golden-Winged Warbler (Vermivora chrysoptera): Does Plant Species Composition Matter?
    6. Evans, A. 2012. A Comparison of Cerulean Warbler Nest-Patch Vegetation Characteristics between Core and Peripheral Breeding Populations.
    7. Schneider, D. 2010. Salamander communities occupying ephemeral streams in a mixed mesophytic forest of Appalachia.
    8. Hoffman, J. 2010. Habitat Characteristics Affecting Allegheny Woodrat (Neotoma magister) Populations on the Chesnut Ridge in Southwestern Pennsylvania.
    9. Gess, S. 2010. Characteristic of Fisher (Martes pennanti) rest sites in south-central Pennsylvania.
    10. Ellington E. 2010. Developing habitat models to predict fisher occupancy in Pennsylvania.
    11. Kougher, J. 2009. Multi-scale resource selection of elk (Cervus elphus) in northcentral Pennsylvania.
    12. Heffernan, L. 2009. Effects of age, sex, and landscape composition on seasonal elk diets in Pennsylvania.
    13. DeVivo, M. 2009. Elk calf survival, movement, and neonatal habitat use in northcentral Pennsylvania.
    14. Wester, J. 2009. Assessing diet and disease in reintroduced fisher population.
    15. White, M. 2008. Avian community response to silvicultural treatments in eastern Kentucky: with an emphasis on Cerulean Warbler ecology.
    16. Frary, V. 2008. Estimating abundance and distribution of the black bear in eastern Kentucky.

    Undergraduate Student theses (Primary Advisor)

    1. Leuenberger, W. 2014. A Comparison of Lepidoptera Communities Inhabiting Restored and Degraded Pitch Pine-Scrub Oak Barrens in Pennsylvania.
    2. Zeigler, C. 2013. Response of American Woodcock and Eastern Whip-poor-will to Golden-winged Warbler Habitat Management.
    3. DeVivo, M. 2007. Elk calf survival, movement, and neonatal habitat use in northcentral Pennsylvania.