Carly Eakin

Carly’s research focuses on the population persistence and health of wood frog and spotted salamander. These animals are sensitive to changes in the environment as they rely on both aquatic and terrestrial areas to complete their life cycles. Although there are some protections in place for these sensitive species, currently, we have little information on how human disturbance may contribute to population declines of vernal pool-breeding amphibians. Human landscape disturbances (e.g., urbanization, agriculture) can result in direct population declines (e.g., habitat destruction that eliminates an entire population) and may also result in non-lethal effects on amphibians, such as degraded health and reduced survival. These non-lethal effects may indicate future extinction of a population. To understand these non-lethal effects, Carly studies the reproductive success and health of larval (aquatic stage) amphibians in pools along a rural-to-urban gradient. To do this she measures:
– Body size
– Metabolic condition
– Growth rates
– Incidence of disease
– Reproductive effort
– Survival to metamorphosis
– Predator community influence on aquatic-stage amphibians

Carly is working towards a better understanding of the relationship between amphibian health and urbanization. This understanding can lead to land management that ensures the conditions necessary to maintain healthy vernal pool-breeding amphibian populations.

About Us

Understanding the vital connections between landowner concerns, municipal planning, conservation activities, and the ecology of vernal pools will be the focus of natural and social scientists from the University of Maine, Clark University, and Bowdoin College as they embark on a multi-year research project concerning Maine’s small natural features—vernal pools.

Our work is supported by: