Department of Biological Sciences
Ohio University, Athens, Ohio 45701
Ph.D. 1992, University of Pennsylvania
My research interest is in the evolution of vertebrate life histories. I use a combination of demographic, experimental, and phylogenetic techniques to study how historical and ecological processes produce variation in life history traits within and among individuals, populations, and species. The corner stone of my research is a demographic study of the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, in the Patuxent River, a tributary of Chesapeake Bay. Since 1987 I have obtained almost 30,000 captures of more than 10,000 individuals in this population. The objective of this research is to understand how environmental variation can contribute to variation in life history traits. Additionally, I am interested in how environmental variation among nesting areas contributes to population dynamics and sex ratio via temperature-dependent sex determination.
Recently, I have become involved with the Army Corps of Engineers Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project. This large scale habitat restoration project is rebuilding an island in Chesapeake Bay using dredged material. Terrapins began nesting on the project and have provided us with the opportunity to study the missing years for terrapins. Because there are no nest predators present on the island, nest survival and hatching success is high providing the opportunity to mark and release large numbers of hatchlings with the hope of generating accurate survival estimates as these marked hatchlings grow and approach the size where we can recapture them.
I also am one of the founding members of the Diamondback Terrapin Working Group, dedicated to the conservation, restoration, and study of terrapins. The primary role of this society is to bring together scientist and resource managers to improve management and conservation efforts for this species. This is accomplished through a national meeting that is held every three years and with local workshops to address regional issues affecting terrapins. We also provided additional resources for those interested in studying terrapins or using them in as models in education.
Roosenburg, W. M. and T. Dennis. 2005. Egg component comparisons in the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Copeia 2005:317-323.
Roosenburg, W. M., C. Swarth, and E. Kiviat 2004. Introduction. In C. Swarth, W. M. Roosenburg and E. Kiviat (eds) Conservation and Ecology of Turtles of the Mid Atlantic Region: A Symposium. Proceedings of the Mid-Atlantic Turtle Symposium. Biblomania Salt Lake City UT pages vii-x.
Roosenburg, W. M. 2004. The impact of crab pot fisheries on the terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin: Where are we and where do we need to go? In C. Swarth, W. M. Roosenburg and E. Kiviat (eds) Conservation and Ecology of Turtles of the Mid Atlantic Region: A Symposium. Proceedings of the Mid-Atlantic Turtle Symposium. Biblomania Salt Lake City UT pages 23-30.
Roosenburg, W.M., P. E. Allman, and B. J. Fruh. 2003. Diamondback terrapin nesting on the Poplar Island environmental restoration project. U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. Coastal Services Center. Proceedings of the 13th Biennial Coastal Zone Conference, Baltimore, MD, July 13-17. 2003. NOAA/CS/20322-CD. CD-ROM. Charleston, SC: NOAA Coastal Services Center.
Miles, D. B., R. Noecker, W. M. Roosenburg, and M. M. White. 2002. Genetic relationships among populations of Sceloporus undulatus fail to support subspecific designations. Herpetologica 58:277-292.
Roosenburg, W. M. 2000. Hypothesis testing, decision theory and common sense in resource management. Conservation Biology14:1208-1210.
Roosenburg, W. M., and J Green. 2000. Impact of a by-catch reduction device on terrapin mortality (Malaclemys terrapin) and crab (Callinectes sapidus) capture in crab pots. Ecological Applications 10:882-889.
Roosenburg, W. M. K. L. Haley, and S. McGuire. 1999. Habitat Selection and Movement of Diamondback Terapins, Malaclemys terrapin. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3:425-429.
Roosenburg, W. M. and P. E. Niewiarowski. 1998. Maternal Effects and the Maintenance of Environmental Sex Determination. In: T. Mousseau and C. Fox (eds.) Maternal Effects as Adaptations Oxford University Press. pp. 307-322.
Roosenburg, W. M. and A. E. Dunham. 1997. Clutch and egg size variation in the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Copeia 1997:290-297.
Roosenburg, W. M., W. Cresko, M. Modesitte, M. B. Robbins. 1997. Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) mortality in crab pots. Conservation Biology 11:1166-1172.
Roosenburg, W. M. 1996 Maternal condition and nest site choice: An alternative for the maintenance of environmental sex determination? American Zoologist 36:157-168.
Roosenburg, W. M. and K. C. Kelley. 1996 Differential effects of egg size on male and female growth in the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Journal of Herpetology 30:198- 204.
Roosenburg, W. M. and A. R. Place. 1995 Nest predation and hatchling sex ratio in the diamondback terrapin: Implications for management and conservation. Towards a Sustainable Coastal Watershed: The Chesapeake Experiment, Proceedings of a Conference. Chesapeake Research Consortium Pub. No 149. Solomons, MD. pp. 65-70.
Jeyasuria, P., W. M. Roosenburg, and A. R. Place. 1994 The role of aromatase P- 450 in environmental sex determination in the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Journal of Experimental Zoology 270:95-111.
Roosenburg, W. M. 1994 Nesting habitat requirements of the diamondback terrapin: a geographic comparison. Wetland Journal 6(2):8-11.
Niewiarowski, P. E. and W. M. 1993 Roosenburg. Reciprocal transplant reveals sources of variation in growth rates of the lizard, Sceloporus undulatus. Ecology 74:1992-2002.
Roosenburg, W. M. 1991 The diamondback terrapin: Habitat requirements, population dynamics, and opportunities for conservation. New Perspectives in the Chesapeake System: A Research and Management and Partnership. Proceedings of a Conference. Chesapeake Research Consortium Pub. No 137. Solomons, Md. pp. 237 - 234.
Kathy Temple, MSES - Kathy is working on habitat partitioning between Graptemys ouachitensis and Graptemys geographica in Ohio's Scioto River.
Ashley Smith, MS - Ashley is completing a phylogeographic study Graptemys ouachitensis with a focus on the origins of the isolated Scioto River population.
Leah Graham, MSES - Leah is studying facultative emergence of diamondback terrapin hatchlings and the influence of soil compaction on hatchling within nest overwintering.
Brian Horne, Ph.D. July 2007 - Dissertation Title: The ecology of developmental timing in hte neotropical turtle, Kinosternon leucostomum. Brian is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Center for Research of Endangered Species at the San Diego Zoo.
Phil Allman, Ph.D. May 2006 - Dissertation Title: Consequences of egg size on hatchling energetics in the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Phil is a member of the faculty at Florida Gulf Coast University.
Dawn Ford, Ph.D. February 2005 Dissertation Title: Sublethal effects of stressors on physiological and morphological parameters in the diamond back terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Dawn is currently teaching in the Medical School at Marshall University and has an adjunct appointment in Department of Integrated Science and Technology.
Thomas Radzio, M.S. February 2004. Thesis Title: Diamondback terrapin mortality in eel pots and the evaluation of a bycatch reduction device. Tom is currently Research Project Leader for the Gopher Tortoise Project in Mississippi.
Wade Winterhalter, M.S. August 1998. Thesis Title: Maturation rates and optimal offspring size in the live-bearing fish Poecilia recticulata and Xiphophorous maculatus. Wade went on to get a Ph.D. with Tim Mousseau at the University of South Carolina and currently holds a Post-doctoral position at the University of Central Florida.
Philip Martin, M.S. May 1998 Thesis Title: Adaptation to Life in Estuarine Environments by the Northern Water Snake, Nerodia sipedon. Phil is currently in Veterinary School at Kansas State University.
Jason Green, M.S.E.S. May 1998. Thesis Title: The impact of a Bycatch Reduction Apparatus on crab. (Callinectes sapidus) and diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) in crab pots. Jason is currently as an environmental consultant in Phoenix, Arizona.
BIOS 172 - Introduction to Ecology and Evolution: The objective of this course is to introduce student to fundamental principles and concepts in Ecology and Evolution. The first half of the quarter concentrates on Evolutionary Biology while the second half of the quarter is devoted to Ecology and Behavior.
BIOS 375 - Animal Ecology: The course focuses on fundamental principles of ecology. The course is divided into four sections, organismal ecology, population ecology, community ecology, and ecosystem ecology.
BIOS 462 / 562 - Animal Physiological Ecology: Physiological Ecology is a co-taught with Lisa Crockett and Kelly Johnson. We explore how different physiological responses to varying environmental conditions affect organismal energy budgets. We discuss how the biophysical and resource environment affect the amount of energy available to organisms and the costs and benefits of different physiological strategies with regard to how that energy is used.
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