Lisabeth Willey, PhD

Core Faculty
Department of Environmental Studies

AUNE Contact Information


Highest Degree

PhD, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Areas of Expertise

Organismic & evolutionary biology; wildlife & fisheries conservation; rare species conservation planning; alpine ecology; landscape ecology; amphibian and reptile ecology; population and habitat suitability modeling


I am a conservation biologist with a focus on vertebrate ecology, and I enjoy working with students and collaborators to employ varied field sampling and modeling techniques to tackle applied ecological questions, both inside and beyond the classroom. My teaching is influenced by a range of research and collaborative projects that emphasize finding solutions to challenges associated with biodiversity loss, habitat loss and fragmentation, and rare species and ecosystem conservation.

Recently, I’ve worked with university, agency, non-profit, and student collaborators to undertake regional, rare wildlife conservation planning efforts in the northeastern U.S., which include field sampling programs to help inform empirically-derived models that can then be used to inform conservation and management decisions at multiple spatial and temporal scales. With a background in Environmental Engineering, I enjoy bringing a quantitative lens to such problems, but I’m most excited about engaging partners from across disciplines to plan and implement conservation actions. Much of my work is focused in New England, but I explore ecological questions across a range of environmental conditions, from alpine systems in Québec and Newfoundland and Labrador, to tropical forest systems on the Yucatán peninsula, with a special focus on evaluating the effects of landscape composition, structure, and change on those systems.

I’m thrilled to be part of AUNE’s interdisciplinary and collaborative Environmental Studies Department where I have the opportunity to engage and learn with students and colleagues from within and beyond the Department and to try to tackle these and other challenging environmental problems inside and outside the classroom. Ecological and environmental systems are so complex that the most effective way to find solutions is to work together, building capacity with a vast array of skills, backgrounds, and perspectives. If you have interest in collaborating on a project, please get in touch!

Expert Bio

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Massachusetts Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit
Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts Amherst
BS, Environmental Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)