Research Associate Professor
Assistant Unit Leader – Wildlife
U.S. Geological Survey
Massachusetts Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
Dr. Sievert’s research interests are in conservation biology, physiological ecology, and biostatistics. His research group studies populations of threatened and endangered species (freshwater turtles, salamanders, butterflies and moths, short-tailed albatross, Sumatran tigers) to better understand, and hopefully reverse, their declines. With respect to physiological ecology, Dr. Sievert is interested in how energy and water balance influence the nesting ecology of marine birds, the estivation behavior of turtles, and the establishment of species range boundaries. His quantitative research focuses on methods for estimating survival rates, and the use of population viability analyses in conservation biology.
- Applied Biostatistics for Natural Resources (W&FCONSV 697S&T)
- Biostatistics Journal Club (NRC 697B)
Current Research Group Members
• LISABETH WILLEY (PhD): Ecology and conservation of Eastern box turtles (Terrapene carolina carolina) in the Connecticut River Valley of Massachusetts
• KIMBERLY M. OGDEN (MS): Distribution and abundance of four-toed salamanders (Hemidactylium scutatum): development of a multi-scale model of habitat preference
• DAVID J. PAULSON (MS): Evaluating the effectiveness of road passage structures for freshwater turtles in Massachusetts
• KATHERINE KAUFFMAN (MS): Foraging ecology and reproductive success of razorbills (Alca torda) in the Gulf of Maine
• SARAH M. SPENCER (MS): Foraging behavior and nest site attendance of Atlantic puffins (Fratercula arctica) breeding in Maine
• DEREK T. YORKS (MS): Experimental tests of fencing and tunnel options for reducing road mortalities of freshwater turtles
• BRADLEY W. COMPTON: Rare species habitat modeling and population assessment
• ANNE G. STENGLE: Habitat selection, connectivity, and viability of a timber rattlesnake (Crotalus horridus) metapopulation in southwestern Massachusetts
Past Research Group Members
• MICHAEL T. JONES (PhD 2009): Modeling the spatial distribution of wood turtles (Glyptemys insculpta) in New England [Currently employed by Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program]
• GENE ALBANESE (MS 2006; co-advised with Peter D. Vickery): Local and landscape requirements of frosted elfins (Callophrys irus) in sandplain communities of Massachusetts [Currently in PhD program at Oklahoma State University]
• MARK GRGUROVIC (MS 2006): Habitat selection and movement patterns of Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in Massachusetts [Currently a herpetological research consultant]
• SARAH A. HAGGERTY (MS 2005): Effect of firebreak maintenance on rare insects of Manuel F. Correllus State Forest, Massachusetts [Currently employed by Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program]
• LAURA J. CLARK (MS 2005; co-advised with Stephen DeStefano): Small mammal ecology and the prevalence of Lyme disease on Martha’s Vineyard [Currently employed by the USGS National Wildlife Health Center, Madison, WI]
• HARIYO T. WIBISONO (MS 2005): Conservation of Sumatran tigers (Panthera tigris sumatrae) in Bukit Barisan Selatan National Park, Indonesia [Currently employed by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Indonesia Program]
• L. LEANN KANDA (PhD 2005; co-advised with Todd K. Fuller): Limitations to the northernmost distribution of Virginia Opossums [Currently Assistant Professor at Ithaca College , NY]
• JAVIER ARATA (Postdoc 2005): Population status of Laysan albatrosses (Phoebastria immutabilis) and black-footed albatrosses (Phoebastria nigripes) in the North Pacific [Currently employed by the Chilean Institute for Antarctic Research]
• MYRA E. FINKELSTEIN (Postdoc 2006-2007; co-advised with Daniel Doak, University of Wyoming, and Michael Fry, American Bird Conservancy): Understanding the effects of interacting threats on the survival of long-lived species [Currently a Research Scientist at the University of California, Santa Cruz]
Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania
Arata, J.A., P.R. Sievert, and M.B. Naughton. 2009. Status Assessment of Laysan and Black-footed Albatrosses, North Pacific Ocean, 1923-2005. U. S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5131, 80 p.
Sievert, P.R., D.J. Paulson, and D.T. Yorks. 2013. Effectiveness of road passage structures for freshwater turtles. In Andrews et al. Road Planning and Mitigation Design for Small Animals: Concepts and Applications. Johns Hopkins University Press, Baltimore, MD (in press).
Refereed Journal Articles
Willey, L.L., and P.R. Sievert. 2012. Notes on the nesting ecology of Eastern Box Turtles near the northern limit of their range. Northeastern Naturalist (in press).
Jones, M.T., and P.R. Sievert. 2012. Elevated mortality of hatchling Blanding’s turtles (Emydoidea blandingii) in residential landscapes. Herpetological Conservation and Biology (in press).
Calkins, E.J., T.K. Fuller, C.S. Asa, T.J. Coonan, and P.R. Sievert. 2012. Factors influencing reproductive success and litter size in captive Island Foxes. Journal of Wildlife Management (in press).
Kanda, L.L., T.K. Fuller, P.R. Sievert, and R.L. Kellogg. 2009. Seasonal source-sink dynamics at the edge of a species’ range. Ecology 90(6):1574-1585.
Jones, M.T., and P.R. Sievert. 2009. Effects of stochastic flood disturbance on adult wood turtles, Glyptemys insculpta, in Massachusetts. Canadian Field-Naturalist 123(4):313-322.
Suryan, R.M., D.J. Anderson, S.A. Shaffer, D.D. Roby, Y. Tremblay, D.P. Costa, P.R. Sievert, F. Sato, K. Ozaki, and G.R. Balogh. 2008. Wind, waves, and wing loading: Morphological specialization may limit range expansion of endangered albatrosses. PLoS ONE 3(12):e401.
Albanese, G., P. D. Vickery, and P. R. Sievert. 2008. Microhabitat use by larvae and females of a rare barrens butterfly, frosted elfin (Callophrys irus). Journal of Insect Conservation 12(6):603-615.
Finkelstein, M., V.J. Bakker, D.F. Doak, B. Sullivan, W.H. Satterthwaite, R.L. Lewison, P.B. McIntyre, S. Wolf, D. Priddel, J.M. Arnold, R.W. Henry, P.R. Sievert, and J.P. Croxall. 2008. Evaluating the potential effectiveness of compensatory mitigation strategies for marine bycatch. PLoS ONE 3(6):e2480.
Non-refereed Articles (since 2008)
Willey, L., and P. R. Sievert. 2009. Ecology of eastern box turtles in the Connecticut River Valley, Massachusetts, 2005-2008. Final Report to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 71 pp.
Arata, J.A., P.R. Sievert, and M.B. Naughton. 2009. Status assessment of Laysan and black-footed albatrosses, North Pacific Ocean, 1923-2005: U.S. Geological Survey Scientific Investigations Report 2009-5131, 80 p.
Sievert, P. R. 2008. Surveying for rare amphibians, rare reptiles, and vernal pools, in Robinson State Park, Massachusetts. Final Report to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 12 pp.
Jones, M. T., and P. R. Sievert. 2008. Distribution, status, and behavioral ecology of wood turtles in western Massachusetts. Final Report to the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife, 47 pp.
Suryan R.M., D.J. Anderson, S.A. Shaffer, D.D. Roby, Y. Tremblay, D.P. Costa, P.R. Sievert, F. Sato, K. OzakiG.R. Balogh, and N. Nakamura. 2008. Wind, waves, and wing loading: Morphological specialization may limit range expansion of endangered albatrosses. PLoS ONE 3(12): e401.
Finkelstein, M., V.J. Bakker, D.F. Doak, B. Sullivan, W.H. Satterthwaite, R.L. Lewison, P.B. McIntyre, S. Wolf, D. Priddel, J.M. Arnold, R.W. Henry, P.R. Sievert, and J.P. Croxall. 2008. Evaluating the potential effectiveness of compensatory mitigation strategies for marine bycatch. PLoS ONE 3(6): e2480.