Dr. Steven W. Seagle


  • Ph.D. University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • M.S. University of Tennessee at Knoxville
  • B.A. University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Research Interests:

My research focuses on landscape ecology – the composition, structure and change in landscapes and how they affect ecological processes. I have recently begun studying zoonotic diseases and how landscape structure and change impact disease risk for humans. One ongoing project concerns spotted fever rickettsia (e.g., Rock Mountain spotted fever) in North Carolina. Risk models are being developed at the regional level and the ecology and distribution of the tick vector are being studied at local scales. Another project examines the ecological factors that determine the distribution of Lyme disease in the region and the ecology of the tick species that serves as the vector for this disease. Finally, I am involved in studies of the distribution of visceral leishmaniasis in northeast Brazil, where we hypothesize that changes in landscape composition and structure have concentrated this disease in the peri-urban areas of cities and in areas of rapid human population growth. A secondary area of research interest is how the interplay of landscapes and human socio-economics influences the production and sustainability of ecosystem services in western North Carolina.

Teaching Interests:

I teach broadly across the Department of Biology's curriculum, including non-major classes in Biology And Society, a junior level Environmental Studies class, and a senior/graduate class in Landscape Ecology. In the past I led a senior capstone class in Coupled Human And Natural Systems, and I am developing an interdisciplinary capstone course that will challenge biology, business, communications, and health science students to collaboratively apply their skills toward economic development projects.

Selected Publications:

  • Seagle, S.W. (In Preparation) Nitrogen depostion by deer alters forest floor trophic dynamics in a multiple-use landscape.
  • Seagle, S.W. and R. Salinas. (In Preparation) Afforestation to achieve ecosystem services: carbon sequestration and forest fragmentation reduction.
  • Pleasants, J.W. and S.W. Seagle.(In Preparation) Salamander presence and diversity impacts invertebrate food webs.
  • Hopfensperger, K.N., K.A.M. Engelhardt, and S.W. Seagle. 2007. Ecological feasibility Studies in resotation decidion making. Environmental Management 39:843-852.
  • Hopfensperger, K.N., K.A.M. Engelhardt, and S.W. Seagle. 2006. The use of case studies in establishing feasibility for wetland restoration. Restoration Ecology 14:578-586.
  • Seagle, S.W. and B.R. Sturtevant. 2005 . Forest productivity determines invertebrate biomass
  • and ovenbird ( Seiurus aurocapillus ) reproduction in Appalachian forest landscapes. Ecology 86(6): 1531-1539.
  • Sturtevant, B.R. and S. W. Seagle. 2004. Comparing estimates of forest site quality in old second- growth oak forests. Forest Ecology and Management 191:311-328.
  • Seagle, S.W. 2003. Can deer foraging in multiple-use landscapes alter forest nitrogen budgets? Oikos 103:230-234.
  • Liang, S.-Y. and S.W. Seagle. 2002. Browsing and microhabitat effects on riparian forest woody seedling demography. Ecology 83:212-227.
  • Seagle, S.W. and S.-Y. Liang.. 2001. Application of a forest gap model for prediction of browsing effects on riparian forest succession. Ecological Modelling 144:213-229.
Title: Professor , Terrestrial Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology
Department: Department of Biology

Email address: Email me

Phone: (828) 262-2681

Office address
Rankin Science West 292