Nathan W. Byer

Ph.D. Student


Essentially, all models are wrong, but some are useful.” – George E.P. Box

I am most interested in combining landscape ecology, population biology, geospatial techniques, and statistics to develop sound conservation initiatives for sensitive species. The best models are those that mirror reality; therefore, I am a firm believer that conservation requires a careful balance of statistical rigor with biological realism.

For my PhD research, I will develop spatially-explicit population models for freshwater turtles in the state of Wisconsin under varying climate change and land use change scenarios. This work is part of an ongoing study of Wisconsin turtle ecology and conservation.


M.S. Biology | Towson University, 2015. Thesis: “Movement Patterns, Nesting Ecology, and Nest-Site Selection of the Federally-Listed Bog Turtle in Maryland.” Advisor: Richard A. Seigel.
B.S. Organismal Biology | Towson University, 2012


Guiden, P. W., Bartel, S. L., Byer, N. W., Shipley, A. A., & Orrock, J. L. (2019). Predator-Prey Interactions in the Anthropocene: Reconciling Multiple Aspects of Novelty. Trends in Ecology & Evolution.

Byer, N. W., Reid, B. N., & Peery, M. Z. (2019). Implications of slow pace-of-life for nesting behavior in an armored ectotherm. Behavioral Ecology and Sociobiology 73(4): 47.

Byer, N. W., B. N. Reid, R. A. Seigel, and M. Z. Peery (2018). Applying lessons from the avian ecology to herpetological research: Techniques for analyzing nest survival. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 13(3): 517-532.

Byer, N. W., S. A. Smith, and R. A. Seigel (2018). Microgeographic Variation in Bog Turtle Nesting Ecology. Journal of Herpetology52(2): 228-233.

Byer, N. W., S. A. Smith, R. A. Seigel (2017). Effects of site, year, and estimator choice on home ranges of bog turtles (Glyptemys muhlenbergii) in MarylandJournal of Herpetology 51(1): 68-72.

Anderson, K. P., N. W. Byer, T. Richards-Dimitrie, and R. J. McGehee. 2015. A new system for marking hatchling turtles using Visible Implant Elastomer. Herpetological Review 46 (1): 25-27.

Byer, N. W., K. P. Anderson, and R. A. Seigel. 2013. Geographic Distribution: Hemidactylus mabouia (wood slave). Herpetological Review 44 (2): 273.