Ohio Center For Ecology and Evolutionary Studies
Department of Biological Sciences
247 Life Sciences Building
Athens, Ohio 45701
Phone: (740) 593 - 9669
Mobile Phone: (740) 503 - 4983
FAX: (740) 593 - 0300
Field Season Address: 15 May – 21 August
8716 Bozman-Neavitt Road
St. Michaels, Maryland 21663
Phone: (740) 503 - 4983
Technical Reports and Popular Press
The evolution of life histories, vertebrate population dynamics, conservation and restoration of long-lived species.
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 objectives of my research include understanding how environmental variation can contribute to variation in life history traits, how environmental variation among nesting areas affects to population dynamics via temperature-dependent sex determination, and how to mitigate the anthropogenic affects that threaten long-lived species. The corner stone of my research are demographic studies and the primary focus of my work is the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin, in the Chesapeake Bay.
I work at two sites within the bay, the Patuxent River and the Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project. In the Patuxent River, I have obtained almost 33,000 captures of more than 10,000 individuals of primarily adult terrapins from 1987-2009. Recruitment in this population is weak due to the high rates of nest predation by raccoons and foxes, this in conjunction with a variety of anthropogenic effects; an oil spill, bycatch mortality, and commercial harvesting; have led to a dramatic decline in this terrapin population. The Poplar Island Environmental Restoration Project is a large scale habitat restoration project by the Army Corps of Engineers that 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 goal of generating accurate survival estimates as these marked hatchlings grow and approach the size where we can recapture them. Additionally, it provides the opportunity to study the ecology of hatchling overwintering as terrapins have facultative nest emergence in either the spring or the fall. Here, we also are studying the effectiveness of head-starting that incorporates K-12 environmental education as mechanism to raise terrapins and environmental awareness. Elementary and secondary schools throughout Maryland raise approximately 250 terrapins annually that released in the spring of the following year considerably advanced in their size. The terrapin serves as a hook for an environmental curriculum designed to build environmental awareness and literacy. Our study will be able to compare the success of the head-started animals with large number of natural hatchlings that are released form the island every year.
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. My research has also been instrumental in minimizing the anthropogenic impacts on terrapins in Chesapeake Bay including working toward closing the commercial terrapin fishery and experimental work demonstrating the effectiveness of a bycatch reduction devices at reducing terrapin mortality in crab and eel pots. My work with terrapin conservation continues as I currently serve on the Maryland Terrapin Working Group with the goal of establishing more effective management and conservation of terrapins in both the Chesapeake and the coastal bays.
Allman, P. E., A. R. Place, and W. M. Roosenburg. Variation in egg size and lipid provisioning in the wide ranging Diamondback Terrapin, Malaclemys Terrapin. in Review: Physiological and Biochemical Zoology.
Sheridan, C. M., J. R. Spotila, W. R. Roosenburg, W. H. Bien and H. W. Avery. Inter-population variation of multiple paternity in the Diamondback Terrapin (Malaclemys Terrapin). In Review: Molecular Ecology
Smith, A. D., W. M. Roosenburg, K. G. Temple-Miller, and M. M. White. Intraspecific Phylogeography of Graptemys ouachitensi. In Review: Copeia
Böhm, M., et al. The conservation status of the world's reptiles. In Review: Biology Letters.
Temple-Miller, K. G., W. M. Roosenburg and M. M. White. Ouachita Map Turtle Graptemys ouachitensis ouachitensis (Cagle 1953). In: G. Lipps (ed.) Accepted pending revision: Reptiles of Ohio.
Roosenburg, W. M., and K. G. Temple-Miller. Northern Map Turtle Graptemys geographica (Cagle 1953). In: G. Lipps (ed.) Accepted pending revision: Reptiles of Ohio.
Pfau, B. and W. M. Roosenburg. 2010. Diamondback terrapins in Maryland: research and conservation. Radiata 19:2-34.
Holliday, D. K, A. A. Elskus, and W. M. Roosenburg. 2009. Impacts of multiple stressors on growth and metabolic rate of Malaclemys terrapin. Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. 28:338-345.
Holliday, D. K, Roosenburg, W. M., Elskus, A. A. 2008. Spatial Variation in Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbon Concentrations in Eggs of Diamondback Terrapins, Malaclemys terrapin, from the Patuxent River, Maryland. Bulletin of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. 80:119-122.
Roosenburg, W. M., J. Cover, and P.P. van Dijk. 2008. Legal Issues: Legislative closure of the Maryland terrapin fishery: Perspecitives on a historical accomplishment. Turtle and Tortoise Newsletter 12:27-30.
Radzio, T. A. and W. M. Roosenburg, 2005. Diamondback terrapin mortality in the American eel pot fishery and evaluation of a bycatch reduction device. Estuaries 28:620-626.
Roosenburg, W. M. and T. Dennis. 2005. Egg component comparisons within and among clutches of the diamondback terrapin, Malaclemys terrapin. Copeia 2005:417-423.
Roosenburg, W. M. 2004. The impact of crab pot fisheries on terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) populations: where are we and where do we need to go? Pages 23-30 in C. Swarth, W. M. Roosenburg and E. Kiviat, editors. Conservation and Ecology of Turtles of the Mid-Atlantic Region: A Symposium. Biblomania Salt Lake City, Utah. USA.
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. P. Green. 2000. Impact of a bycatch reduction device on diamondback terrapin and blue crab capture in crab pots. Ecological Applications 10:882-889.
Roosenburg, W. M., K. L. Haley, and S. McGuire 1999. Habitat selection and movements of diamondback terrapins , Malaclemys terrapin in a Maryland Estuary. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 3:425-429.
Roosenburg, W. M. and P. H. Niewiarowski. 1998. Maternal effects and the maintenance of environmental sex determination. In: T. Mousseau and C. Fox (eds.) Maternal Effects as Adaptations Oxford University Pages 307-322.
Roosenburg, W. M. and A. E. Dunham. 1997. Allocation of reproductive output: Egg and clutch-size variation in the diamondback terrapin. Copeia 1997:290-297.
Roosenburg, W. M., W. Cresko, M. Modesitte, and M. B. Robbins. 1997. Diamondback terrapin (Malaclemys terrapin) mortality in crab pots. Conservation Biology 5:1166-1172.
Roosenburg, W. M. 1996. Maternal condition and nest site choice: an alternate for the maintenance of environmental sex determination. Amer. Zool. 36:157-168.
Roosenburg, W. M. and K. C. Kelley. 1996. The effect of egg size and incubation temperature on growth in the turtle, 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.
Roosenburg, W. M. 1994. Nesting habitat requirements of the diamondback terrapin: a geographic comparison. Wetlands Journal 6(2):9-12.
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.
Technical Reports and Popular Press
Roosenburg, W. M., R. Dunn, and N. L Smeenk. 2010. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2009. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 23.
Roosenburg, W. M., R. Trimbath. 2010. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2008. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 136.
Roosenburg, W. M., L. J. Graham, and M. L. Heckman. 2009. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2007. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 69.
Roosenburg, W. M. 2008. Final report for the IVth Symposium on the Ecology, Status, and Conservation of the Diamondback Terrapin. www.dtwg.org. pp. 36.
Roosenburg, W. M., L. J. Graham, and E. Matthews. 2007. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2006. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 48.
Roosenburg, W. M. and S. Sullivan. 2006. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2005. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 65.
Roosenburg, W. M., D. Spontak. 2005. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2004. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 23.
Roosenburg, W. M., T. A. Radzio and P. E. Allman. 2004. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, 2003. Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 24.
Radzio, T. A and W. M. Roosenburg. 2003. Diamondback terrapin mortality in eel pots and evaluation of a by-catch reduction device. Final Report submitted to the Nature Conservancy, MD Sea Grant and the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. pp. 19.
Roosenburg, W. M., and P. E. Allman. 2003. Terrapin Monitoring at Poplar Island, Final Report Submitted to the Army Corps of Engineers, Baltimore Office, Baltimore, MD pp. 13.
Roosenburg, W. M. 2000. Diamonds in the rough: diamondback terrapins in peril. Reptilia 23:34-38.
Roosenburg, W. M. 1990. Final Report, Chesapeake diamondback terrapin investigation 1987,1988 and 1989. Chesapeake Research Consortium Pub. No 133. Solomons Md. pp. 84.