Mike Habberfield

Mike Habberfield

Wilkeson Quad


mwh2 at buffalo edu

Curriculum Vitae


Research interests

  • Spatial dynamics and habitat selection of vernal pool amphibians
  • Efficacy of conservation corridors
  • Stream restoration
  • Restoring habitat and landscape functionality in human-affected environments

Research Video & Poster:
I’m interested in the functional connectivity of landscapes. More specifically, I research the movement of animals in heterogeneous environments and the habitat contexts that provide the most functional connectivity for various types of
movement behavior. Investigating behavioral responses to different landscape components and configurations and then determining what implications they may have for (meta)population dynamics is a major part of my interests.  Identifying these responses at various spatial scales and exploring matrix permeability in the broad context of landscape ecology is a basis for my current research thoughts.  Ultimately, my goal is to aid in the restoration of various types of movement processes in functionally disconnected
Current research includes a collaborative project with SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry investigating vernal pool ecology. My work focuses on the spatial dynamics of pond-breeding amphibians within a clustered vernal pool network, consisting of a mark-recapture study as well as experimental translocations coupled with fine-scale tracking of frog movements. The project measures individual-level habitat selection and seeks to identify the spatial scales influencing the selection process.
Other projects I am involved in include:

    • Analysis of visual-based rapid stream assessment techniques
    • Use of ultraviolet lights as a deterrent for avian collisions with human structures (in collaboration with Dr. Colleen St. Clair at University of Alberta)
    • Efficacy of conservation corridors
    • Implementation of a phytoremediation system of hybrid poplar trees for groundwater impacted by trichloroethylene
    • NSF Interdisciplinary Science & Engineering Partnership (

Personal statement

I graduated from the University at Buffalo in May 2008 with a B.S. in Environmental Studies and a Minor in Geography. This major was part of the Interdisciplinary Degree Program which allowed me concentrations in both environmental policy and resources. In August 2008, I joined the inaugural class of Integrative Graduate Education and Research Traineeship (IGERT) fellows in the Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE) program at UB. As a member of the Department of Geography, my research interests include many diverse topics within landscape ecology, conservation biology, biogeography, and behavioral ecology.
A long-term goal of mine is to be an instrumental part of a comprehensive restoration or conservation plan. I’ve also been an active member of the UB Men's Club Soccer team and enjoy athletics, hiking, live music, and experiencing new places.


  • Present     Ph.D. in Geography (University at Buffalo)
  • 2010         Visiting Ph.D. Student, Biological Sciences (University of Alberta)
  • 2008         B.S. in Environmental Studies (University at Buffalo)

Publications / Presentations


Habberfield, MW, SS Blersch, SJ Bennett and JF Atkinson. 2013. Comparison of rapid stream assessment techniques across a gradient of disturbance. National Conference on Ecosystem Restoration – Chicago, IL. 30 July 2013.

Blersch, D.M., Blersch, S.S., Habberfield, M., Hannes, I., Malzone, J., & Whiteway, S. (2012, June). The disconnect between ecosystem services concept and ecosystem function in stream restoration: where do we go from here? Paper presented at the 12th Annual American Ecological Engineering Society Meeting, Syracuse, New York.

Habberfield, M.W. 2010. Investigating the influence of pool and landscape features on the spatial patterns of amphibian breeding in a vernal pool complex in central New York.  Finger Lakes Region Research Conference, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, Geneva, NY.  4 December 2010.

Habberfield, M.W. and C.P.S. Larsen. 2010.  The Influence of Landscape and Species Characteristics on the Efficacy of Conservation Corridors:  Results from a Meta-analysis and the Importance of Relative Scale.  Middle States Division of the Association of American Geographers Annual Conference, U.S. Military Academy, West Point, NY.  22 Oct 2010.

Habberfield, M.W. and C.P.S. Larsen. 2010.  Do Species’ Body Mass and Home Range
Size Determine the Functional Connectivity of Corridors? Results from a
Meta-analysis of Tracking Studies.  International Congress for Conservation
Biology, Society for Conservation Biology, Edmonton, Alberta. 4 July 2010.

Blersch, S. and M.W. Habberfield. 2009. Comparison of rapid assessment techniques
for signatures of dynamic equilibrium in a disturbed stream. American Geophysical
Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco, CA. 18 December 2009.


Habberfield, MW, SS Blersch, SJ Bennett and JF Atkinson (In Review). Rapid stream assessment techniques inform restoration planning differently when applied across a gradient of disturbance. In Review for Journal of the American Water Resources Association.

Grants Awarded

Project: Investigating the influence of pool and landscape features on the spatial patterns of amphibian breeding in a vernal pool complex in central New York
$1000  Graduate Student Research Grant Competition, Biogeography Specialty Group, Association of American Geographers
$800    Abrahams-Woldenberg Field Scholarship, Dept. of Geography, SUNY at Buffalo
$500    Society for the Study of Amphibians and Reptiles – Grants in Herpetology
$1994  Mark Diamond Research Fund, Graduate Student Association, SUNY at Buffalo