Alex Silvis,
Associate Research Professor


B.S., Biology, Wittenberg University (2008)
M.S., Environment and Natural Resources,
The Ohio State University (2011)
Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University (2014)


Office: 106 Cheatham Hall
Phone: 540-231-5340

Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation
310 West Campus Drive
Virginia Tech,Cheatham Hall, Room 106 (MC 0321)
Blacksburg, VA 24061


My research interests lie in applied conservation of non-game mammals, particularly as related to:

  1. Effects of anthropogenic land use and management activities on wildlife and wildlife habitat.
  2. Patterns of wildlife habitat use.
  3. Field and statistical methods for documenting and assessing wildlife-habitat relationships.

However, I also have broader interests in wildlife social and population dynamics, distribution ecology, and genetic structuring of wildlife social groups.

Current Research Projects:

Wildlife social and population responses to changing resource abundance
My collaborators and I are developing cutting edge network and agent-based models that couple forest structural dynamics with population and social dynamics.

Post-White-nose Syndrome distribution of bats in Virginia
My collaborators and I are assessing the current distribution of WNS-impacted bats in Virginia. We are assessing state-level trends, with enhanced focus on effects of urbanization.

Spring and fall migration behavior of bats in the Appalachians
My collaborators and I are assessing temporal trends in bat activity during migration using a combination of acoustic and radio-tracking methods.

Effects of prescribed fire on bats
My collaborators and I are assessing the effects of prescribed fire on bats in the Appalachian mountains.

Select Recent Publications:

  • Ford, W.M., A. Silvis, J.B. Johnson, J.W. Edwards and M. Karp. 2016. Northern long-eared bat day-roosting and prescribed fire in the central Appalachians. Fire Ecology: In press.
  • Ford, W.M., A. Silvis, J.L. Rodrigue, A.B. Kniowski and J.B. Johnson. 2016. Deriving habitat models for northern bats (Myotis septentrionalis) from historical detection data: A case study using long-term research on the Fernow Experimental Forest, West Virginia, USA. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management: In press.
  • Silvis, A., S.D. Gehrt and R.A. Williams. 2016. Effects of shelterwood harvest and prescribed fire in upland Appalachian hardwood forests on bat activity. Forest Ecology and Management 360: 205-212.
  • Sweeten, S.E., W.M. Ford and A. Silvis. 2015. Seasonal variability in benthic macroinvertebrate assemblages in the southwest Virginia coalfields. 2nd Proceedings of Environmental Considerations in Energy Production. Society for Mining, Metallurgy, and Exploration, Inc. Englewood, CO, USA. 9p.
  • Silvis, A., W.M. Ford and E.R. Britzke. 2015. Roost tree selection by northern long-eared bats--What do random trees and one year of data really tell us? Global Ecology and Conservation 3: 756-763.
  • Silvis, A., W.M. Ford and E.R. Britzke. 2015. Effects of hierarchical roost removal on northern long-eared bat (Myotis septentrionalis) maternity colonies. PLoS ONE: 10: e0116356. 17 p.
  • Silvis, A., A.B. Kniowski, S.D. Gehrt and W.M. Ford. 2014. Roosting and foraging social structure of the endangered Indiana bat (Myotis sodalis). PLoS ONE: 9: e96937. 12 p.
  • Silvis, A., W.M. Ford, E.R. Britzke and J.B. Johnson. 2014. Association, roost use and simulated disruption of Myotis septentrionalis maternity colonies. Behavioral Processes 103: 283-290.
  • Toman, E., D.M. Hix, P.C. Goebel, S. Gehrt, R. Wilson, J. Sherry, A. Silvis, P. Nyamai and R. Williams. 2014. Synthesis of knowledge for hazardous fuels reduction in mixed red pine and eastern white pine forests in the Northern Lake States. Newton Square, PA: USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station, General Technical Report. NRS-134. 70 p.

Last updated April, 2016