Jennifer Purrenhage

Phone: (603) 862-3915
Office: Natural Resources & the Environment, James Hall Rm 156, Durham, NH 03824
Jennifer Purrenhage

My graduate and postdoctoral research focused on the impacts of variations in aquatic and terrestrial habitat quality on pond-breeding amphibians (mostly spotted salamanders and American toads), and was always conceived in a conservation context. I have used a wide range of experimental approaches---from molecular analyses and small-scale behavioral studies to large, landscape-scale field experiments---to study the ecological implications of habitat alteration for amphibians. Past research topics include: the effects of landscape composition on the genetic population structure of salamanders; the importance of aquatic vegetation structure in mediating biotic interactions of pond-breeding amphibians; differential growth, locomotor performance, and survival of larval and juvenile amphibians from shaded and open-canopy ponds; and the importance of wetland hydroperiod and upland forest buffers for vernal pool-breeding amphibians. By observing how populations and communities respond along environmental gradients (e.g., hydroperiod, canopy cover), and in the presence of multiple stressors (e.g., predation pressure, pesticide exposure), we can: (1) deepen our understanding of how systems function and (2) make predictions about how communities will respond to future environmental alterations caused by global climate change and changes in land use.


  • Ph.D., Zoology, Miami University - Ohio
  • M.S., Biology, University of Akron
  • B.S., Wildlife Ecology; Biological Aspects of Conservation, University of Wisconsin
  • Certificate, Postsecondary Education, University of Akron

Courses Taught

  • BMS 799H: Senior Honors Thesis
  • LSA 401: Scientific Resrch Exploration
  • NR 417: Soph Seminar: Wildlife Bio
  • NR 435: Contemporary Conservatn Issues
  • NR 435/435H: Contemporary Conservatn Issues
  • NR 435H: Honors/Contemp Conservatn Iss
  • NR 444F: Does Extinction Matter?
  • NR 650: Principles Conservatn Biology
  • NR 740/840: Inventory &Montoring Ecol Comm

Selected Publications

Davis, M. J., Purrenhage, J. L., & Boone, M. D. (2012). Elucidating Predator–Prey Interactions Using Aquatic Microcosms: Complex Effects of a Crayfish Predator, Vegetation, and Atrazine on Tadpole Survival and Behavior. Journal of Herpetology, 46(4), 527-534. doi:10.1670/10-185

Freidenfelds, N. A., Purrenhage, J. L., & Babbitt, K. J. (2011). The effects of clearcuts and forest buffer size on post-breeding emigration of adult wood frogs (Lithobates sylvaticus). Forest Ecology and Management, 261(11), 2115-2122. doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2011.03.005

Greenwald, K. R., Purrenhage, J. L., & Savage, W. K. (2009). Landcover predicts isolation in Ambystoma salamanders across region and species. Biological Conservation, 142(11), 2493-2500. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2009.05.021

Purrenhage, J. L., & Boone, M. D. (2009). Amphibian Community Response to Variation in Habitat Structure and Competitor Density. Herpetologica, 65(1), 14-30. doi:10.1655/08-017r1.1

PURRENHAGE, J. L., NIEWIAROWSKI, P. H., & MOORE, F. B. -G. (2009). Population structure of spotted salamanders (Ambystoma maculatum) in a fragmented landscape. Molecular Ecology, 18(2), 235-247. doi:10.1111/j.1365-294x.2008.04024.x

Most Cited Publications