Current Graduate Students - Sarah Drahovzal
Sarah Drahovzal, M.S. student
Advisors: Cynthia Loftin, Maine Cooperative Fish & Wildlife Research Unit & Judith Rhymer, Department of Wildlife Ecology
Fall 2008 – Spring 2013
B.S. 1996, Wittenberg University, Springfield, OH
Current Research: I am studying the ecology and habitat requirements of shrubby cinquefoil (Dasiphora floribunda), the sole host plant of the state endangered Clayton’s copper butterfly (Lycaena dorcas claytoni). Little is known about environmental characteristics that affect the distribution and population ecology of this plant, which occurs in circumneutral fens in Maine. I will be studying characteristics of shrubby cinquefoil and the fen habitat at sites occupied by Clayton’s copper, as well as at sites that are unoccupied by the butterfly, but are apparently suitable for the host plant. The ultimate goal of this study is to better understand the ecology of the host plant in order to develop habitat management recommendations for the benefit of Clayton’s copper butterfly.
Previous Research Experience: While taking post-baccalaureate classes in Biological Sciences at Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA, I conducted an independent research project on the riparian zone of South River located in the metro Atlanta area. In this study I described the composition and structure of the tree and seedling patterns in the riparian zone as well as looked for soil nutrient and pH gradients that could account for these patterns.