Betts, Matthew

Associate Professor

Office Location: 
201E Richardson Hall
Email Address: 

Forest Wildlife Landscape Ecology

Educational Background: 
  • B.A., 1992, Queen’s University
  • B.Sc., 1999, University of New Brunswick
  • M.S., 1995, University of Waterloo
  • Ph.D., 2005, University of New Brunswick
  • Post-Doctoral Fellow, 2006, Dartmouth College
  • Landscape Ecology
  • Ecosystem Informatics
Research Interests: 
(1) Influences of landscape structure on demography of animal populations, (2) Animal movement (particularly dispersal), (3) Population viability modeling, (4) Ecological thresholds, (5) Trophic cascades in forest ecosystems, (6) Species distribution modeling, (7) Socio-political mechanisms to affect sustainable forestry (8) Measuring landscape change.
Research Support: 
  1. Betts, M.G., Hadley, A.S., Jones, F.A., and Kress, W.J. 2015-2019. Interactive effects of fragmentation and keystone species loss on the structure of a tropical pollination network. National Science Foundation (Division of Environmental Biology, Population and Community Ecology). Amount: $641,614.
  2. Betts, M.G., Verschuyl, J., Rivers, J., Hatten, J., Latta, G. and Montgomery, C. 2015-2019. Quantifying Tradeoffs and Synergies Between Ecosystem Services and Intensive Forest Management . USDA, Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI). Amount: $499,145.
  3. Raich, R., Fern, X. and Betts, M.G. 2015-2018. ABI Innovation: Computational Methods for Bioacoustic Avian Species Monitoring. National Science Foundation, DBI (Advances in Bioinformatics). Amount: $790,858
  4. Betts, M.G. and Robinson, W.D. 2011-2013. Independent effects of tropical forest fragmentation and habitat loss on hummingbird movement and pollination dynamics. National Science Foundation (NSF – DEB [Population and Community Ecology]). Amount: $500,628.
  5. Marra, P.P., Ryder, T.B., Betts, M.G., Sillett, T.S., Nott, M.P., Saracco, J.F., Fischer, R.A. 2011-2015. Using a hierarchical approach to model regional source-sink dynamics for neotropical-nearctic songbirds to inform management practices on Department of Defense installations. Department of Defense, Environmental Protection Agency: Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program (SDERP). Amount: $2,305,187.
  6. Betts, M.G., Wilson, D., Rivers, J., Fitzgerald, S., Maguire, D., Rose, R., Johnson, J. 2009-2011. Quantifying trade-offs between biodiversity conservation and timber production in intensively managed forests. Agriculture and Food Research Initiative (AFRI; United States Department of Agriculture). Amount: $497,677.
  7. Wong, W.K., Betts, M.G., Jones, J. 2009-2011. Novel machine learning models for predicting species distributions in response to climate change. National Science Foundation (NSF). Amount: $609,505.
Selected Publications: 
  1. Betts, M.G., Hadley, A.S. and Kress, W.J. 2015. Pollinator recognition by a keystone tropical plant. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the USA 112:3433–3438, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1419522112
  2. Betts, M.G., Gutzwiller, K.J., Smith, M.J., Robinson, W.D. and Hadley, A.S. 2015. Improving inferences about functional connectivity from animal translocations experiments. Landscape Ecology 30: 585-593. DOI 10.1007/s10980-015-0156-x
  3. Volpe, N.L., Hadley, A.S., Robinson, W.D. and Betts. M.G. 2014. Functional connectivity experiments reflect routine movement behavior of a tropical hummingbird species. Ecological Applications 24: 2122–2131. http://dx.doi.org/10.1890/13-2168.1
  4. Gutiérrez Illán, J., Thomas, C.D., Jones, J.A. Wong, W.K., Shirley, S.M. and Betts, M.G. 2014. Precipitation and winter temperature predict long-term range-scale abundance changes in Western North American birds. Global Change Biology 20(11): 3351–3364
  5. Betts, M.G., Fahrig, L., Hadley, A.S., Halstead, K.E., Robinson, W.D. Bowman, J., Wiens, J.A., and Lindenmayer, D.B. 2014. A species-centered approach for uncovering generalities in organism responses to habitat loss and fragmentation. Ecography 37(6):517-527.
  6. Hadley, A.S., Frey, S., Robinson, W.D., Kress, J. and Betts, M.G. 2014. Tropical forest fragmentation limits pollination of a keystone understory herb. Ecology 95(8):2202-2212.
  7. Betts, M.G., Verschuyl, J., Giovanini, J., Stokely, T., and Kroll, A.J. 2013. Initial experimental effects of intensive forest management on avian abundance. Forest Ecology and Management. 310:1036-1044.
  8. Rivers, J.W., Liebl, A.L., Martin, L.B., and Betts, M.G. 2012. Baseline corticosterone is positively related to juvenile survival in a migrant passerine bird. Functional Ecology 26 (5), 1127-1134.
  9. Shirley, S.M., Yang, Z., Hutchinson, R.A., Alexander, J.D., McGarigal, K., and Betts, M.G. 2013. Species distribution modelling for the people: unclassified landsat TM imagery predicts bird occurrence at fine resolutions. Diversity and Distributions 19:651-872.
  10. Briggs, F., Lakshminarayanan, B., Neal, L., Fern, X, Raich, R., Frey, S.K., Hadley, A.S. and Betts, M.G. 2012. Acoustic classification of multiple simultaneous bird species: a multi-instance multi-label approach. Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 131: 4640-4650.
  11. Hadley, A.S. and Betts, M.G. 2012. The effects of landscape fragmentation on pollination dynamics: absence of evidence not evidence of absence. Biological Reviews 87(3): 526-544.
  12. Jones, J., Kroll, A.J., Giovanini, J., Duke, S.D., and Betts, M.G. 2011. Estimating occupancy thresholds with imperfect species detection. Ecology 92: 2299-2309.
  13. Zitske, B.P., Betts, M.G. and Diamond, A.W. 2011. Habitat loss reduces apparent survival of songbirds in a forest mosaic. Conservation Biology 25: 993-1001.
  14. Betts, M.G., Hagar, J., Rivers, J. Alexander, J. McGarigal, K. and McComb, B.C. 2010. Thresholds in songbird occurrence in relation to early seral broadleaf forest. Ecological Applications 20: 2116-2130.
  15. Goetz , S.J., Steinberg, D., Betts, M.G., Holmes, R.T., Doran, P.J. Dubayah, R. and Hofton, M. 2010. Lidar remote sensing variables predict breeding habitat of a Neotropical migrant bird. Ecology 96: 1569-1576.
  16. Hadley, A.S. and Betts, M.G. 2009. Tropical deforestation alters hummingbird movement patterns. Biology Letters 5:207-210
  17. Betts, M.G., Hadley, A.S., Rodenhouse, N.L. and Nocera, J.J. 2008. Social information trumps vegetation structure in breeding site selection by a migrant songbird. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London-Ser. B. 275: 2257-2263.
  18. Betts, M.G., Rodenhouse, N.L., Sillett, T.S. Doran, P.D. & Holmes, R.T. 2008. Dynamic occupancy models reveal within-breeding season movement up a habitat quality gradient by a migrant songbird. Ecography 31(5): 592-600.
  19. Betts, M.G., Forbes, G.J. and Diamond, A.W. 2007. Thresholds in songbird occurrence in relation to landscape structure. Conservation Biology 21: 1046-1058.
  20. Betts, M.G., Forbes, G.J., Diamond, A.W., and Taylor, P.D. 2006. Independent effects of habitat amount and fragmentation on songbirds in a forest mosaic. Ecological Applications 16: 1076-1089.
  21. Betts, M.G., Diamond, A.W., Forbes, G.J., Villard, M.-A. and Gunn, J. 2006. The importance of spatial autocorrelation, extent and resolution in predicting forest bird occurrence. Ecological Modelling 191: 197-224.