Susan C. Loeb

Susan C.  Loeb
Susan C. Loeb 
Name: Susan C. Loeb 
Title: Research Ecologist
Unit: Upland Hardwood Ecology and Management (4157)
AD Unit - Mountains
Phone: 864-656-4865


Location Information

USDA-Forest Service
Department of Forest Resources

233 Lehotsky Hall
Clemson University
Clemson, SC 29634


Research Information


  • University of California, Davis, Ph.D., Ecology, 1987
  • University of California, Davis, M.S., Ecology, 1981
  • Stanford University, B.A., Human Biology, 1976

Civic & Professional Affiliations

  • American Society of Mammalogists
  • Ecological Society of America
  • North American Society of Bat Research
  • Southeastern Bat Diversity Network
  • The Wildlife Society

Current Research:

My research goals are to understand the biology and ecology of eastern forest bats to develop methods and guidelines for their conservation and recovery. Areas of current research include ecology of threatened and sensitive species such as the Indiana bat and Rafinesque’s big-eared bat, effects of forest management practices on bat habitat use and community structure, and developing and testing methods to monitor bat populations across the landscape.

Why is This Important

Bats are important components of healthy forest ecosystems and provide critical ecological services in forests, agroecosystems, and urban areas. Bat populations throughout the world have been declining for decades due to habitat disturbance, destruction and fragmentation. However, in recent years bat species have experienced even higher rates of mortality due to collisions with wind turbines and White-nose Syndrome, an emerging disease that has decimated bat populations throughout the eastern U.S. Further, some bat species will likely suffer negative effects due to climate change although other species may benefit from changing climates. Unfortunately, our knowledge and understanding of bat biology and ecology is not sufficient to allow managers to develop comprehensive conservation and recovery plans for most of these species.

Future Research

Much of my research on basic bat ecology and conservation will continue in the future. However, research will emphasize determining the population effects of White-nose Syndrome on bat populations and developing recovery strategies. I will work with others to develop effective monitoring protocols to document changes in bat populations in response to these stressors and work with land managers to implement these protocols. I also plan to test the direct and indirect effects of warming temperatures on bats’ biology and ecology so that we can develop more precise and accurate predictive models of bats’ responses to climate change.

Featured Publications

  • Loeb, S. C., M. J. Lacki, and D. A. Miller, editors. 2011. Conservation and management of eastern big-eared bats: an introduction. Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-145. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Southern Research Station.
  • Loeb, S. C. and J. M. O’Keefe. 2011. Bats and gaps: the role of early successional patches in the roosting and foraging ecology of bats. Pg. 167-189 in Sustaining young forest communities (C. H. Greenberg, B. Collins, and F. R. Thompson, III, eds.). Springer, New York.
  • Britzke, E. R., S. C. Loeb, K. A. Hobson, C. S. Romanek, and M. J. Vonhof. 2009. Using hydrogen isotopes to assign origins of bats in the eastern United States. Assigning origins of bats using stable hydrogen isotope analyses: an investigation of 4 species in the eastern United States. Journal of Mammalogy 90:743-751.
  • Hayes, J. P. and S. C. Loeb. 2007. The influence of forest management on bats in North America. Pp 207-235 in Bats in Forests: Conservation and Management (M. J. Lacki, J. P. Hayes, and A. Kurta, eds.). Johns Hopkins University Press.
  • Hinkelman, T. M., J. L. Orrock, and S. C. Loeb. 2011. Effect of downed woody debris on small mammal anti-predator behavior. Ethology 118:17-23.

Collaborative Research:

Modeling forest structure and composition at various spatial and temporal scales to incorporate into models of mammalian population dynamics and viability; interactions between mammals and other organisms (e.g., insects, fungi).

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Susan C. Loeb

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