John Maerz

Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources


Ph.D. in Biology with an emphasis in Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, the State University of New York

B.Sc. in Biology (Zoology) from the University of Maryland

More About

Dr. Maerz teaches numerous short courses and workshops on amphibian and reptile natural history and conservation. He serves as the faculty advisor to the Herpetological Society at the University of Georgia and the University of Georgia Ice Hockey Team.

Areas of Expertise


Invasive Species

Wildlife Ecology and Management

Non-Game and Endangered Species

Wildlife and Forest Management

Wildlife Population Dynamics

Courses Taught


Dr. Maerz regularly teaches undergraduate courses in Animal Behavior (in Athens, GA and in New Zealand and Australia), Herpetology, Natural Sciences Research, Sustaining Human Societies and the Natural Environment (in New Zealand and Australia), and graduate courses in Applied Animal Behavior and Developing University Teaching Skills.  Dr. Maerz also supervises a large number of undergraduates in research toward their senior thesis.  In 2010 he received the UGA Early Career Excellence in Undergraduate Research Mentoring Award, in 2011 he received UGA’s Richard B. Russell Award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching, and in 2017 was name Josiah Meigs Distinguished Professor.

Research Interests

Dr. Maerz is broadly interested in animal ecology, evolution and conservation management. Much of his research focuses on the effects of terrestrial and aquatic environmental change, particularly the effects of nonnative species invasions, land use, and climate, on the ecology of amphibians and reptiles, how variation in the abundances of animals affects terrestrial and freshwater ecosystem processes, and applying ecological and evolutionary principles to develop knowledge and tools to effectively manage wildlife.

Selected Publications


Maerz, J. C., R. A. Seigel, and B. A. Crawford.  2018. Terrapin Conservation: Mitigating Habitat Loss, Road Mortality, and Subsidized Predators.  Chapter 14 in, The Ecology and Management of Diamondback Terrapins.  W. M. Roosenburg and V. S. Kennedy (eds.).  Johns Hopkins Press. in press

Chambers, R. M. and J. C. Maerz.  2018. Terrapin Conservation: Fisheries Bycatch.  Chapter 13 in, The Ecology and Management of Diamondback Terrapins.  W. M. Roosenburg and V. S. Kennedy (eds.).  Johns Hopkins Press. in press

Crawford, B. C., C. T. Moore, T. M. Norton, and J. C. Maerz.  2018. Integrated analysis for population estimation, management impact evaluation, and decision-making for a declining species.  Biological Conservation 222:33-43.

Cecala, K. K., J. C. Maerz, J. Chamblee, J. F. Frisch, T. L. Gragson, J. A. Hepinstall-Cymerman, D. S. Leigh, C. R. Jackson, J. T. Peterson, and C. M. Pringle.  2018. Assessment of multiple drivers, scales, and interactions influencing southern Appalachian stream salamander occupancy.  Ecosphere 9(3):e02150.

Durso, A. M. and J. C. Maerz.  2018. Behavior and Morphogenetic Adaptations.  In Mader’s Reptile Medicien and Surgery, 3rd Edition. Divers, S. and S. Stahl (Eds.).  Elsevier.

Demi, L. M, J. P. Benstead, A. D. Rosemond, and J. C. Maerz.  2018. Litter P content drives consumer production in detritus-basd streams spanning an experimental N:P gradient.  Ecology 99:347-359.


Bumpers, P. M., Rosemond, A. D., J. C. Maerz, and J. P. Benstead.  2017. Experimental nutrient enrichment of forest streams increases energy flow to predators along greener food-web pathways. Freshwater Biology 62:1794-1805.

Fouts, K., C., T. Moore, K. D. Johnson, and J. C. Maerz. 2017.  Fire restoration effects on forest climate and lizard activity and abundance in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Forest Ecology and Management 8:181-192.

Crawford, B. A., C. T. Moore, T. M. Norton, and J. C. Maerz. 2017. Mitigating road mortality of Diamond-backed terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) with hybrid barriers at crossing hot spots.  Herpetological Conservation Biology 12:202-211.

Vanni, M. J., P. B. McIntyre, D. L. Arnott, J. P. Benstead, D. J. Berg, Å. B., S. Brosse, P. A. Bukaveckas, A. Caliman, K. A. Capps, L. S. Carneiro, N. E. Chadwick, A. D. Christian, A. Clarke, J. D. Conroy, W. F. Cross, D. A. Culver, C. M. Dalton, J. A. Devine, L. M. Domine, M. A. Evans-White, B. Faafeng, A. S. Flecker, K. B. Gido, C. Godinot, R. Guariento, S. Haertel-Borer, R. O. Hall, R. Henry, B. R. Herwig, B. J. Hicks, K. A. Higgins, J. M. Hood, M. E. Hopton, T. Ikeda, W. F. James., H. M. Jansen, C. R. Johnson, B. J. Koch, G. A. Lamberti, S. Lessard-Pilon, J. C. Maerz, M. E. Mather, R. A. McManamay, J. R. Milanovich, D. K.J. Morgan, J. M. Moslemi, R. Naddafi, J. P. Nilssen, M. Pagano, A. Pilati, D. M. Post, M. Roopin, A. T. Rugenski, M. H. Schaus, J. Shostell, G. E. Small, C. T. Solomon, S. C. Sterrett, Ø. Strand, M. Tarvainen, J. M. Taylor, L. E. Torres-Gerald, C. B. Turner, J. Urabe, S.-I. Uye, A.-M. Ventelä, S. Villéger, M. R. Whiles, F. M. Wilhelm, H. F. Wilson, M. A. Xenopoulos, K. D. Zimmer. 2017.  A global database of nitrogen and phosphorus excretion rates of aquatic animals.  Ecology 98:1475.