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Dr. Amanda Hale

Amanda Hale
Associate Professor and Director of Graduate Program Direct: 817.257.6182
BS Purdue University, 1995 BA Purdue University, 1995 MS Purdue University, 1998 Ph.D. University of Miami, 2004
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Research Interests

I am a broadly trained ecologist with interests in behavioral ecology, evolutionary biology, genetics, and conservation. I have field experience in a wide range of habitats across the U.S. and Costa Rica. For my graduate research, I used a combination of traditional field ecology and genetics to investigate the behavioral ecology of Neotropical, group-living birds. During my postdoc, I used molecular systematics to investigate the evolutionary origins of two major groups of flowering plants.

The primary research focus of my lab is on the indirect and direct effects of wind turbines on birds and bats. In partnership with NextEra Energy Resources, we have been working at Wolf Ridge Wind, a utility-scale wind farm located in north-central Texas since 2009. With my colleague Dr. Victoria (Tory) Bennett in the School of Geology, Energy & the Environment at TCU, we have been testing strategies to reduce bat mortality at wind turbines and are investigating several hypotheses to explain why bats may be attracted to wind turbines. We have also initiated several new research projects on bat behavior, one of which is a collaboration with Dr. Brent Cooper in the Psychology Department at TCU.  

Please contact me if you are interested in learning more about the research conducted in my lab.

Teaching Responsibilities

New Course – Introduction to Biostatistics – Coming Spring 2016

I am developing a new course in biostatistics specifically for undergraduate pre-health students. Students will gain knowledge and understanding of how statistical methods are applied to biological and biomedical research. Students will be asked to combine their knowledge of foundational concepts in biology with scientific inquiry, reasoning, and statistical skills to solve problems. Basic probability theory, parametric statistics, correlation, regression, analysis of variance, and non-parametric statistics will be introduced. Two hours of lecture and one two-hour computer lab session per week.

BIOL 50123 – Biostatistics – Fall

Students will gain knowledge and understanding of how statistical methods are applied to biological research. The course will emphasize hypothesis testing, study design, and the concepts, application, and interpretation of statistical results. Basic probability theory, parametric statistics, correlation, regression, analysis of variance, and non-parametric statistics will be introduced. This course is designed primarily for graduate students and advanced undergraduates who are interested in pursuing careers in research. Two hours of lecture and one two-hour computer lab session per week.

BIOL 50903 – Tropical Biology (WEM) – Spring, odd years

This is a team taught course with two hours lecture per week, one week of field work in Costa Rica, and a final research project. Prerequisites: Six semester hours in Biology; travel costs are exclusive of tuition; permission of instructors. This course provides an introduction to the animals, plants, and ecosystems of the New World tropics. Lecture topics include tropical climate and ecosystems, evolutionary patterns in the tropics, and conservation of biodiversity. The field experience will expose students to coastal ecosystems (coral reefs, mangroves, and seagrass beds) as well as tropical lowland rainforest, montane forest, and dry forest.