Dr. Karen Powers


Office: 178 Center for the Sciences
Lab: 168 Center for the Sciences
Box 6931, Radford University
Radford, VA 24142-6939, U.S.A.
Tel:(540) 831-6537
E-mail: kpowers4@radford.edu

Courses Taught:

  • BIOL 103 - Environmental Biology
  • BIOL 105 - Biology for the Health Sciences
  • BIOL 160 - Freshman Biology Seminar
  • BIOL 216 - General Zoology
  • BIOL 232 - Organismal Biology
  • BIOL 390 - Conservation Biology
  • BIOL 460 - Senior Biology Seminar - Wildlife Management in Virginia
  • BIOL 464 - Vertebrate Zoology
  • BIOL 481 - Fire Ecology
  • BIOL 481 - Research in Bird-Window Collisions
  • BIOL 488/491/495 - Independent Research


My teaching interests focus on community ecology and wildlife management.

I am the faculty advisor for the Radford University Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society and for students with an interest in veterinary medicine. I also curate the natural history collection in the Biology Department

My research interests are broad, encompassing many aspects of vertebrate ecology and habitat management. Recent projects and publications have focused on the effects of White-nose Syndrome on bat communities in the eastern United States and the status of Allegheny woodrats in Virginia. Publications from 2010 to present (also published as Karen Francl) are listed below, many with student co-authors (indicated by *). 

  • Austin, L., A. Silvis, W.M. Ford, M. Muthersbaugh, and K.E. Powers. 2018. Bat activity following restoration prescribed burning in the central Appalachian upland and riparian habitats. Natural Areas Journal 38(2):183-195.
  • Custer, H.N.*, K.E. Powers, and L. DiIoia, Jr. 2017. Assessing summer bat activity using acoustic surveys at Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Virginia. Banisteria 49:15-21.
  • Brandes, S.*, K.E. Powers, and L. DiIoia, Jr. 2017. Investigating top-down influences on wild turkey survival at Radford Army Ammunition Plant, Virginia. Virginia Journal of Science 68(3):Article 3. Available at: https://digitalcommons.odu.edu/vjs/vol68/iss3/3
  • Custer, H.N.*, K.E. Powers, and S. Brandes*. 2017. Early wildlife conservation and education efforts in Virginia: Correspondence of A. Willis Robertson. Banisteria 48:18-25.
  • Monfils, A.K., K.E. Powers, C. Marshall, C.T. Martine, J.F. Smith, L.A. Prather. Accepted for publication. Natural history collections: Teaching about biodiversity across time, space, and digital platforms. Southeastern Naturalist 16(Special Issie 10):47-57.
  • Avena, C.V., L.W. Parfrey, J.W. Leff, H. Archer, W.F. Frick, K.E. Langwig, A.M. Kilpatrick, K.E. Powers, J.T. Foster, and V. McKenzie. 2016. Deconstructing the bat skin microbiome: Influences of the host and the environment. Frontiers in Microbiology 7:1753. doi:  10.3389/fmicb.2016.01753.
  • deHart, P., K.E. Powers, and B.A. Hyzy*. 2016. Insights into the foraging ecology of the invasive small Indian mongoose in the Caribbean, as revealed by stable isotope analysis. BIOS 87(4):155-162.
  • Powers, K.E., R.J. Reynolds , W. Orndorff, B.A. Hyzy*, C.S. Hobson, and W.M. Ford. 2016. Monitoring the status of gray bats (Myotis grisescens) in Virginia, 2009-2014, and potential impacts of White-nose Syndrome. Southeastern Naturalist 15(1):127-137.
  • Reynolds, R.J., K.E. Powers, W. Orndorff, W.M. Ford, and C.S. Hobson. 2016. Changes in rates of capture and demographics of Myotis septentrionalis (northern long-eared bat) in western Virginia before and after the onset of White-nose Syndrome. Northeastern Naturalist 23(2):195-204.
  • Powers, K.E., R.J. Reynolds, W. Orndorff, W.M. Ford., and C.S. Hobson. 2015. Post-White-nose Syndrome trends in Virginia’s cave bats, 2008-2013. Journal of Ecology and the Natural Environment 7(4): 113-123.
  • Townsend, K.L.* and K.E. Powers. 2014. Survey of the ectoparasites of the invasive small Indian mongoose (Herpestes auropunctatus [Carnivora: Herpestidae]) on St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. Virginia Journal of Science 65(3&4):151-156.
  • Powers, K.E., L.A. Prather, J. Cook, J. Woolley, H. Bart, A. Monfils, and P. Sierwald. 2014. Revolutionizing the use of natural history collections in education. Science Education Review 13(2):24-33.
  • Thompson (Kime), J.L.* and K.E. Francl-Powers. 2013. A brief history of terrestrial game species management in Virginia: 1900 – present. Banisteria 41:59-66.
  • Francl, K.E. and C.J. Small. 2013. Short-term fire effects on small mammal communities and habitat structure in the central Appalachians. Southeastern Naturalist 12(1):11-26.
  • Francl, K.E, T.K. Canniff*, R.C. Bland*, D. W. Sparks, V. Brack, Jr. 2013. Quantifying wing damage of summer bats in the northeastern United States. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 86(1):41-45.
  • Francl, K.E., W.M. Ford, D.W. Sparks, and V. Brack, Jr. 2012. Capture and reproductive trends of summer bat communities in West Virginia: Assessing the impact of White-nose syndrome. Journal of Fish and Wildlife Management 3(1):33-42.
  • Timpone, J., K.E. Francl, V. Brack Jr., and J. Beverly. 2011. Bats of the Cumberland Plateau and Ridge and Valley provinces, Virginia. Southeastern Naturalist 10(3):515-528.
  • Francl, K.E., D. Sparks, V. Brack, Jr., and J. Timpone. 2011. White-nose syndrome and wing index scores among summer bats in the northeastern United States. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 47(1):41-48.
  • Francl, K.E., R.C. Bland*, J.S. Lucas, and V. Brack, Jr. 2011. Comparisons of surveying techniques in documenting summer bat communities. Journal of the Pennsylvania Academy of Science 85(2/3):52-56.
  • Francl, K.E., K. Hayhoe, M.E. Saunders*, and E.P. Maurer. 2010. Ecosystem adaptation to climate change: Small mammal migration pathways in the Great Lakes states. Journal of Great Lakes Research, 2009 Special Issue: An Integrated Assessment of Climate Change Impacts and Mitigation for Chicago and the Midwest 36:86-93.
  • Francl, K.E., C.R. Faidley*, and C.J. Small. 2010. Salamander use of karst sinkholes in Montgomery County, Virginia. Southeastern Naturalist 9:35-46.

Students interested in independent research (BIOL 488/491) or internship (BIOL 495) credits throughout the year (including summer months) are welcome to contact me to participate in on-going  projects. **Special consideration will be given to those active in the RU Student Chapter of The Wildlife Society.

Inquiries from regional researchers interested in developing field projects with vertebrate communities also are encouraged.