Dr. Sarah Foltz


Assistant Professor
Behavioral Ecologist
Office: 173 Center for the Sciences
Lab: 166 Center for the Sciences
Phone: (540) 831-xxxx




BIOL 103 - Environmantal Biology
BIOL 131 - Ecology and Adaptation
BIOL 160 - Introductory Seminar in Biology
BIOL 104 - Human Biology
BIOL 353 - Comparative Behavior
BIOL 481 - Urban Ecology



I’m interested in how animals respond to changing environments, and in particular how human modifications to the landscape such as urban development can drive the evolution of various species. As a behavioral ecologist, my primary focus is on how animals’ behavioral responses to their environment affect their individual fitness and what these effects mean for the population as a whole. I look at how animals interact with both their physical and social environments, including members of their own species as well as other species. Current research in my lab includes:

  • Parental responses to threats of nest predation
  • Effects of urbanization on birdsong
  • Impacts of urbanization and season on feeding behavior and use of anthropogenic food sources (with Dr. Jason Davis and Andrew Ray)
  • Development of automated nest boxes to collect data on nestling behavior and create records of uncommon events like predation or inter-species competition for nest boxes (with Dr. Jason Davis and Dr. Andrew Ray)
  • Environmental effects on the evolution and maintenance of aggressive behavior in lizards (with Dr. Joel McGlothlin, Virginia Tech)

Students involvement is key to all of these projects, and work occurs throughout the year, in both the lab and the field. Contact me if you’re interesting in getting involved!