Dr. Victoria (Tory) J. Bennett
Research and Teaching Interests
My research focuses on the anthropogenic disturbance of wildlife, such the impact of roads, non-consumptive recreation and land-use change on wildlife. I have a strong background in wildlife ecology from an academic, government and private sector prospective and specialize, but am not limited to, “things with wings”. My research objectives are to conduct studies that have real-world application and potentially develop effective management strategies for species, habitats or ecosystems of concern.
Projects I have been involved with include determining why bats are coming into contact with wind turbines, how roads influence wildlife movement or lack of, how hikers can disturb butterflies from laying eggs, and how urban parks can be improved to encourage healthy and diverse bat communities. Currently, I have ongoing projects in the Dallas-Fort Worth Metroplex, Big Bend National Park, and South Africa. In 2013, I also initiated the TCU Bat Outreach Program involving local schools in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex to raise local awareness for bats and establish one of the first long-term citizen-science studies to monitor bat populations in Texas. Subsequently, there are numerous opportunities for undergraduates and graduates to get involved in my research and get experience in the field, including radio-telemetry surveys, behavioral studies, mist netting for bats, and acoustic monitoring, to name but a few techniques. All too often, I need a small army “the Bat Lab Army” to help with such surveys.
My teaching is as follows:
Fall even: ENSC 30453 – Wildlife Research Project (WEM); ENSC 50551 – Anthropogenic disturbance of wildlife (seminar)
Spring odd: ENSC/BIOL 40173/60173 – Mammology
Fall odd: ENSC 50693 – Natural Resources Compliance; ENSC/ART 40553/60553 – Zoo Enrichment
Spring even: ENSC/BIOL 40353/60353 – Wildlife Ecology and Management
Every semester: ENSC 60001 – Environmental Presentations; ENSC 40970/60970 – Applied Research in Wildlife Ecology (including summer)
Every summer: ENSC 40603/60603 – South Africa Biodiversity and Human Development (Part 1; study abroad with Global Awareness)
Every fall: ENSC 40611 – South Africa Biodiversity and Human Development (Part 2)