My work has focused on the ecology of plant-animal interactions, including studies of host specific insects (northern blue butterfly), rare plants (serpentine morning glory), and Wisconsin bees. I also am co-leader of the Wabikon Forest Dynamics Plot, part of a global network of intensive, long term forest research sites initiated by the Smithsonian Institution's Center for Tropical Forest Science. Undergraduates and graduate students under my supervision have studied invasive plant species, aquatic macrophytes, forest understory plants, bat biology, and pollination ecology.
Travel, family, bird watching, nature study, reading, hiking
Ph.D. Ecology, University of California, Davis, December 1998.; M.S. Environmental Science and Policy, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, August 1993.; B.S. Biology, University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, May 1989.
Tell us about your research interests and why you are passionate about this topic?
My research has involved many kinds of animals, plants, and natural communities, but the theme that unites my work is nature conservation. We truly are living in an age of massive extinction, and I want to do my part to help us avert needless destruction of habitats and populations. I seek to find solutions to conservation challenges, but I also try to conduct research that shares an appreciation for the great beauty and diversity of the world around us.
See more about Dr. Amy Wolf:
Dr. Amy Wolf's Google Scholar Profile
Smithsonian Tropical Research ForestGeo
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of being a professor is watching students become scientists and leaders in front of my eyes. It happens all the time, and I can think of no greater pleasure than realizing that I have played a role in these important transformations. I take great pride in being part of a faculty that really cares about student success – and our graduates certainly have given us many examples of success.
How do you like to spend your free time?
I’m an avid reader – especially of mystery novels. My most enjoyable use of free time, however, is travel with my husband and our son to remote and wild places – including some wonderful areas in Wisconsin and the US. I have been lucky to watch orangutans in Borneo, birds-of-paradise in Australia, wild dogs in Africa, and night monkeys in Ecuador. To me, life doesn’t get much better than that! Closer to home, I enjoy learning about nature and spending time outdoors with my family, students and friends.
What is the best advice you would give to Biology majors?
My best advice is to get the most out of classes by studying hard, but coursework is only part of your education. Seek opportunities for hands-on experience through internships, faculty-guided research projects, or career-relevant summer jobs. UW-Green Bay provides many opportunities for students to be a part of meaningful projects or studies in the biological sciences. These activities help build your resume and give you a clearer picture of alternative career directions. Start early – our most successful students become involved in multiple projects beyond the classroom. The faculty are here to help you find these opportunities. Don’t be bashful about asking about how you can become involved.