Heather VanTassel

Heather Hulton VanTassel


Heather is a current Switzer Leadership grant recipient and is working for Audubon South Carolina as a Program Manager of Sustainable Solutions. As a program manager, Heather aims to create a Bird-Friendly, Climate Resilient South Carolina through educational outreach, the creation of recognition programs, restoring native plants in backyards and communal spaces, and changing policy.

Heather worked as an Assistant Specialist with the University of California, Riverside's Center for Conservation Biology developing habitat suitability models for a broad array of species being conserved as part of the Western Riverside Multiple Species Habitat Conservation Plan. One of her main projects focused on understanding how past geographic range shifts of the California gnatcatcher related to urbanization and climate change.

Heather received her PhD at the University of California, Riverside (UCR) in Kurt Anderson’s lab. Her dissertation research along with additional projects with the Center for Conservation Biology at UCR and Joshua Tree National Park has focused on understanding how species respond to anthropogenic disturbances and environmental stressors across three different ecosystems within southern California from both restoration and management perspectives. Her research has focused on a variety of species, including plants, invertebrates, mammals, and birds across multiple habitats with various environmental stressors in order to provide a more holistic view of environmental change.

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
UC Riverside, PhD
Current Position:
Conservation Coordinator at Audubon South Carolina
Conservation Science & Biology
Environmental Education
Land, Open Space, Smart Growth
Natural Resource Management

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