Brian Tornabene

Photo of Tornabene, Brian

Brian Tornabene

PhD student, Wildlife Biology


Personal Summary

I am interested in understanding how anthropogenic contamination influences ecosystems at multiple biological levels (e.g., individuals and communities) in order to enhance conservation, management and mitigation efforts. I am also broadly interested in natural history and behavior, as well as spatiotemporal, population and community ecology. My master’s research at Montana State University focused on the influence of natural and anthropogenic factors on spiny softshell turtle (Apalone spinifera) movement, habitats and nesting ecology. My doctoral work will examine the influence of contamination from oil and gas development on survival and stress physiology of three species of amphibians (Ambystoma mavortiumPseudacris maculata, and Rana pipiens) in the Prairie Pothole Region of Montana and North Dakota. I will examine these aspects at three life stages (egg, larvae, and adult) and combine this laboratory-based information with empirical population data to conduct population projection and viability analyses.


University of Montana, Wildlife Biology Program, Missoula, Montana
Doctor of Philosophy in Wildlife Biology, in progress 

Montana State University, Department of Ecology, Bozeman, Montana
Master of Science in Fish and Wildlife Management

Baldwin Wallace University, Department of Biology and Geology, Berea, Ohio
Bachelor of Science in Biology, Minors in Chemistry and Environmental Studies

Selected Publications

Full list:

Tornabene, B.J., R.G. Bramblett, A.V. Zale, and S.A. Leathe. 2018. Factors affecting nesting ecology of Apalone spinifera in a Great Plains river of the United States. Chelonian Conservation and Biology 17:63–77.

Tornabene, B.J., and J.T. Hoverman. 2018. The tiger daisy: a novel captive rearing method for cannibalistic salamanders. Herpetological Conservation and Biology 13:167–174. 

Tornabene, B.J., A.R Blaustein, C.J. Briggs, D.M. Calhoun, P.T.J. Johnson, T. McDevitt-Galles, J.R. Rohr, and J.T. Hoverman. 2018. The influence of spatial and environmental factors on ranavirus epidemiology in a California amphibian assemblage. Freshwater Biology 63:639–651.