Dr. Ashley Dayer

Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Dayer is a conservation social scientist. Her research program focuses on understanding people’s and organizations’ conservation behavior, especially related to private lands habitat conservation, human-wildlife conflict, endangered species management, citizen science, and conservation funding. As part of this research, she explores the role that policy tools and educational interventions can play in influencing behavior.

In relation to global change, Dr. Dayer is particularly interested in landowners’ willingness to take action to minimize the impacts of sea level rise on wildlife habitat and the implementation gap between climate adaptation science and resource managers’ decision-making. She is currently studying the role of the Department of Interior’s Climate Science Centers as boundary organizations and facilitators of actionable science and co-production of knowledge.


Dr. Dayer is an Assistant Professor of Human Dimensions in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation, and she teaches an undergraduate/graduate level course in Human Dimensions of Fish and Wildlife Conservation. She came to Virginia Tech from Cornell Lab of Ornithology and State University of New York – Environmental Science and Forestry.

Dr. Dayer is actively engaged with the wildlife conservation community. She serves as the Co-Chair of the North American Bird Conservation Initiative’s Human Dimensions Subcommittee, on the Board of Directors of the Society for Conservation Biology Social Science Working Group, and as a member of the North American Waterfowl Management Plan’s Human Dimensions Working Group. She works closely with multiple migratory bird habitat joint ventures that implement international bird conservation plans at the regional level.

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Recent Relevant Publications

Dayer, A.A., Lutter, S.H., Sesser, K., Hickey, C., & Gardali, T. (2017). Private landowner conservation behavior following participation in voluntary incentive programs: Recommendations to facilitate behavioral persistence. Conservation Letters.

Field, C.R., Dayer, A.A., & Elphick, C. (2017). Landowner behavior can determine the success of conservation strategies for ecosystem migration under sea-level rise. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Dayer, A.A., Williams, A., Cosbar, E.A., & Racey, M. (2017). Blaming threatened species: Media portrayal of human-wildlife conflict. Oryx.

Sullivan, B.E., Phillips, T., Dayer, A.A., Wood, C.L., Farnsworth, A., Illiff, M.J., Davies, I.J., Wiggins, A., Fink, D., Hochachka, W., Rodewald, A.D., Rosenberg, K.V., Bonney, R., & Kelling, S. (In press). Using open access observational data for conservation action: A case study for birds. Biological Conservation. 

Dayer, A.A., Stedman, R.C., Allred, S.B., Rosenberg, K.V., & Fuller, A.R. (2016). The social psychology of landowner behavior: Understanding intentions to create early successional forest habitat. Wildlife Society Bulletin, 40 (1), 59-68.

Cooper, C., Larson, L., Dayer, A.A., Stedman, R.C., & Decker, D. (2015). Are wildlife recreationists conservationists? Linking birdwatching, hunting, and pro-environmental behavior. The Journal of Wildlife Management, 79(3), 446-457.

Dayer, A.A., Allred, S.B., & Stedman, R.C. (2014). Developing tools to encourage private forest landowner participation in early successional forest habitat management. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 19(4), 355-370.

Dayer, A.A., Stinchfield, H.M., & Manfredo, M.J. (2007). Stories about wildlife: Developing an instrument for identifying wildlife value orientations cross-culturally. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 12(5), 307-315.

Manfredo, M.J. & Dayer, A.A. (2004). Concepts for exploring the social aspects of human-wildlife conflict in a global context. Human Dimensions of Wildlife, 9(4), 317-328.