Brad Pickens

Postdoctoral Research Associate
NC Wildlife Resource Commission Buildling
1751 Varsity Drive, 2nd Floor

My research interests are at the intersection of landscape ecology, ecological modeling, coastal science, wildlife management, and conservation biology. I examine applied ecological questions from a variety of spatial scales, and the research usually encompasses advanced quantitative and geospatial techniques. I am particularly interested in modeling temporal changes in the environment. Short-term changes of interest include disturbances, succession, flooding, fires, storms, and other ecological processes. My current work with the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative investigates broad, long-term changes due to urbanization and sea-level rise in a conservation planning framework. Overall, coastal zones are expected to undergo many short- and long-term changes, which makes the ecosystem a point of emphasis in my research of landscape change.


  • Ashland University, BS Environmental Science & Biology (2000)
  • Bowling Green State University, MS Biological Sciences (2006)
  • Louisiana State University, PhD Renewable Natural Resources (2012)

Research & Professional Experience

  • Biodiversity and Spatial Information Center, NCSU (2013-present)
  • University of North Carolina Coastal Studies Institute, ECU (2013)
  • School of Renewable Natural Resources, LSU (2007-2008)
  • Department of Biological Sciences, BGSU (2004-2006)
  • Virginia Tech University, NY (2004)
  • The Nature Conservancy, NY (2003)
  • George Washington National Forest, Virginia Tech, VA (2001-2002)

Teaching Experience

  • Issues in Natural Resource Management (2010)
  • Environment of Life (2004 & 2005)

Selected Publications

Research Articles:
  • Pickens BA, King SL (In press) Multiscale habitat selection of wetland birds in the northern Gulf Coast. Estuaries and Coasts.

  • Pickens BA, King SL (2013) Microhabitat selection, demography, and correlates with home range size for the king rail. Waterbirds 36: 319-329.

  • Pickens BA, King SL (2012) Predicting the spatial distribution of king rails in an agricultural landscape. Condor 114:113-122.

  • Pickens BA, Root KV (2009) Behavior as a tool for assessing a managed landscape: a case study of the Karner blue butterfly. Landscape Ecology 24: 243-251.

  • Pickens BA (2009) The Karner blue butterfly, behavior, and the role of fire in managing a reintroduced population. Endangered Species Update. 26 (1): (Published Jan 2012)

  • Pickens BA, Root KV (2008) Factors affecting host-plant quality and nectar use for the Karner blue butterfly: implications for oak savanna restoration. Natural Areas Journal 28: 210-217.

  • Pickens, BA and KV Root. 2008. Oviposition strategy and behavior of the Karner blue butterfly, Lycaeides melissa samuelis. Journal of the Lepidopterist's Society 62: 13-132.
Technical Reports and Popular Media
  • Pickens BA, King SL, Vermillion B, Smith L, Allain L (2009) Conservation planning for the coastal prairie region of Louisiana. Report to the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

  • Pickens BA (2008) Conservation planning for the coastal prairie region of Louisiana. Cajun Prairie Habitat Preservation Society (April).

  • Pickens BA, Root KV (2007) An assessment of ant abundance in oak savanna, the evaluation of two butterfly reintroduction techniques, and recommendations for the Karner blue butterfly in Ohio. Final report to Ohio Division of Wildlife.

  • Pickens BA, Root KV (2006) Consequences of a management strategy for the Karner blue butterfly. Report to the Ohio Department of Natural Resources and The Nature Conservancy.