Dr. Liz Hillard helps direct and manage the study design, implementation, and analysis of our road ecology research focused on the important Pigeon River Gorge/Interstate 40 corridor within the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina and Tennessee. In addition, she works to build partnerships and engage the public in wildlife habitat connectivity and conservation efforts throughout the Southern Appalachian region. Liz currently serves on the Board and as the Secretary for the North Carolina Chapter of The Wildlife Society.
Liz earned her Ph.D. at Southern Illinois University, studying how the alteration and fragmentation of bottomland hardwood forests influence survival and habitat selection of swamp rabbits, a species of concern. Liz’s curiosity for the intricacies of nature led her to earn a M.S. in Biology from Western Carolina University. As a graduate research assistant at Western Carolina University, Liz worked in collaboration with the National Park Service to develop and implement a research plan and field methodology to determine elk habitat selection in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. In addition to her research experience, Liz has years of experience working in the field as a wildlife technician on projects monitoring beavers, gray foxes, and grizzly bear for several public agencies, including the U.S. Forest Service, USDA-Aphis, and universities.
Liz lives in Asheville, North Carolina with her dog Peachy-Keen. She is an avid lover of music and enjoys backcountry camping and biking in the mountains of North Carolina.