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Bethany Bradley - University of Massachusetts Amherst. Amherst, MA, US

Bethany Bradley Bethany Bradley

Professor of Biogeography and Spatial Ecology in the Department of Environmental Conservation | University of Massachusetts Amherst


Bethany Bradley studies the interactions between invasive species, land use and climate change.


Expertise (8)

Invasive Plant Species

Invasive Plant Issue

Invasion Ecology

Climate Change Adaptation

Climate Change


Spatial Ecology

Invasive Plants


An expert on the interactions between invasive species, land use and climate change, Bethany Bradley has commented for national and international media including The New York Times, The Boston Globe, The Los Angeles Times and PBS.

In her work at the Northeast Climate Science Center and UMass Amherst Department of Environmental Conservation, she seeks to improve forecasting of future changes to ecosystems, particularly risks of non-native plant invasions, using tools from biogeography and landscape ecology. Her research has implications for invasion ecology, natural resource management and biological conservation.

Social Media






Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center at UMass Amherst ArcGIS to Illustrator tutorial 2019


Education (3)

Brown University: Ph.D., Geological Sciences

Pomona College: B,A,, Geology

Brown University: M.A., Geological Sciences

Media Coverage (4)

Managing invasive species can improve climate resilience

Earth.com  online


In a new study led by the University of Massachusetts Amherst, researchers have found that the ecological impacts of non-native species alone are similar to those associated with the combination of invasives, warming temperatures, drought, and artificial fertilizers. The study shows that climate change will not amplify the negative effects of non-native species as much as previously estimated. “The good news is that the bad news isn’t quite as bad as we thought,” said study senior author Bethany Bradley.


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Invasive grasses are taking over the American West’s sea of sagebrush

ScienceNews  online


Though the scale of the problem can seem overwhelming, free remote sensing technology like RAP may help land managers better target efforts to slow the spread of these invasive grasses and explore their connection to wildfires. Smith, for instance, is now researching how mapping annual grasses in the spring might help forecast summer wildfires. “If we don’t know where the problem is, then we don’t know where to focus solutions,” says Bethany Bradley, an invasion ecologist and biogeographer at the University of Massachusetts Amherst who wasn’t involved in the research. “Mapping invasive grasses can certainly help people stop the grass-fire cycle by knowing where to treat them with herbicides.”

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California Cities Turn To Hired Hooves To Help Prevent Massive Wildfires

WGBH  radio


A recent study from the University of Massachusetts Amherst, found that grasses are increasing the frequency of wildfires because of how easily they burn. "If you throw a bunch of matches into a forest, some small percentage of them might actually start a fire, but if you throw a bunch of matches into a big hay pile," says Bethany Bradley, professor of environmental conservation at UMass Amherst, and co-author of the study. "There's a good chance that many of those will catch fire."

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Alien grasses are making wildfires more frequent in the U.S., study finds

Los Angeles Times  print


For much of the United States, invasive grass species are making wildfires more frequent, especially in fire-prone California, a new study finds. Twelve non-native species act as “little arsonist grasses,” said study co-author Bethany Bradley, a University of Massachusetts professor of environmental conservation.

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Publications (1)

Disentangling the abundance–impact relationship for invasive species

Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences

Bethany A. Bradley et al


To predict the threat of biological invasions to native species, it is critical that we understand how increasing abundance of invasive alien species affects native populations and communities.

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