Virginia Tech® home

Dr. Ashley Dayer

FACULTY AFFILIATE   |   Global Change Center

Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Lab Website  •  Google Scholar  •  Dept Page

(541) 324-0281  •

Faculty Headshot

Dr. Ashley Dayer (she/her) is an Associate Professor of Human Dimensions in the Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation at Virginia Tech and is a Global Change Center affiliated faculty member. Her research program focuses on social science applied to wildlife, particularly bird, conservation. She is interested in how and why people impact wildlife and their conservation and, in turn, how wildlife impact human emotions and well-being. Her research spans from working and coastal lands to residential landscapes, studying ag producers, private landowners, beach and wildlife recreationists, and consumers. Much of her research focuses on marginalized and under-represented communities such as disabled wildlife viewers and Black, Indigenous and people of color.

Dr. Dayer is actively engaged in bird conservation, serving on Road to Recovery of North America’s Birds leadership team. Additionally, her Lab is home to the National Bird Conservation Social Science Coordinator  –  a partner-sponsored position to serve the bird conservation community in meaningful integration of social science. She is also an Elective Member of the American Ornithological Society. During her research leave in 2022-2023 she served as the first Social Science Advisor for National Audubon Society.  

Dr. Dayer’s educational background includes a BA with Honors in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University (2001) and an MS in Human Dimensions of Natural Resources from Colorado State University (2006), studying the wildlife values of the Western public. She additionally received a certificate in Nonprofit Management (2008) from Southern Oregon University. Dr. Dayer completed her PhD at Cornell University (2013) and post-doc at Cornell Lab of Ornithology (2013-2015).  She was a Visiting Assistant Professor at State University of New York – Environmental Science & Forestry before coming to Virginia Tech.