Christy Clay
Christy Clay, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
B.A. The Colorado College
Ph.D. University of Utah

Areas of Experience

  • Sustainable agriculture, community ecology
  • About Christy Clay, Ph.D.


    Teaching Experience

    Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT

    Associate Professor, 2012- present; Assistant Professor, Fall 2007 - 2012


    BIOL 106 Principles of Biology II and Lab 

    BIOL 110 Environmental Biology

    BIOL 203 Introduction to Ecology 

    BIOL 210 Environmental Biology and Lab 

    BIOL 404 Ecology and Lab 

    BIOL 420 Senior Seminar

    BIOL 300/ENVI 300 Disease Ecology and Conservation 

    BIOL 300/ENVI 300 History and Science of Sustainable Agriculture 

    ENVI 101 Intro to Environmental Studies             

    ENVI 405 Senior Seminar 

    EDUC 342/MAT 632 Elementary Science Methods 

    Other Teaching Experience:

    Instructor, Field Ecology, Southern Utah University, Summer 2008

    Instructor, Advanced Field Mammalogy, University of Utah, Summer 2005

    Instructor, Environmental Institute for Teachers, Utah Society for Environmental Education

                /US Environmental Protection Agency, Summer 1998, Summer 1999


    Research Experience

    Biophysical challenges of urban agriculture, 2014 to present – estimating the impact of environmental pollutants on urban agroecosystems by measuring plant growth/productivity, insect pests and soil microbial diversity; in collaboration with Dr. Sam Wortman at University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign and Dr. Betsy Kleba, Westminster College.

    Urban stream health: macroinvertebrates and periphyton as indicators, 2012-2014: assessment of the impact of urbanization and nutrient inputs on riparian ecosystems that originate in the Wasatch mountains and travel through the Salt Lake metropolitan area; in collaboration with Drs. Gabriel Bowen and Jim Ehleringer at University of Utah and Dr. Steven Emerman at Utah Valley University.

     Estimating the wintering grounds of migratory shorebirds found at Great Salt Lake, 2010-2011:  analysis of Oxygen and Hydrogen stable isotopes to develop a model to estimate the wintering grounds of American Avocets that breed at Great Salt Lake; in collaboration with Dr. John Cavitt at Weber State University and Drs. Luciano Valenzuela, Shannon O'Grady and Jim Ehleringer at University of Utah.

    Endoparasites and environmental contaminants in shorebirds of the Great Salt Lake 2008- 2011: a survey of demographic variables that influence endoparasites and heavy metal contamination of birds at GSL; in collaboration with Dr. John Cavitt, Weber State University, and Dr. Judy Rogers, Westminster College.

    E.coli  and water quality monitoring of Emigration and Parley's Creeks, Salt Lake County, Utah, 2009 - 2012: a collaborative project with Utah Department of Water Quality to determine seasonal patterns and sources of E.coli along each of the creeks.

    Ecological monitoring of spruce-bark beetle infestation in Brian Head/Cedar Breaks, Dixie National Forest, 1998-2011: a long-term survey of the spruce bark beetle infestation in Dixie National Forest, including surveys of small mammals, insects, indicator-species birds, and evaluations of habitat quality. 

    Ecological factors affecting transmission and prevalence of Sin Nombre hantavirus in Peromyscus maniculatus (University of Utah, Dr. Denise Dearing, fall 2002-2007): Investigating the effect of species diversity, habitat disturbance and vegetation structure on hantavirus prevalence in deer mice

    Mechanisms for dietary specialization in mammalian herbivores (University of Utah, Dr. Denise Dearing, fall 2001-spring 2002): Used a pharmacokinetic approach to examine decreased toxin absorption as a mechanism for dietary specialization in woodrats

    Energetic tradeoffs of detoxification in generalist and specialist woodrats (University of Utah, Dr. Denise Dearing, fall 2000-fall 2001): Examined the quantitative and qualitative differences in detoxification of plant secondary compounds between several species of woodrats

    Monitoring Bats of Brian Head/Cedar Breaks, Dixie National Forest (Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Resources, Keith Day, summer 2000, 2001); Surveyed diversity and abundance of bat species in areas of spruce-bark beetle infestation and habitat disturbance

    Survey of Southern Utah bat populations before and after mine closures (Utah Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife Resources, Keith Day, summer 2000): Monitored population and behavioral changes in several species of bats before and after the installation of gates across abandoned mines

    Vegetation Assessment of Brian Head/Cedar Breaks, Dixie National Forest (Southern Utah University, Dr. Kate Grandison, summer 1999); Evaluated vegetation diversity and composition along forest transects with spruce-bark beetle infestation

    Ecological Monitoring of Spruce-Bark Beetle Infestation in Brian Head/Cedar Breaks, Dixie National Forest (Southern Utah University, Dr. Kate Grandison, 1998-2001); Surveyed small mammals, insect populations, indicator-species birds, evaluated habitat quality