Features - toddamacker

*A selection of my writing samples, web creations, educational signage, and print publications.

National Geographic Short Film Showcase: Life of Pine

Despite being smaller than a grain of rice, mountain pine beetles are causing big problems for pine forests across North America. Bark beetle colonies feed and reproduce on the inner bark of ponderosa and limber pines, wreaking deadly havoc on the tree's ability to circulate nutrients and absorb water. Due to changes in climate and other factors, the recent outbreak of these destructive insects has reached proportions never before seen in recorded history. Alarming estimates from the U.S. Forest Service state that 100,000 beetle-infested trees fall daily across the United States.

To combat this epidemic, Professor Diana Six has made it her mission to crack the genetic code of the pine tree. She hopes that studying the relationship between the mountain pine beetle and the trees they kill will provide us with valuable insight into the future of our forests. In this short film made at the International Wildlife Film Festival Filmmaker Labs, Professor Six walks among the trees and shares her thoughts on why humans can do more to counteract the effects of climate change.

A film by Chris O’Flaherty, Todd Amacker, Shireen Rahimi, Olivia Schmidt, and Tim Treuer. Music by New West Studios and art by Eric Linton. Special thanks to the University of Montana, WWF, Canon USA, and Day's Edge Productions. Generously funded by WWF and Tangled Bank Studios.

Click to watch.

Publication in National Wildlife Magazine

In February of 2017 I had one of my mussel images (Deertoe, Truncilla truncata) published in National Wildlife Magazine. This issue highlights the current biodiversity crisis underway in North America and touches on a taxon that I've been working on a lot lately. Freshwater mussels are both highly diverse and highly imperiled in the American Southeast. Click to read the online version.

Trout Unlimited Poster for Ecologically Friendly Crossing Structures

Trout Unlimited and its affiliate partners in the Southeast used my images for a poster to portray aquatic biodiversity that will benefit from more ecologically road crossings. Traditional culverts can fragment aquatic habitats and harm the astounding biodiversity found in southern Appalachian streams.

Experience Aquatic Biodiversity Conservation in the Southeast

Vulnerable blackside daces (Chrosomus cumberlandensis) at Conservation Fisheries.

I recently finished creating a website for Conservation Fisheries, INC, a non-profit organization that works with some of the world's most imperiled freshwater fish. These threatened and endangered beauties, often times smaller than your thumb, are propagated at CFI's facility in Knoxville, TN, and then reintroduced to their stream of origin. It was a privilege to work with Joel Sartore (photo, above) to bring awareness to these jewels of the streambed!

Check out Conservation Fisheries' new site.

Amiphibian Specialist Group Feature: How to Identify a Salamander

The flagship organization for amphibian conservation, the Amphibian Specialist Group, asked me to write a blog post to accompany a short film I produced about How to Identify a Salamander. Click to read the blog post.

Experience the Alford Lab at the University of Tennessee

I recently created a website for the Alford Lab. As part of the Forestry, Wildlife, and Fisheries Department at the University of Tennessee-Knoxville, we generally conduct research on the ecology and management of freshwater fishes of the Southeastern United States. To find out more about our lab members and our research, visit our new lab website!

Amphibian Health in the Smoky Mountains

The flagship organization for amphibian conservation, the Amphibian Specialist Group, asked me to write a blog post to accompany a short film I produced about ranavirus and chytrid fungus prevalence in Southern Appalachian salamanders. Click to read the blog post.

Educational Signage, General Coffee State Park

One of southern Georgia’s best kept secrets, General Coffee State Park harbors rare pitcher plants, endangered gopher tortoises, and shy indigo snakes. My image of a longleaf pine forest was used to portray the longleaf/wiregrass ecosystem still found in a few regions of Southern Georgia.


Educational Signage, Bayou Texar

The Florida Department of Environmental Protection and its partners used my images to convey the success of their living shorelines initiatives in and around Pensacola, Florida. The projects involved planting native emergent grasses along with establishing oyster reefs that not only stabilize the shoreline but also provide habitat for myriad aquatic organisms.

Longleaf Pine Image: The Leopold Outlook

Best-selling author Janisse Ray authored an article about the Bachman's sparrow, a denizen of the Southeast's longleaf pine forest, in the great naturalist Aldo Leopold's namesake publication. My longleaf pine image accompanied the article, portraying the open, well-managed habitat that the Bachman's sparrow depends on.

'Next Time You See A Maple Seed'

My image of a maple seed collection was featured in a children's book series on science education. This book explores the beauty, biology, and discovery of maple seeds in your own neighborhood.


'Meet Your Neighbours' feature in Pensacola Magazine

Pensacola Magazine interviewed me and featured some of my images featuring the often overlooked wildlife in the East Hill neighborhood and beyond.

Interview with Tuts+, Australia

The Australian photography website 'TUTS +' contacted me regarding my views on conservation, biodiversity, photography, and being a naturalist in the Southeast. Click to read the interview.

Lost in the Longleaf: Part I

This article is an exploration of the extraordinary plant life found in the understory of longleaf pine forests. Click to read the article.

Lost in the Longleaf: Part II

This article explores the incredible diversity of insects and other small creatures found in the Deep South's longleaf pine forests. Click to read the article.

Longleaf Pine Forests, NANPA write-up

The North American Nature Photography Association asked me to write a piece about the unique longleaf pine forests found in the Southeastern United States. Once covering 92 million acres, this unique habitat has been relegated to only 3 million remaining acres. Click to read the article.

Mozambican Memoirs

This article focuses on the struggles of the East African country of Mozambique. After decades of conflict that ended in 1992, the incredibly resilient people and wildlife of the region are struggling to bounce back. Click to read the article.

Mozambique on the Rise! (featuring Piotr Naskrecki and Harith Farooq)

In this article, fellow naturalists Piotr Naskrecki and Harith Farooq share their experiences with some of the incredibly beautiful biodiversity found in Mozambique. Click to read the article.

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