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Belmont University | Belief in Something Greater

Matthew Heard, Ph.D.

Headshot of Matthew HeardI earned my undergraduate degree in Ecology and French from the University of Tennessee. For graduate school, I attended Brown University where I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. As a graduate student I worked on understanding the impacts of invasive species on native plants and animals and how climate change can impact the evolution of organisms around the world. Following my graduation, I was awarded a postdoctoral fellowship from the Environmental Change Initiative at Brown University. In this position, I was jointly positioned between the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Epidemiology Departments and I conducted research on infectious diseases that impact wildlife.

After my postdoc, I worked as a faculty member at Winthrop University in the Biology Department for four and a half years. During this time, I taught courses on Marine Ecology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Botany, Global Change, and Experimental Design. I then joined the Belmont Biology Department in Spring of 2017. At Belmont, I teach Introduction to Environmental Science, Principles of Biology II, and other courses in the Environmental Science program. For my research, I work with students on a wide variety of topics including:

  1. How land use change impacts species and ecosystems
  2. How pollution drives disease outbreaks and changes in microbial communities
  3. How movement of exotic species around the world impacts native species
  4. How human alteration of the landscape can drive evolutionary change
  5. How urbanization affects water quality


When I’m not at Belmont, I love to hike, run, garden, and hang out with my wife and daughter.