The evidence that wildlife populations are responding to modern climate change is now overwhelming. There is strong scientific consensus that environmental tipping points are being crossed, and many species are adapting (or failing to adapt) to novel climatic conditions. Our lab focuses on advancing the field of climate change ecology by studying the impact of climate change on natural systems. We are interested in how forces of climate and land use change drive biological changes at the level of individuals and populations and how these then combine to form ecological patterns across entire regions or continents. We take a diverse, hierarchical approach ranging from field-based studies to macroecological analyses. Our goal is to develop cutting edge studies focusing on the synergistic effects of land use and climate change on wildlife populations from local to national scales.
Managing wildlife populations under climate change has no single, optimal solution. As such, we work closely with several natural resource agencies and initiatives including the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources and the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts. We strive to develop research projects in close collaboration with natural resource managers. In doing so, our research will allow wildlife managers and stakeholders to make critical decisions in climate change adaptation.
Lab news (August 2020): Recent lab publication “Avian responses to extreme weather across functional traits and temporal scales” was featured in a pair of NASA stories, one at NASA Earth and one at Earthdata. It was also featured in stories by eBird, The Wildlife Society, and UW-Madison.
Lab news (July 2020): Congrats to PhD student Amy Shipley on being awarded the Hanski Prize, which honors the lead author of the best Student Highlighted Research paper from 2019 in the journal Oecologia! Her paper is entitled, “Snow roosting reduces temperature‑associated stress in a wintering bird”.