When it comes to creating protected areas for conservation, ecologists tend to focus on the where. However, to establish new protected areas, the question of when may be just as important.
Global climate change is increasing the incidence of extreme weather events. Jessica Gorzo, PhD candidate, is studying how these extreme events are affecting the abundance, geographical distribution, and breeding habits of forest songbirds.
Not knowing how land has been used in the past makes it difficult to understand how it is being used now and even more difficult to predict how it will be used in the future, especially in regions with multiple socio-economic shocks, such aslike the Carpathian Basin. Our team is working on that.
The Karner blue butterfly, a federally endangered species, has suffered major population declines mainly due to habitat loss since European settlement. Eric Wood investigated if restoration of oak savannas, critical habitat for this species, also provides an opportunity to protect important avian communities that use sparse canopy oak savannas during the breeding season.
Dr. Oscar Cardenas is working to better understand patterns of forest change in the Sierra de Manantlan Biosphere Reserve to develop more effective management tools addressing a range of issues from biodiversity conservation to sustainable development programs and epidemiological applications.