“Extinction rates soar, and the texture of life changes.”
To a great extent humans dominate current ecological and evolutionary processes. As a consequence there is a growing slice of biodiversity that is forever lost to extinction. At the same time, another slice of biodiversity rides the wave of globalization expanding its presence and influence across the globe. These dual trends profoundly transform global biodiversity, producing ecological and evolutionary outcomes that are only just beginning to come into focus.
Our group documents and explores this transition in biodiversity using a variety of inter-disciplinary research techniques, seeking to apply our insights to the task of conserving and sustainably managing valuable ecosystems.
Julie and co-PI Christina Romagosa recently heard the great news that SESYNC funded our efforts to explore the link between the trade in pets and invasion of vertebrate species in the United States. The Pursuit will include three workshop meetings over the next two years, and it will bring in top-notch policy makers and scientists from the US, Canada and Australia.
Can we use eDNA to look for agricultural insect outbreaks? Rafael Valentin just received a prestigious USDA NIFA fellowship to find out. His presentations at the 2017 Ecological Society of America and the Entomological Society of America on the topic also earned him a 'best presentation' awards. Congrats Raf!
Are Bermuda bluebirds native to the island? A cool article in Scientific American on part of lab-alum Julian Avery's dissertation.
Where will the brood parasitic pin-tailed whydah establish in North America? Rob Crystal-Ornelas' dissertation research provides key insights into the answer. Rob's research has also made it to the New York Times!
Our lab's run of winning the best student presentation award at the American Museum of Natural History's Student Conference on Conservation Science continues with Rob Crystal-Ornelas winning in 2016, and Jeff Brown winning in 2017. This year one of our undergraduates, Caroline Beardsley, also presented her research on light pollution in protected areas.