Josh Lawler






Christian Torgersen






Julie Heinrichs


Julia Michalak






Michael Case




Aimee Fullerton



Scott Rinnan

Ben Dittbrenner





Caitlin Littlefield


Rosemary Pazdral
















People

Josh Lawler


Josh Lawler is an associate professor and Denman Professor of Sustainable Resource Sciences in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences and the College of the Environment at the University of Washington. He is also the co-director of the Center for Creative Conservation. He is a landscape ecologist and conservation biologist driven by applied conservation questions and their real-world applications. He is most interested in how anthropogenic factors affect species distributions, population dynamics, and community composition at regional and continental scales. His research involves investigating the effects of climate change on species distributions and populations, exploring the influence of landscape pattern on animal populations and communities, and climate-change adaptation for natural and human systems. Some of his current work has begun to involve the field of conservation psychology—exploring how people make environmental decisions and what psychological benefits people gain from nature.

Christian Torgersen

Christian Torgersen is a research landscape ecologist with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center (FRESC) Cascadia Field Station (CFS) and an affiliate assistant professor in the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences. His areas of research include landscape ecology, aquatic and riparian ecology, remote sensing, spatial analysis, ecological monitoring, and geographical information science.  Read more on his website.



Post-doctoral Researchers

Julie Heinrichs

Julie is a post-doctoral researcher at the School of Forest Resources at the University of Washington. Her research questions address the relative influence of habitat configuration and composition, specifically habitat quality, on population dynamics and persistence in both theoretical and applied systems. As part of her Ph.D. research at the University of Calgary, Julie used habitat/population models to assess critical habitat for the endangered Ord’s kangaroo rat in Alberta, Canada and she continues to develop models for species at risk. In her post-doctoral position, she is exploring the drivers of source-sink dynamics and is using spatially explicit population models to identify the attributes of species, landscapes, and ecological systems that promote source-sink dynamics.


Julia Michalak

Julia’s research interests focus on developing methods and approaches for incorporating climate change impacts into conservation and connectivity planning. As part of the AdaptWest project, she is developing metrics to evaluate climate vulnerability and refuge value based on changes in the size and distribution of climate analogs. In addition, Julia is working on developing trait-based approaches to ranking species’ climate change vulnerability, identifying the places where these species are at greatest risk within their range, and comparing vulnerability rankings across several evaluation methods. Finally, Julia is collaborating on a project with the UW Climate Impacts Group and on-the-ground practitioners to evaluate climate impacts to connectivity planning and develop adaptation strategies in the Transboundary region of northern Washington State and southern B.C. Canada. Julia’s research experience encompasses landscape ecology, urban ecology, and climate adaptation planning. Julia received her Ph.D. from UW in Interdisciplinary Urban Planning and Design in 2013, and her Master’s in Sustainable Development and Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland, College Park, in 2006.

Michael Case

Michael is a postdoctoral researcher focused on assessing the climate change vulnerability of species and ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Using these results, he is also working with federal, state, tribal, and non-profit organizations to implement adaptation strategies. Michael is also researching new ways of integrating empirical and mechanistic models to better project how species might respond to future climate change. Michael’s previous work includes a tree growth and climate-focused Masters degree from the College of Forest Resources (UW) in 2004. Prior to that, Michael worked as a research scientist for World Wildlife Fund's (WWF) International Climate Change Program for 5 years. While working for WWF, Michael was responsible for ensuring that WWF's conservation work considered the impacts of climate change and included appropriate adaptation planning. Michael is also a consulting forester and helps guide clients through the Designated Forest Land program, Forest Stewardship Council certification, and Forest Practices permits.

Graduate Students

Aimee Fullerton

Aimee is a PhD student whose research focuses on spatial patterns of river temperature and how existing and future thermal regimes may impact Pacific salmon. Aimee is interested in the spatial structure of aquatic populations (especially fishes) living in stream networks, relationships between spatio-temporal scale and ecological patterns and processes, anthropogenic influences on population structure, and ways that science can contribute to improved decision-making. Since 2002, Aimee has been a research fisheries biologist with NOAA's Northwest Fisheries Science Center. There, her research has centered on freshwater habitat conservation for ESA-listed Pacific salmonids. Prior to that, Aimee was a biologist with the state of North Carolina, where she worked on conservation of rare and nongame aquatic fauna (1998-2002). She holds a B.S. in Biology from the Ohio State University (1994) and an M.S. in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Notre Dame (1998).

Scott Rinnan

Scott is a PhD student in the Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management program, and is co-advised by Mark Kot in the Applied Math department. He earned his B.S. in mathematics from The Evergreen State College in 2005, and his M.S. in QERM in 2015. He is interested in modeling population dynamics, species interactions, and organism movement and dispersal. Scott's current research involves incorporating biotic interactions and movement into species distribution models.





Ben Dittbrenner

Ben is a PhD student interested in exploring non-traditional approaches to promote aquatic habitat enhancement and maintenance, increase ecosystem resilience, and reduce the effects of climate change on riparian systems at multiple scales. His research focuses on studying the effects of beaver reintroductions on headwater riparian ecosystems. Beaver impoundments have been shown to attenuate peak flows, recharge groundwater and hyporheic flows, and regulate stream temperature and base flow. His focus is to explore the importance of beaver impoundments on these processes in maritime Pacific Northwest systems, where l ittle research has been done to quantify these benefits . Prior to his PhD work, Ben worked as a biologist for Snohomish County , where he managed their non-lethal beaver management program. He has a n MS in Biodiversity, Conservation, and Policy from the University at Albany , and dual BS degrees in Biological Science a nd Environmental Science & Conservation from the University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee. Ben is a member of the Snohomish Beaver Working Group and the owner of an environmental consulting firm that provides beaver management expertise to landowners and jurisdictions.

Caitlin Littlefield

Caitlin is a PhD student seeking to understand the drivers of forest resilience and tree species migration under climate change – through both field-based and modeling frameworks – and to understand how we can best engage diverse stakeholders to implement equitable climate change adaptation measures. She’s also keenly interested in place-based, applied learning and honing the teaching skills she’s gained from positions in the Swiss Alps, at Champlain College, and with UW’s Doris Duke Conservation Scholars Program.  Caitlin received her B.A. from Middlebury College then completed her M.S. at the University of Vermont, where her research entailed quantifying the structural and carbon impacts of forest bioenergy harvesting. She looks forward to a career in an inclusive academic community that values rigorous, cross-disciplinary scientific research and exemplary instruction.


Rosemary Pazdral

rpazdral@uw.edu
Rosemary is a Master’s student interested in conservation science at the landscape scale, and at the interface between terrestrial and freshwater systems. Her graduate research explores the influence of abiotic factors on biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change in western North America. Before coming to the University of Washington, she worked with The Nature Conservancy’s Montana program to identify and restore priority cold-water refugia in the northern Rockies. Rosemary earned a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Brandeis University and a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Science from Oregon State University.

 

Former Lab Members

Theresa Nogeire

tnogeire@gmail.com
website
Theresa conducts research in landscape ecology and conservation biology, with a particular focus on conservation planning for wildlife. She is interested in how biodiversity hangs on in human-dominated landscapes, and especially how wide-ranging birds and mammalian carnivores use agricultural landscapes. She uses wildlife surveys, geographic information systems, and spatially explicit modeling to answer questions about animal movement and habitat selection to gain a better understanding of how private-lands management might advance conservation goals. Theresa received her Ph.D. in 2011 in Environmental Science and Management at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Jennifer Duggan

jduggan@csumb.edu
website
Jenny is faculty at California State Montery Bay. She conducts research in landscape ecology and conservation biology and is interested in applied projects focused on species of conservation concern. For her postdoc, Jenny worked jointly with the Department of Biology and School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington and with the Natural Capital Project on a project using terrestrial InVEST models to assess biodiversity on Department of Defense sites under varied land-use scenarios to inform their resource management and land-use policy. For her Ph.D. research, Jenny used occupancy and least-cost models to assess effects of habitat loss and fragmentation on Franklin’s ground squirrels in the Midwestern U.S.  Jenny earned a Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, and Ethology from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, a M.S. in Ecology from San Diego State University, and a B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Jenny McGuire

jennifer.mcguire@biology.gatech.edu
website
Jenny is an assistant professor in the School of Biology at Georgia Tech. Jenny comes from an integrative biological background, examining shifts in biodiversity across several temporal and spatial scales. Her research leverages the mammalian fossil record to model ecological processes and biogeographic patterns, improving our understanding of how climate change shapes long-term ecosystem dynamics. Her dissertation research examined how members of the genus Microtus (voles) from the Western US responded to environmental changes throughout the Quaternary and compared these responses to observations of recent shifts in their populations and to species distribution model (SDM) predictions for the past. For her postdoc, she worked on methods to use paleontological species distributions to inform and improve SDM performance. Her work looked at how well clusters of abiotic variation (abiotic facets) describe biological diversity on the landscape. Additionally, she worked on a project that incorporates climate effects into return on conservation investment.

Se-Yeun Lee

leesy@uw.edu
Se-Yeun currently works for the Climate Impacts Group at the University of Washington. She got her Ph.D in Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of Washington. As part of her Ph.D research, Se-Yeun developed an innovate optimization-simulation approach in adaptation of existing flood control operations for the dams of the Columbia River Basin to climate change. The benefits of her simulation suggest increased hydropower revenue and increased fish augmentation flows without increasing flood risks. From her main research stream, she has collaborated on various topics that assess impacts of climate change on water resources and management over Washington and the Pacific Northwest and estimating 21st century flood risks in the Pacific Northwest based on regional climate model simulation. For her postdoc, she worked with hindcasting wetland dynamics by combining observed data (via field surveys and/or remote sensing) with a physically based hydrology model and projecting changes in wetland hydrology for climate change to help managers and decision-makers evaluate potential threats and areas of management concern.

Chad Wilsey

Chad currently works for the National Audubon Society. Chad earned an M.S. in Conservation Biology and Sustainable Development at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in 2007 and a Ph.D. in Landscape Ecology at the University of Washington in 2011. He uses technology, such as remote sensing and computer modeling, to address ecological problems with broad spatial scales. For example, Chad is interested in the impacts of development and climate-change on wildlife populations. During his postgraduate work at the University of Washington, he worked with a team of researchers from several universities, government agencies, and non-profits to characterize the vulnerability of wildlife populations to climate change in the Pacific Northwest. Previously, Chad simulated the impacts of land-use, climate-change, and management on the endangered black-capped vireo. He also studied bird communities in shaded cacao and banana agroforests in Costa Rica.

Jesse Langdon

Jesse is a geostpatial analyst with South Fork Research. Jesse earned an M.S. from the University of Washington in 2013, a B.A. in Geography from the University of Texas in Austin in 1999, and has worked as a GIS analyst for the City of Austin, City of Pflugerville, and the Texas Water Development Board. Previous to joining the Landscape Ecology and Conservation Lab, he worked as a GIS analyst for the Nature Conservancy's Washington program for 7 years. Jesse's research at the University of Washington was associated with the Pacific Northwest Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment. Specifically, he studied the impact of climate change on terrestrial vertebrate species distributions, and compared species turnover rates and changes in bioclimatic variables in protected areas.

Peter Singleton

Peter is a Research Wildlife Biologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station in Wenatchee, WA. Peter’s research interests are focused on the integration of landscape ecology, habitat ecology, and animal population dynamics. His dissertation research at the University of Washington involved research on interactions between barred owls and spotted owls in fire-prone forests of the eastern Cascades. Peter has also been involved in research on carnivore movement patterns, developing analysis techniques to assess habitat connectivity, and other topics. Peter holds a PhD from the University of Washington, an M.S. from the University of Montana, and a B.S. from The Evergreen State College.

Christie Galitsky

Christie currently works for Woodland Park Zoo. She holds a B.S.E. from the University of Pennsylvania, an M.S. from the University of California at Berkeley, and an M.S. from the University of Washington. She worked as an engineer for 10 years, most recently in the International Energy Studies Group at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory where she focused on sustainable development projects in developing countries. There she helped to develop a fuel efficient cookstove program in Darfur, Sudan, and energy efficiency and benchmarking tools for China. Research at the University of Washington entailed a shift in focus to ecology, where she studied how landscape patterns and climate change affect biodiversity. Her research focused on avian diversity as an indicator of ecosystem health in the Willamette Valley, Oregon.

John Withey

John is an assistant professor at Florida International University, where he began in January 2012. He received his M.S. (2002) and Ph.D. (2006) from the University of Washington's College of Forest Resources. His postdoctoral position at the University of Washington was part of an interdisciplinary project to predict and compare how alternative policy incentives and market forces affect land-use decisions, and how resulting land-use changes affect species conservation, carbon storage, and the value of commodity production.

Carrie Schloss

Carrie earned her Masters of Science from the School of Forest Resources in 2011. She focused on strategies for reserve selection to mitigate the effects of climate change on biodiversity.

Tristan Nuñez

Tristan graduated with an M.S. from the UW School of Forest Resources in 2011. His research focused on the ways habitat connectivity might influence how vertebrate distributions are shifted by climate change. He is currently working on his Ph.D. at the University of California, Berkeley.

Aaron Ruesch

Aaron graduated with an M.S. from the UW School of Forest Resources in 2011. Aaron's research focused on how changes in physical hydrological systems, depending on climate change and land-use change, affect the composition of the John Day River and how that will change the distribution of fishes. He currently works for The Nature Conservancy.

Jorge Ramos

Jorge graduate with an M.S. from the UW School of Forest Resources in 2011. As a masters student, Jorge studied how landscape patterns affect amphibian distributions in an urbanizing environment. He is currently working on his Ph.D. at Arizona State University.

Betsy Bancroft

Betsy was a post-doctoral researcher in the lab from 2007-2009. Betsy is currently an Assistant Professor of Biology at Southern Utah University.

Evan Girvetz

Evan was a post-doctoral researcher in the lab from 2007-2009. Evan is currently a scientist at The Nature Conservancy and an adjuct professor in the School of Forest Resources.

Lesley Jantarasami

Leslie completed her M.S. in 2009 and is currently working at the Washington DC as a Presidential Management Fellow at the EPA.