Ecological Developmental Adaptability Life Sciences :
Ecological Dynamics




Understanding large-scale patterns of biodiversity and impacts from global change in space and time

Research Overview

Global declines of biodiversity caused by human-driven changes to land use and climate threaten extinction of species and loss of ecosystem functions vital to human well-being. At the same time, there are large gaps in knowledge regarding biodiversity around the world. How is biodiversity distributed? How do human actions affect it? What are the effects on ecosystems and human society when it changes? The field of macroecology addresses these questions through research of the patterns and processes of species and ecological communities at large scales (in space, time, and species). Recent revolutions for this field in big data and modeling now give us many of the tools we need to answer pressing questions about global change and biodiversity.
Our laboratory uses geospatial analysis and statistical modeling to investigate biodiversity at regional and global scales through time. This includes predicting where species ranges may move due to climate change, investigating the biogeographic effects of species interactions, determining invasion risk of alien species, inferring provisions of ecosystem services, and mapping hotspots of biodiversity to guide conservation priorities. We also develop open programming tools and interactive applications for macroecology that advance the field with new methods and improve accessibility for complex and reproducible workflows.

Faculty Members

Associate Professor KASS Jamie M.
○ Predictive modeling of species niches / distributions and ecological communities
○ Estimating biodiversity variables and mapping them at large scales
○ Investigating the effects of global change on biodiversity
○ Ecological programming and software development
Assistant Professor Everton Miranda
My research focuses on modeling the distributions, demography, and ecosystem functions of vertebrates (birds, mammals, reptiles), particularly apex predators. I am deeply interested in understanding the drivers of distribution shifts in predators, such as recent extinctions and range contractions, and investigating cascading effects on ecosystems. By employing species distribution modeling techniques, I aim to uncover the intricate relationships between environmental variables and anthropogenic impacts (including prehistorical ones) on species’ current and future distributions. Through my research, I seek to contribute to the development of solutions that promote biodiversity conservation and restoration.