My research addresses the question of how best to restore and maintain landscape connectivity in a changing climate. Species were able to survive past episodes of climate change by adjusting their geographic ranges to track areas of climatic suitability, moving upward in elevation and latitude as climates warmed, and then back down as climates cooled. But widespread habitat fragmentation and an unprecedented pace of climate change will, in the future, severely challenge species’ ability to adapt in this way.
While there are many possible approaches to increasing connectivity for a changing climate, a lack of specific, evidence-based strategies for implementation has hindered the utility of this conservation strategy. Where, when, and how should we be increasing connectivity for a changing climate, and how can we do so in the face of so much uncertainty around future impacts of climate change?
I am collaborating with scientists, land managers, and policy makers from academic institutions, non-governmental organizations, and state and federal agencies to develop rigorous methods for integrating climate change and landscape connectivity into large-scale conservation planning efforts in the Pacific Northwest, USA.