Climate coherency

After many long years of battling data bottlenecks, I am ecstatic to announce the publication of our paper on intraspecific variation in responses of pikas to climate change. To our great surprise, dividing the range by ecoregions–not genetic lineages–best captures observed differences in how the species responded to 20 mechanistic climatic variables. Many thanks to …
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How well do species distribution models measure variable importance?

One of the most common applications of SDMs is to identify important variables and measure their relative effect. Despite hundreds of papers assessing the predictive power of SDMs, there are none assessing their inferential power. Maria Santos and Adam recently completed the first such analysis! Smith, A.B. and Santos, M.J. Testing the ability of species …
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Welcome, David Henderson!

We are happy to host David Henderson as part of his rotation at Washington University in St. Louis during the spring semester of 2019! David is interested in understanding biogeographic patterns using herbarium records. Many records are only “vaguely” georeferenced (i.e., to a county or similar political unit). Vague records can represent 40% or more …
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Prairie Zen

Local adaptation in a foundational grass “Prairie Zen” is the feeling one gets when gazing out across the endless grasslands of the Great Plains. But the endlessness belies sharp gradients in genetic and phenotypic diversity within Big Bluestem, the dominant grass of the region. Now out: Matt Galliart’s paper on local adaptation in this foundational …
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Niche estimation above and below the species level

If ‘nothing in biology makes sense except in the light of evolution,’ then why model species as if they appeared through spontaneous creation? Now out: our paper on estimating niches while accounting for intra- and interspecific evolution! Smith, A.B., Godsoe, W., Rodríguez-Sánchez, F., Wang, H-H., and Warren, D. 2019. Niche estimation above and below the …
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Conservation of crop wild relatives

Just out: a two-volume set on conservation of North American crop wild relatives!  Adam had the honor of contributing to a chapter on threat assessment. “This chapter introduces the roles of conservation status and threat assessments in informing conservation priorities for crop wild relatives in North America and provides an overview of the current results …
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Welcome to our new postdoc, Stephen Murphy!

We are very excited to host Stephen, who is interested in combining aspects of biogeography and macroecology with his ongoing work in community ecology. Stephen graduated from Ohio State University, and is now supported by a grant from the Institute for Museum and Library Services for developing and testing methods for using vaguely georeferenced and …
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Welcome to our new postdoc, Kelley Erickson!

We are excited to serve as the new intellectual home of Kelley Erickson, a recent graduate of the University of Miami where she studied the demography of the highly invasive shrub Schinus terebinthifolia (Brazilian peppertree). Kelley is working on incorporating issues related to detectability in species distribution models in a project sponsored by the Institute …
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NSF Advances in Biological Informatics

Awesome news! We were just informed that the National Science Foundation will fund our proposal to use pollen, genetic, and distributional data to estimate the spatial dynamics of how trees migrated poleward after the last glacial maximum.  This is a collaborative project with Sean Hoban (Morton Arboretum), Andria Dawson (Mount Royal University), John Robinson (Michigan …
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