How to correct for collector-specific bias when modeling species’ distributions

It is well-known that herbarium and museum specimen records provide imperfect, and often biased, snapshots of where species occur. To date, a number of bias-correction methods exist, some from the species distribution modeling (SDM) framework based on data filtering and some from the occupancy modeling (OM) framework based on collector-specific covariates. However, we don’t really …
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Thank you, Alan Graham

We are very sad to announce the passing of Alan Graham, Ph.D., a renowned paleobotanist and great supporter of the Global Change Conservation Lab here at the Missouri Botanical Garden. Alan was a thoughtful, witty, and generous person who elevated himself above his circumstances, as detailed in his autobiography. Accomplishment in science was a key …
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Battle or synergy of the “changes”? Land use/land cover change versus climate change

Historically, climate change vulnerability assessments have been just that–assessments of how species are expected to be affected by climate change. Nonetheless, even if anthropogenic climate were not occurring, Earth would still be in the throes of a human-generated mass extinction, mostly due to how we have altered land cover and used land-based resources. In our …
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Common gardens: A lens into local adaptation

We are happy to announce the publication of a review article in Journal of Ecology on the use of common gardens for understanding local adaptation, with a focus on grasslands. Interesting facts: The modal study employing common gardens used a single tree species growing in a monoculture sourced from three sites and growing at one …
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Matt Austin: Climate versus phenology on STL Public Radio

A pack of old, yellowed papers… puzzling species names… and some sleuthing led Matt and colleagues to uncover how climate change is affecting pollen transfer within and between species and perhaps inducing greater selfing over the past 80 years. Matt’s research and the wider story were recently covered by Saint Louis Public Radio!

Congratulations to Kelsey!

Kelsey has received the prestigious Shirley A. Graham Fellowship in Systematic Botany and Biogeography! She will be working this summer disentangling the relative influences of taxonomy, climate, geography, and mating system on flowering phenology of Leavenworthia. Congratulations, Kelsey!

Madagascar, and hope in conservation

What is the fate of Madagascar’s rainforest habitat, and how do you keep going emotionally, when the world is burning? Jeannie Raharimampionona and Adam recently chatted with Sarah Fenske of St Louis on the Air to talk about things far away and close to home.

How well do species distribution models measure variable importance?

One of the most common applications of species distribution models 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 …
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How to Protect Earth’s Biological Diversity Forever: Lessons from Maitreya Buddha, Pharma Bros, and Yucca Mountain

How can we protect species which have the potential to persist millions of years, given that we can drive them extinct within just a few decades? To answer this question, we need to look beyond conservation biology into fields such as religious studies, nuclear semiotics, and tsunami warnings. This was a invited talk by Adam …
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