Genomes, bones, and sediments hold clues to how organisms responded to change in the past. How can we use these diverse datasets to guide conservation decision-making for the future, in ways that are meaningful to stakeholders?
Our lab applies a diverse set of methods to reconstruct the ecological and evolutionary histories of living species and place these results in a conservation context. We employ toolkits that can accommodate data from fossil, natural history, and modern specimens, such as stable isotopes, DNA, morphology, and models. We conduct fieldwork that includes both excavations of Quaternary sediments and non-invasive surveys of extant mammals. We strive to include stakeholders, students, and conservation professionals from local communities wherever possible at all stages of our research.
- Historical ecology of California Channel Islands vertebrates
- Japanese red fox responses to urbanization
- Diet, size, and distribution of California grizzly bears (California Grizzly Research Network)
- Late Pleistocene paleoecology of “tar pit” fossils (La Brea Tar Pits)
- Ecology and conservation of the Hispaniolan Solenodon
- Extinction dynamics of Caribbean mammals (SESYNC)
New: legacies and lessons from the North American fur trade
The HEDGE lab is starting collaborative research on tracing the legacy of the North American fur trade as a coupled socio-ecological system, with the goal of translating data as lessons for future management.
We are examining archaeological middens and historical pelts to provide context for trapping activities and species ecology in the present day. Our work is in collaboration with colleagues at the University of Oklahoma, the University of Maine, the Maine Historic Preservation Commission, and the Smithsonian.
Funded! Trinidad’s “tar pit” time capsules – the Ice Age Caribbean
Watch where you step!
We have received several grants, including from National Geographic, to fund our community-engaged paleontology and ecology projects in Trinidad, in partnership with students at the University of the West Indies, St. Augustine.
Field work will begin when conditions are safe for international travel.