BEAST Lab: Biodiversity & Environments Across Space and Time

We are a multi-disciplinary research team committed to understanding how biodiversity responds to global change through time. Climate change, disturbance, human activity, and extinction are challenges for managing future diversity, but are also opportunities to explore the dynamics of ecology and evolution. The Earth is our laboratory, from the natural experiments of the geologic past to the challenges facing today’s ecosystems. Our research spans systems and organisms, from lakes to caves, treeless islands to boreal forests, and bison to penguins. We research the dynamic distributions and interactions of plants, animals, humans, and environments, using the fossil record, models, and contemporary experiments. Our goal is to inform ecology, conservation, and management, using of the past. To that end, we are committed to teaching, training a diverse science workforce, science outreach and communication, and doing and publishing accessible research. 

In the BEAST Lab, we bring the perspectives of space and time to bear on questions at the intersection of earth science, ecology, and conservation. We work on a number of fundamental and applied questions, including 1) the legacies of biotic upheavals like the extinction of Pleistocene megafauna, 3) novel climates, communities, and ecosystems, 2) emerging and novel conservation methods like managed relocation, rewilding, and the use of geophysical surrogates for biodiversity, 4) how biotic interactions are influenced by climate change, 5) what the paleorecord tells us about the ability of species to keep pace with climate change, 6) human impacts on islands, and 7) the temporal dynamics of terrestrial communities.

We’ll be switching this over to a new lab website in summer 2017 — stay tuned!

Feel free to read more about our RESEARCH, read one of our recent PUBLICATIONS, or check out RESOURCES we’ve found helpful. Jacquelyn also blogs at THE CONTEMPLATIVE MAMMOTH, co-hosts WARM REGARDS, and is active on TWITTER.

You can also read a summary of our research in a nutshell, using only the 1000 most common words in the English language, here.