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How Wildlife Is Responding to Climate Change in the Northeast

Wednesday, March 27, 2024 | 4:00 pm
Toni Lyn Morelli
Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center
Alexej Siren
University of Massachusetts Amherst


Climate change is having strong impacts on the ecosystems of the northeastern U.S.  As snowpack declines, summers dry, falls flood, and temperatures soar, species struggle to keep up.  Alexej Sirén and Toni Lyn Morelli have been working with federal and state natural resource managers for over a decade to better predict how wildlife will respond to climate change, and identify strategies for how to help species adapt.  

About the Speakers

Toni Lyn Morelli is a Research Ecologist for the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center. She earned her B.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution at Stony Brook University. She has been studying the impacts of global change on mammals for over 20 years, and has been working in climate adaptation for almost as long, in Madagascar, California, the Democratic Republic of Congo, and Tanzania, but especially in New York and New England. She is the co-founder and lead of the Refugia Research Coalition,  international Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management Network, and is a pioneer in the field of Translational Ecology, which was developed to improve the impact of scientific research in addressing environmental problems.

Alexej Siren is a Research Ecologist in the Department of Environmental Conservation at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. His research leverages biogeographical and ecological theory as well as novel field and quantitative methods to address challenges to wildlife populations, species, and ecosystems posed by ongoing and projected global change. He is currently studying the impact of climate change on wildlife populations in the northeastern U.S., with a focus on identifying cost-effective monitoring tools for natural resource agencies. Other ongoing projects include 1) identifying and predicting forest structure attributes that support high biodiversity, 2) studying mechanisms that influence population dynamics across species’ ranges, and 3) evaluating the effects of ecological silvicultural treatments on snowpack dynamics.

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