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​Climate Change and Evolution in the Anthropocene

Impacts of the Earth’s 7 billion people are changing the evolutionary processes that underlay and maintain diversity. As a consequence, we are witnessing a global, but unplanned, evolutionary experiment with the planet’s biotic diversity. Growing empirical evidence indicates that human-induced evolutionary changes are rapidly impacting every corner of the globe. CTR researchers are working to understand how human activities are affecting the evolutionary processes that generate and maintain diversity on the planet. This includes how climate change effects disease. We are documenting the consequences of human-induced changes in evolutionary processes as well as studying ways to mitigate these consequences.

PROJECTS

solar

Alternative Energy and Biodiversity

A U.S. Department of Energy Funded Project to Understand the Demographic Impacts of Solar Energy Sites on Migratory Bird Populations Increased solar energy production is a critical element of efforts to limit anthropogenic climate change, however those same solar facilities may pose a risk to individual birds that migrate past them. While there are known...

avian influenza virus in north american migratory birds

Avian Influenza Virus in North American Migratory Birds

Overview The UCLA Center for Tropical Research (CTR) is at the forefront of research and surveillance of avian influenza virus (bird flu or avian flu) in wild birds. CTR has led avian influenza virus (AIV) surveys of migratory land birds in both North America and Central Africa. Recently, CTR was awarded a four-year project from...

avian malaria

Avian Malaria

Malaria parasites use vertebrate hosts for the asexual stages of their life cycle and Dipteran vectors for both the sexual and asexual development, but the literature on avian malaria parasites remains biased towards bird-parasite associations. Our work samples vectors/birds to provide information about status of infection of both host and vector.

biodiversity atlas

Biodiversity Atlas

Southern California harbors some of the highest levels of biodiversity on the continent, yet is also home to millions of humans that compete for wildlife space and resources. In order to best balance these often competing components, researchers at the Center for Tropical Research are helping to construct a Los Angeles Biodiversity Atlas.

distribution modeling using remote sensing

Distribution Modeling Using Remote Sensing

In this research, species distribution modeling is used as a tool to understand the environmental determinants that control the distribution of species and to obtain spatial patterns on the species’ distribution. Current projects include evaluating the usefulness of newly available vegetation remote sensing data (e.g., from NASA’s Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer [MODIS]) in species distributional modeling,...

evolutionary change in human-altered environments

Evolutionary Change in Human-Altered Environments

CTR and the Institute of Environment and Sustainability sponsored an international summit in February 2007 to discuss the effects of human activity on climate change, habitat degradation, captive breeding and exploitation, and invasive species and pathogens. View journal issue Summit presentations With the global human population reaching seven billion in 2011, human impacts are causing...

landscape conservation cooperative

Landscape Conservation Partnership

The Center for Tropical Research has recently developed new models in California to determine the amount of intraspecific genetic variation present in an area. Recently, we tested this new approach in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area (SMNRA), part of the southern subunit (2) of the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative.

mapping evolutionary processes under climate change

Mapping Evolutionary Processes Under Climate Change

The Partnership for International Research and Education project seeks to develop an integrated framework for conserving central African biodiversity under climate change that is both evolutionary-informed and grounded in the socioeconomic constraints of the region.

west nile virus

West Nile Virus

West Nile virus (WNV) has spread rapidly in North America, threatening wildlife and posing serious health risks to humans. In order to better understand how the distribution of WNV will further impact populations, we model the incidence of WNV infections under current conditions, and use these to predict where the disease may occur in the future.

Publications

Persistent impacts of West Nile virus on North American bird populations

George, T. L.; Harrigan, R. J.; LaManna, J. A.; DeSante, D. F.; Saracco, J. F.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2015 | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112(46), 14290–14294


How the zebra got its stripes: a problem with too many solutions

Larison, B.; Harrigan, R. J.; Thomassen, H.; Rubenstein, D. I.; Chan-Golston, A. M.; Li, E.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2015 | Royal Society Open Science 2


Avian influenza surveillance in Central and West Africa, 2010-2014

Fuller, T. L.; Ducatez, M. F.; Njabo, K. Y.; Couancy-Hymann, E.; Chasar, T.; Aplogan, G. L.; Lao, S.; Awoume, F.; Tehou, A.; Langeois, Q.; Krauss, S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Epidemiology and Infection 143(10), 2205-2212


Safeguarding biodiversity: what is perceived as working according to the conservation community?

Chapman, C. A.; DeLuycker, A.; Reyna-Hurtado, R. A.; Serio-Silva, J. C.; Smith, T. B.; Strier, K. B.; Goldberg, T. L.

Published Work | 2014 | Oryx 50(2), 302-307


Evolution and conservation of Central African biodiversity: priorities for future research and education in the Congo Basin and Gulf of Guinea

Anthony, N. M.; Atteke, C.; Bruford, M. W.; Dallmeier, F.; Freedman, A.; Hardy, O.; Ibrahim, B.; Jeffery, K. J.; Johnson, M.; Lahm, S. A.; Lepengue, N.; Lowenstein, J. H.; Maisels, F.; Mboumba, J.; Mickala, P.; Morgan, K.; Ntie, S.; Smith, T. B.; Sullivan, J. P.; Verheyen, E.; Gonder, M. K.

Published Work | 2014 | Biotropica 47(1), 6–17


Prescriptive evolution to conserve and manage biodiversity

Smith, T.B; Kinnison, M.; Strauss, S.; Fuller, T.; Scott, P.

Published Work | 2014 | Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 45, 1.1–1.22


Coevolutionary patterns and diversification of avian malaria parasites in African Sunbirds (Family Nectariniidae)

Lauron, E. J.; Loiseau, C.; Bowie, R. C.; Spicer, G. S.; Smith, T. B.; Melo, M.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2014 | Parasitology 142(5), 635-647


Spatial and temporal patterns of frugivorous hornbill movements in Central Africa and their implications for rain forest conservation

Chasar, A.; Harrigan, R. J.; Holbrook, K. M.; Dietsch, T. V.; Fuller, T. L.; Wikelski, M.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Biotropica 46(6), 763–770


Applying evolutionary biology to address global challenges

Carroll, S. P.; Jørgensen, P. S.; Kinnison, M. T.; Bergstrom, C. T.; Denison, R. F.; Gluckman, P.; Smith, T. B.; Strauss, S. Y.; Tabashnik, B. E.

Published Work | 2014 | Science 346(6207)


Spatial conservation planning framework for assessing conservation opportunities in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil

Giorgi, A. P.; Rovzar, C.; Davis, K. S.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.; Silveira, L. F.; Gillespie, S. W.

Published Work | 2014 | Applied Geography 53, 369–376


Identifying areas with a high risk of human infection with the avian influenza (H7N9) virus in East Asia

Fuller, T. L.; Havers, F.; Xui, C.; Fang, L.; Cao, W.; Shu, Y.; Widdowson, M.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Journal of Infection 69(2), 174–181


Spillover of pH1N1 to swine in Cameroon: an investigation of risk factors

Larison, B.; Njabo, K. Y.; Chasar, A. C.; Fuller, T.; Harrigan, R.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | BMC Veterinary Research 10(55)


A continental risk assessment of West Nile virus under climate change

Harrigan, R. J.; Thomassen, H.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Global Change Biology 2014, 20 (8), 2417–2425


Putative human and avian risk factors for avian influenza virus infections in backyard poultry in Egypt

Sheta, B. M.; Fuller, T.; Larison, B.; Njabo, K. Y.; Ahmed, A. S.; Chasar, A.; Aziz, S. A.; Khidr, A. A.; Elbokl, M. M.; Habbak, L. Z.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2014 | Veterinary Microbiology 168(1), 208–213


Metapopulation dynamics enable persistence of Influenza A, including A/H5N1, in poultry

Hosseini, P. R.; Fuller, T.; Harrigan, R.; Zhao, D.; Arriola, C. S.; Gonzales, A.; Miller, M. J.; Xiao, X.; Smith, T. B.; Holland Jones, J.; Daszak, P.

Published Work | 2014 | PLoS ONE 8(12)


Pathogen-host associations and predicted range shifts of human Monkeypox in response to climate change in Central Africa

Thomassen, H. A.; Fuller, T. L.; Asefi-Najafabady, S.; Shiplacoff, J. A.; Mulembakani, P. M.; Blumberg, S.; Johnston, S. C.; Kisalu, N. K.; Kinkela, T. L.; Fair, J. N.; Wolfe, N. D.; Shongo, R. L.; LeBreton, M.; Meyer, H.; Wright, L. L.; Muyembe, J.; Buermann, W.; Okitolonda, E.; Hensley, L. E.; Lloyd-Smith, J. O.; Smith, T. B.; Rimoin, A. W.

Published Work | 2013 | PLoS ONE 8(7)


Novel statistical methods for integrating genetic and stable isotope data to infer individual-level migratory connectivity

Rundel, C. W.; Wunder, M. B.; Alvarado, A. H.; Ruegg, K. C.; Harrigan, R.; Schuh, A.; Kelly, J. F.; Siegal, R. B.; DeSante, D. F.; Smith, T. B.; Novembre, J.

Published Work | 2013 | Molecular Ecology 22(16), 4163–4176


Intraspecific morphological and genetic variation of common species predicts ranges of threatened ones

Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Peralvo, M.; Wolfgang, B.; Mila, B.; Kieswetter, C. M.; Jarrin-V, P.; Cameron Devitt, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R. M.; Schluneggar, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C. H.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2013 | Proceedings of the Royal Society Biology 280(1763)


Predicting bird song from space

Smith, T. B.; Harrigan, R. J.; Kirschel, A. N.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Blumstein, D. T.; de Kort, S. R.; Slabbekoorn, H.

Published Work | 2013 | Evolutionary Applications 6(6), 865–874


Predicting hotspots for influenza virus reassortment

Fuller, T. L.; Gilbert, M.; Martin, V.; Cappelle, J.; Hosseini, P.; Njabo, K. Y.; Aziz, S. A.; Xiao, X.; Peter, D.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2013 | Emerging Infectious Diseases 19(4), 581–588


A preliminary assessment of the effectiveness of the Mesoamerican Biological Corridor for protecting potential Baird’s tapir (Tapirus bairdii Gill, 1865) habitat in Southern Mexico

Mendoza, E.; Fuller, T. L.; Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Ramirez-Mejia, D.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2013 | Integrative Zoology 8(1), 35–47


Feeding habits of culicine mosquitos in the Cameroon lowland forests based on stable isotopes and blood meal analyses

Njabo, K. Y.; Smith, T. B.; Yohannes, E.

Published Work | 2013 | Journal of Parasitology and Vector Biology 5, 6–12


A national study of individuals who handle migratory birds for evidence of avian and swine influenza virus infections

Shafir, S. C.; Fuller, T.; Smith, T. B.; Rimoin, A. W.

Published Work | 2012 | Journal of Clinical Virology 54(4), 364–367


Pandemic A/H1N1/2009 influenza virus in Swine, Cameroon, 2010

Njabo, K. Y.; Fuller, T. L.; Chasar, A.; Pollinger, J. P.; Cattoli, G.; Terregino, C.; Monne, I.; Reynes, J.; Njouom, R.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2012 | Veterinary Microbiology 156, 189–192


The ecology of emerging infectious diseases in migratory birds: an assessment of the role of climate change and priorities for future research

Fuller, T.; Bensch, S.; Muller, I.; Novembre, J.; Perez-Tris, J.; Ricklefs, R. E.; Smith, T. B.; Waldenstrom, J.

Published Work | 2012 | EcoHealth 9, 80–88


Host and habitat specialization of avian malaria in Africa

Loiseau, C.; Harrigan, R. J.; Robert, A.; Bowie, R. C.; Thomassen, H. A.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Molecular Ecology 21(2), 431–441


Diversification in Adelomyia hummingbirds follows Andean uplift

Chaves, J. A.; Weir, J. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Molecular Ecology 20(18), 4564–4576


Rapid influenza A detection and quantitation in birds using a one-step real-time reverse transcriptase PCR and high resolution melting

Curd, E.; Pollinger, J.; Toffelmier, E.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Journal of Virological Methods 176, 125–130


Patterns of divergence in the olive sunbird Cyanomitra olivacea (Aves: Nectariniidae) across the African rainforest–savanna ecotone

Smith, T. B.; Thomassen, H. A.; Freedman, A. H.; Sehgal, R. N.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Pollinger, J.; Milá, B.; Pires, D.; Valkiūnas, G.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 2011 | Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 103(4), 821–835


Mapping evolutionary process: a multi-taxa approach to conservation prioritization

Thomassen, H. A.; Fuller, T.; Buermann, W.; Milá, B.; Kieswetter, C.; Jarrín-V, P.; Cameron, S. E.; Mason, E.; Schweizer, R.; Schlunegger, J.; Chan, J.; Wang, O.; Peralvo, M.; Schneider, C. J.; Graham, C. H.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Evolutionary Applications 4(2), 397–413


Human-induced morphological shifts in an island lizard.

Marnocha, E.; Pollinger, J.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2011 | Evolutionary Applications 4(2), 388–396


Evolutionary principles and their practical application

Hendry, A. P.; Kinnison, M. T.; Heino, M.; Day, T.; Smith, T. B.; Fitt, G.; Bergstrom, C.; Oakeshott, J.; Jørgensen, P. S.; Zalucki, M.; Southerton, S.; Sih, A.; Denison, R. F.; Carroll, S. P.

Published Work | 2011 | Evolutionary Application 4(2), 159–183


Nonspecific patterns of vector, host and avian malaria parasite associations in a Central African rainforest

Njabo, K. Y.; Cornel, A. J.; Bonneaud, C.; Toffelmier, E.; Sehgal, R. N.; Valkiunas, G.; Russell, A. F.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Molecular Ecology 20(5), 1049–1061


Economic conditions predict prevalence of West Nile virus

Harrigan, R. J.; Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Cummings, R. F.; Kahn, M. E.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | PLoS ONE 5(11)


Using remote sensing to map the risk of human monkeypox virus in the Congo Basin

Fuller, T. H.; Thomassen, H. A.; Mulembakani, P. M.; Johnston, S. S.; Lloyd-Smith, J. O.; Kisalu, N. K.; Lutete, T. K.; Blumberg, S.; Fair, J. N.; Wolfe, N. D.; Shongo, R. L.; Formenty, P.; Meyer, H.; Wright, L. L.; Muhembe, J.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S. S.; Okitolonda, E.; Hensley, L.; Smith, T. B.; Rimoin, A. W.

Published Work | 2010 | EcoHealth 8(1), 14-25


Projected changes in elevational distribution and flight performance of montane neotropical hummingbirds in response to climate change

Buermann, W.; Chaves, J. A.; Dudley, R.; Mcguire, J. A.; Smith, T. B.; Altshuler, D. L.

Published Work | 2010 | Global Change Biology 17(4), 1671–1680


Human impacts flatten rainforest-savanna gradient and reduce adaptive diversity in a rainforest bird

Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; Mitchard, E. T.; DeFries, R. S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | PLoS ONE 5(9)


Spatially explicit predictions of blood parasites in a widely distributed African rainforest bird

Sehgal, R. N.; Buermann, W.; Harrigan, R. J.; Bonneaud, C.; Loiseau, C.; Chasar, A.; Sepil, I.; Valkiunas, G.; Iezhova, T.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Procedings of the Royal Society B 278, 1025–1033


Spatial modelling and landscape-level approaches for visualizing intra-specific variation

Thomassen, H. A.; Cheviron, Z. A.; Freedman, A. H.; Harrigan, R. J.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Molecular Ecology 19(17), 3532–3548


Mapping the risk of avian influenza in wild birds in the U.S.

Fuller, T.; Saatchi, S.; Curd, E. E.; Toffelmier, E.; Thomassen, H.; Buermann, W.; DeSante, D. F.; Nott, M. P.; Saracco, J. F.; Ralph, C. J.; Alexander, J. D.; Pollinger, J. P.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | BMC Infectious Diseases 10(187)


Spatial variation of haemosporidian parasite infection in African rainforest bird species

Loiseau, C.; Iezhova, T. A.; Balkiunas, G.; Chasar, A.; Hutchinson, A.; Buermann, W.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2010 | Journal of Parasitology 96, 21–29


Modeling environmentally associated morphological and genetic variation in a rainforest bird, and its application to conservation prioritization

Thomassen, H. A.; Buermann, W.; Mila, B.; Graham, C. H.; Cameron, S. E.; Schneider, C. J.; Pollinger, J. P.; Saatchi, S.; Wayne, R. K.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2010 | Evolutionary Applications 3(1), 1–16


Prevalence and diversity patterns of avian blood parasites in degraded African rainforest habitats

Chasar, A.; Loiseau, C.; Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2009 | Molecular Ecology 18(19), 4121–4133


Coquillettidia (Culicidae, Diptera) mosquitoes as new natural vectors of avian malaria in Africa

Njabo, K. Y.; Cornel, A. J.; Sehgal, R. N.; Loiseau, C.; Buermann, W.; Harrigan, R. J.; Pollinger, J.; Valkiūnas, G.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Malaria Journal 8


The prevalence of avian Plasmodium is higher in undisturbed tropical forests of Cameroon

Bonneaud, C.; Sepil, I.; Milá, B.; Buermann, W.; Pollinger, J.; Sehgal, R. N.; Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T. A.; Saatchi, S.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Journal of Tropical Ecology 25, 439–447


Character displacement of song and morphology in African tinkerbirds

Kirschel, A. N.; Blumstein, D. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2009 | Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106, 8256–8261


New malaria parasites of the subgenus Novyella in African rainforest birds, with remarks on their high prevalence, classification and diagnostics

Valkiūnas, G.; Iezhova, T. A.; Loiseau, C.; Chasar, A.; Smith, T. B.; Sehgal, R. N.

Published Work | 2008 | Parasitology Research 104, 1061–1077


Modeling the effects of anthropogenic habitat change on savanna snake invasions into African rainforest

Freedman, A. H.; Buermann, W.; LeBreton, M.; Chirio, L.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2008 | Conservation Biology 23(1), 81-92


Measuring and modeling biodiversity from space

Gillespie, T. W.; Foody, G. M.; Rocchini, D.; Giorgi, A. P.; Saatchi, S.

Published Work | 2008 | Progress in Physical Geography 32, 203–221


The importance of conserving evolutionary processes

Smith, T. B.; Grether, G.

Published Work | 2008


Preface to the special issue: Evolutionary change in human-altered environments

Smith, T. B.; Bernatchez, L.

Published Work | 2007 | Molecular Ecology 17(1), 1–8



Evolutionary consequences of human disturbance in a rainforest bird species from Central Africa

Smith, T. B.; Mila, B.; Grether, G. F.; Slabbekoorn, H.; Sepil, I.; Buermann, W.; Saatchi, S.; Pollinger, J. P.

Published Work | 2007 | Molecular Ecology 17(1), 58–71


Hunting of mammals reduced seed removal and dispersal of the Afrotropical tree, Antrocaryon klaineanum (Anacardiaceae).

Wang, B. C.; Sork, V. L.; Leong, M. T.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2007 | Biotropica 39(3), 340–347


Continental-scale patterns of canopy tree composition and function across Amazonia

ter Steege, H.; Pitman, N. C.; Phillips, O. L.; Chave, J.; Sabatier, D.; Duque, A.; Molino, J.; Prevost, M.; Spichiger, R.; Castellanos, H.; Hildebrand, P.; Vasquez, R.

Published Work | 2006 | Nature 443, 444–447


A southern California freeway is a physical and social barrier to gene flow in carnivores

Riley, S. P.; Pollinger, J. P.; Sauvajot, R. M.; York, E. C.; Bromley, C.; T. L.

Published Work | 2006 | Molecular Ecology 15(7), 1733–1741


Current and historical factors influencing patterns of species richness and turnover of birds in the Gulf of Guinea highlands.

Smith, C. H.; Smith, T. B.; Languy, M.

Published Work | 2005 | Journal of Biogeography 32, 1371–1384


Further observations on the blood parasites of birds in Uganda

Valkiunas, G.; Sehgal, R. N.; Iezhova, T. A.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2005 | Journal of Wildlife Diseases 41(3), 580–587


Blood parasites of some West African rainforest birds

Sehgal, R. N.; Jones, H. I.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2005 | Journal of Veterinary Medical Science 67(3), 295–301


Putting process on the map: Why ecotones are important for preserving biodiversity

Smith, T. B.; Saatchi, S.; Graham, C.; Slabbekoorn, H.; Spicer, G.

Published Work | 2005 | Phylogeny and Conservation


Conservation in conflict: The tale of two endangered species

Roemer, G. W.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 2003 | Conservation Biology 17(5), 1251–1260.


Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation

Turner, W.; Spector, S.; Gardiner, N.; Fladeland, M.; Sterling, E.; Steininger, M.

Published Work | 2003 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(6), 306–314


A comparative analysis of PCR-based detection methods for avian malaria

Richard, F. A.; Sehgal, R. N.; Jones, H. I.; Smith, T. B.

Published Work | 2002 | Journal of Parasitology 88(4), 819–822


Considering evolutionary processes in conservation biology

Crandall, K. A.; Bininda-Emonds, O. R.; Mace, G. M.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 2000 | Trends in Ecology and Evolution 15(7), 290–295



Evolutionary consequences of extinctions in populations of a Hawaiian honeycreeper

Smith, T. B.; Freed, L. A.; Lepson, J. K.; Carothers, J. H.

Published Work | 1995 | Conservation Biology 9(1), 107–113


The preservation of process: the missing element of conservation programs

Smith, T. B.; Bruford, M. W.; Wayne, R. K.

Published Work | 1993 | Biodiversity Letters 1(6), 164–167