​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.



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…

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’…

landscape conservation partnership

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.


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


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)


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