Zachary MacDonald, Ph.D.
UCLA La Kretz Center for Conservation Science
Zachary MacDonald is broadly interested in ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that structure biodiversity in space and time. Throughout his Ph.D. at the University of Alberta, much of Zac’s work focused on conservation applications of theoretical ecology, evaluating relationships between habitat loss, habitat fragmentation, and emergent patterns of species diversity. Since then, Zac has focused on evaluating effects of habitat and climate changes on a reduced number of species, but in greater detail. Much of this research is aimed at advancing the field of landscape genomics, providing a valuable toolkit for identifying present and future threats to species of conservation concern. As a La Kretz Center Postdoctoral Fellow in the Shaffer Lab, Zac is now applying landscape genomics to a number to of threatened and alpine butterfly species throughout western North America to better inform conservation practice.