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2019 SRE Project

Climate change as a driver of change in human-wildlife interactions

Mentors:
Dr. Luis Carrasco, Mathematics, Shippensburg Univ.; Visiting Scholar, NIMBioS and Mathematics, Univ. of Tennessee
Dr. Mona PapeĊŸ, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology; Director, Spatial Analysis Lab at NIMBioS, Univ. of Tennessee
Greg Wiggins, NIMBioS Education & Outreach Coordinator

Participants: Ellie Lochner (Mathematics, Univ. of Wisconsin); Brandyn Ruiz (Statistics and Applied Math, Arizona State Univ.); Abigail Williams (Biology & Mathematics, Salem College)

Climate photo. Project Description. Animals are “on the move.” Climate change is affecting animal distributions, pushing some species outside their usual ranges. Other effects on animal species include changes in behavior or seasonality patterns, such as migration or breeding timing. Changes in interactions between animal species and human populations should therefore be expected, especially for regions where the climate is changing more rapidly. We will use the case of crops pollinated by wild pollinator species as an example of human-wildlife interactions that are potentially threatened by climate change. Using GIS and spatial modeling techniques, the goal of this project is to identify changes in distribution of wild pollinators that are crucial for the natural pollination of target crops. The students will use future climate projections and ecological niche modeling to produce projected species distributions. The detection of regions where climate change will severely affect wild pollinator distributions will allow the creation of vulnerability maps identifying where agricultural activities might be severely jeopardized in the near future.

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NIMBioS is supported by the National Science Foundation through NSF Award #DBI-1300426, with additional support from The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
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