Thank you for your interest in graduate work at the Bren School at UCSB. You
will find more information about the Bren School of Environmental Science and
Management at http://www.bren.ucsb.edu
and about my students, staff, research projects and publications at http://www.biogeog.ucsb.edu.
At the Bren School I teach graduate courses in Applied Ecology, Landscape Ecology, Conservation Planning, and Biodiversity Field Survey Methods. Research in my lab is concerned with large-scale patterns in and controls on the distribution of species and with developing strategies for conserving native biodiversity. We make heavy use of digital remote sensing, GIS, and spatial analytical methods to conduct this research.
Since July 2011 I have been the Director of the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS) in downtown Santa Barbara. As a result, I have had to cut back on my teaching and research.
For the next several years I anticipate pursuing the following lines of
research in my lab:
Bringing conservation science and geographical analysis to regional and local land use planning.
Land use planning to conserve and manage scarce natural resources is an ever more important but contentious process. Bringing better knowledge about the distribution and ecology of species and ecosystems into this process is essential and especially challenging for agroecosystems. With funding from the California Energy Commission we are modeling developing new approaches to modelling cumulative impacts of large-scale solar energy development in the California deserts.
Biotic response to climate change in California
In 2011 the National Science Foundation funded a 5-year collaborative research effort to examine the relationships between topographically controlled microclimatic variation, variation in tree species establishment and growth, and microscale-to-regional impacts of climate change. This project, Do microenvironments govern macroecology?, is now in full swing. A summary is available here.
The lab currently includes 3 PhD students (2 in residence) and 2 postdoctoral researchers (1 in residence). We collaborate with many other individuals on campus and from around the world, and often have one or more domestic or international scholars in residence.
Every student is provided with a work station and networked desktop
computer. Normally students are supported on research grants or fellowships,
although occasionally students are employed as teaching assistants or
instructors on campus and several have been employed as research assistants at
At this time I do not anticipate taking on any new Ph.D. students in Fall 2014, but that could change depending on the level of my research funding. In evaluating applicants I consider educational background, research interests, academic record and letters of reference. The Biogeography Lab is very much a team effort and I am looking for students who are excited by scientific research and who enjoy working in a collaborative, interdisciplinary setting.
In general, because of the high cost of out-of-state tuition, I do not admit
foreign students unless they have some financial support. Also, I do not admit
Master's students, but do advise students and groups in the Bren School's MESM
Admission to the Bren School is ultimately decided by our graduate admission committees. I would encourage you to consult the Bren School website and to contact the graduate coordinator to learn more about application procedures. If possible, I would also encourage you to visit the campus and the Biogeography Lab.
Again, thanks for your interest.