Affiliates: Vertebrates

The 2023 IPBES Invasive Species Assessment indicates that more than 3,500 invasive species with documented negative impacts have been recorded worldwide. Although their numbers are likely to be underestimated and expected to increase, 461 vertebrate species contribute to that statistic, including mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians, and fishes.

Dr. Jonathan Czuba

Assistant Professor
Department of Biological Systems Engineering

Dr. Czuba’s research focuses on the transport of water and sediment in streams and rivers and how that affects the distribution of invasive and native aquatic species, including fish, macroinvertebrates, freshwater mussels, and plants.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Restoration ecology
Joe Drake

Dr. Joe Drake

Postdoctoral Researcher
Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Drake is interested in the intersection of landscape connectivity and population dynamics, bringing together conservation and spatial ecological theory to create more holistic and practical management solutions.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure
Luis Escobar

Dr. Luis Escobar

Assistant Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

A key component of Dr. Escobar’s research is developing theory and methods to study the biogeography of infectious diseases, disease ecology, and invasion biology. Current projects include bat-borne rabies, chronic wasting disease, spatial epidemiology in the Anthropocene, and disease-biodiversity relationships.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics

Dr. Angela Larsen-Gray

Adjunct Faculty
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Larsen-Gray’s research focuses on wildlife ecology in private, working forests throughout the eastern United States.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics

Dr. Joel McGlothlin

Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. McGlothlin studies phenotypic evolution, including how traits of invasive species (such as brown anole lizards) change in response to their new environments following introduction. 

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics

Meryl Mims

Dr. Meryl Mims

Associate Professor
Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Mims’ research investigates how species’ traits and environmental attributes interact to influence community and population structure of aquatic organisms. Her overarching goal is to uncover, understand, and predict differential response of aquatic species to a changing landscape and climate.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure

Dr. Ignacio Moore

Professor
Department of Biological Sciences

Dr. Moore has studied the behavioral ecology and physiology of reproduction and stress in invasive species. Vertebrates of interest include tropical birds, reptiles, and amphibians.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics

Dr. Elizabeth Nyboer

Assistant Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Nyboer is a freshwater ecologist and conservation scientist exploring how anthropogenic stressors affect freshwater ecosystems and the fish, fisheries, and fishing communities they support.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Grace O’Malley

Ph.D. Student
Department of Biological Sciences

O’Malley uses bioacoustic monitoring to aid in invasive species detection and management, and seeks to support the effective conservation of amphibians.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication

Dr. Leighton Reid

Assistant Professor
School of Plant and Environmental Sciences

Dr. Reid studies ecological restoration and community assembly in tropical and temperate terrestrial ecosystems. 

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Restoration ecology
  • Social science, economics, & policy
Haldre Rogers

Dr. Haldre Rogers

Associate Professor
Department of Fish and Wildlife Conservation

Dr. Rogers’ research focuses on population and community ecology, plant-animal interactions, seed dispersal, pollination, food web dynamics, tropical biology, ​ecosystem services, and conservation. A majority of the research is conducted on the Mariana Islands, where due to the introduction of the brown tree snake, Guam’s forests are now functionally without birds.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamic
  • Genetics, genomics, & community/population structure

Dr. Esra Buyuktahtakin Toy

Associate Professor
Grado Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering

Dr. Buyuktahtakin Toy’s research explores optimal management of invasive species with mathematical modeling and artificial intelligence. Past species of interest include the emerald ash borer in North America, Sericea Lespedeza in the Great Plains, and buffelgrass in the Sonoran Desert.

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication
  • Social science, economics, & policy

Paige Van de Vuurst

Ph.D. Student
Translational Biology, Medicine, and Health

Through vampire bats, Van de Vuurst studies the impacts of climate and landscape on the distribution and transmission of zoonotic diseases in Latin America. 

Thematic Area(s):

  • Biology, ecology, & ecosystem dynamics
  • Detection, management, prevention, & eradication