Research

I am broadly interested in understanding the factors that influence species’ distributions typically over large spatial extents, but increasingly use spatial and temporal data of varying resolutions to capture the importance of factors operating over multiple scales. Multiple global drivers of species’ declines including climate change and habitat loss are resulting in species’ range shifts in some cases and not in others. Understanding which factors constrain species’ responses to these drivers is critically important from both theoretical and applied perspectives. Gaining inferential insight and the development of ecologically-informed predictions of the consequences of multiple threats is needed to both advance our understanding of systems and to develop scientifically based management strategies. Below highlights my dominant research themes.

Please be in touch if you are interested in discussing potential collaborations. Email: ilona.naujokaitis-lewis [at] canada [.] ca

Research themes

1. Improving predictions of species and community responses to climate change and land-use change

Projects, collaborations, relevant publications

  • Factors influencing species range dynamics
  • Climate change vulnerability assessments for terrestrial wildlife
  • Drivers of native pollinator declines: role of landscape and climate change in agroecosystems
  • Pollination potential modeling: national assessment

NAUJOKAITIS-LEWIS,  I, JMR Curtis, L Tischendorf, D Badzinski, K Lindsay, M-J Fortin. Uncertainties in coupled species distribution–metapopulation dynamics models for risk assessments under climate change. Diversity and Distributions 19: 541–554. Special issue: Risks, Decisions, and Biological Conservation. DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12063

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2. Climate change adaptation strategies for biodiversity conservation

Projects, collaborations, relevant publications

  • Importance of timing of conservation actions under climate change
  • Systematic conservation planning
  • Prioritisation of resources for conservation

Tulloch, AIT, P Sutcliffe, I NAUJOKAITIS-LEWIS, R Tingley, L Brotons, KM PMB Ferraz, H Possingham, A Guisan, JR Rhodes. 2016. Conservation planners tend to ignore improved accuracy of modelled species distributions to focus on multiple threats and ecological processes. Biological Conservation 199:157-171. DOI: dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.biocon.2016.04.023

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3. Accounting for uncertainties to improve biodiversity conservation

There are many types of uncertainty. Imperfect or incomplete information is one type of uncertainty that can affect conservation. Rarely do we have perfect knowledge. And while having more information may be better, decision-making for conservation needs to occur despite this. My research on this types focuses both on methods for accounting for uncertainties (Naujokaitis-Lewis & Curtis 2016), understanding species responses to threats in the face of uncertainties (Naujokaitis-Lewis et al 2013), and evaluating when and where uncertainties are affecting threatened species recovery and management (Naujokaitis-Lewis et al 2009).

Projects, collaborations, relevant publications

  • Advancing global sensitivity analyses of population viability analyses for threatened species recovery planning and management
  • Partitioning variation associated with multiple types of uncertainties in the context of climate change
  • Effect of spatial and temporal resolution on species distribution modeling
  • Simulating (uncertainty in) landscape-level habitat dynamics

NAUJOKAITIS-LEWIS, I. and JM Curtis. 2016. Advances in global sensitivity analyses of demographic-based species distribution models to address uncertainties in dynamic landscapes. PeerJ 4 e2204. DOI: doi.org/10.7717/peerj.2204

NAUJOKAITIS-LEWIS,  I, JMR Curtis, J Rosenfeld, and P Arcese. 2009. Sensitivity analyses of spatial population viability analysis models for species at risk and habitat conservation planning. Conservation Biology 23: 225-229. DOI: 10.1111/j.1523-1739.2008.01066.x [PDF]

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