Biology ETDs

Publication Date



One of the most persistent challenges in biology is explaining the distribution of animal taxa. Quantitative explanations for the distribution of organisms are challenged by the complexity of factors that potentially limit a species range, including topography, ecology, climate and biology. Because of limits on data and approaches, early biogeographers were hampered in their ability to explain patterns. Here, I benefit from two primary developments in biogeography. My research draws from the accumulation of data across several scientific disciplines and advances in spatial and statistical approaches to examine the distribution of animal taxa within an integrative biogeography framework. I combine ecological, climatic and genetic data and analyses to address these primary issues with biogeographical distributions: 1, reconstructing the colonization history of taxa, 2, distinguishing between Pleistocene source and Pleistocene refugial populations, 3, understanding how distribution constraints influence population connectivity and the evolutionary potential of species populations and 4, modeling the ecological and genetic parameters that most influence the extirpation of local populations.

Project Sponsors

Nevada Division of Wildlife research grant, 2008; Graduate Research and Development Award, State of New Mexico, 2008; T&E, Inc. Conservation Grant, 2006; American Museum of Natural History, 2005; Alvin R. and Caroline G. Grove Summer Scholarship, University of New Mexico Department of Biology, 2005




Microtus, niche, genetic, extirpation

Document Type


Degree Name


Level of Degree


Department Name

UNM Biology Department

First Committee Member (Chair)

Dragoo, Dr. + Jerry + W.

Second Committee Member

Guralnick, Dr. + Robert + G.

Third Committee Member

Turner, Dr. + Thomas + F.