Conservation & Community Ecology Across Changing Landscapes



Aaron M. Grade, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Researcher
George Perkins Marsh Institute
Clark University, Worcester, MA
agrade132 “at”

My research resides at the intersection of conservation, animal behavior and communication, landscape ecology, and community ecology. I want to know how wildlife responds to a changing landscape, social systems, and human management, and how these responses are mediated by community interactions and animal behavior. Utilizing experimental, comparative and modeling approaches, we can develop an understanding of the patterns and processes that underlie wildlife response to landscape change.

My research focus is to integrate quantitative modeling, comparative studies, and experimental methods from behavioral, community, and landscape ecology, and to apply research questions and findings to the management and conservation of wildlife and biodiversity across human-dominated landscapes in a socioecological context. I also want to address how environmental injustice and systemic racism influences ecosystems, and how this results in inequities in biodiversity access and ecosystem services.

Current research projects include: Scaling up social factors influencing yard management and landscaping, alternative ecological futures, and habitat structure in residential lands with the American Residential Macrosystems Research Project; human-provided resources, and environmental stress in the Phoenix metropolitan area with the CAP LTER project; and eBird sample selection biases associated with socioeconomic composition of neighborhoods in Boston and Phoenix.

In my dissertation research, I conducted a playback experiment in backyards across an urban gradient to examine the interaction between predator communities, urbanization, and the built environment on the parental behavior and nesting ecology of House Wrens. I also investigated the drivers and filters of community composition and species richness of mammals across the urban gradient.

Research Topics: Avian ecology, bioacoustics and animal communication, behavioral ecology, community ecology, conservation biology, environmental justice, landscape ecology, mammalian ecology, soundscape ecology, urban ecology.

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