As the climate changes, many species are shifting north or to higher elevations. But few are doing so at a rate that matches the rapid pace of climate change, and many are not adapting at all. To assess different species’ vulnerabilities, forecast the potential spread of pests and pathogens, and identify the best locations for protected areas, we need to get better at predicting geographic range shifts and climate adaptation.
Dr. Amy Angert, Canada Research Chair in Evolutionary Ecology, is investigating two leading causes of variation in recent range shifts: evolutionary dynamics and interactions between species. She and her research team aim to determine when and where species interactions, evolution and their interplay accelerate or hinder climate-driven range shifts. Ultimately, their work will lead to better tools for forecasting species distributions and guide management and policy decisions, such as about whether human-assisted migration will be needed to conserve some species as the climate changes.