About Our Urban Ecology Research Projects
What is Urban Ecology?
Urban ecology is the study of organisms and their relation to the urban environment. This area of study is becoming more and more important both locally, as Tucson urbanizes and expands into new parts of the desert, and globally, as more of the world's population settles in cities. In many cases, urbanization can decrease native biodiversity, while at the same time increasing the biodiversity of non native species. To combat these and other negative effects of urbanization, the field of urban ecology works to inform effective conservation strategies, urban planning, and wildlife management.
What Are We Studying?
Within the field of urban ecology, there is very little focus on the effects urban development has on herpetofauna (reptiles and amphibians) or how herpetofauna behave in an urban context. This makes conservation efforts focused of these species harder to design and carry out due to a lack of information. To help overcome this lack of knowledge, our research focuses on the effects of urban environments and urban fringe development on herpetofauna in order to help inform more effective conservation strategies both within and around the urban environment.
The Stone Canyon project focuses on the effects of urban fringe development on snakes and Gila Monsters, and is our longest running project. The Lizard Urban Ecology project focuses on the urban ecology of Lizards on the University of Arizona campus.
Select a project to learn more about its goals and research methods.