Fellows

Susan Cameron Devitt

Current Position: 

Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer, Environmental Science Institute, University of Texas
Kernan Brothers Environmental Fellow: 2008-2010

Faculty Host: 

Susan Cameron Devitt is an ecologist and conservation biologist who studies how climate change shapes patterns of biodiversity. Susan recently completed a Ph.D. in Ecology with an emphasis in Conservation Ecology at the University of California Davis, where she was a member of the department of Environmental Science and Policy. Previously she earned a B.S. in Biology at the University of Texas at Austin. Susan’s thesis explored the role of Quaternary climate change in shaping biodiversity patterns in tropical rainforests, primarily in Australia. She developed, with assistance from collaborators, a spatially-explicit model to predict genetic diversity between populations. In the model, historical climate change explained over 40% of the genetic diversity between populations of an endemic lizard. She is also interested in prioritizing areas for biodiversity conservation, and has collaborated with Australian and Papua New Guinean scientists on identifying conservation areas in southeastern Papua New Guinea.

As the Kernan Brothers Environmental Fellow, Susan will continue to study how past climate change has affect contemporary diversity patterns. She will work with Scott Edwards, professor of Zoology and curator of Ornithology in the Museum of Comparative Zoology, to understand how North American songbirds responded to the last ice age. She will develop models to predict how species may have adapted or migrated in response to climate change and test these models with genetic data.

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

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