Susan Cameron Devitt
PhD Ecology, University of California-Davis, 2008
Current Position: Senior Data Scientist, Sense Corp
Susan Cameron Devitt is an ecologist and conservation biologist who studies how climate change shapes patterns of biodiversity.
Susan completed a PhD 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 BS 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 studied how past climate change has affected contemporary diversity patterns. She worked 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 developed models to predict how species may have adapted or migrated in response to climate change and test these models with genetic data.
Scott V. Edwards, Organismic & Evolutionary Biology