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Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Organismal Biology

Diane Debinski

Visit my homepage at:
http://www.public.iastate.edu/~debinski/

I pursue research and teaching in the fields of conservation biology, landscape ecology, and restoration ecology. Specific areas of research include biodiversity assessment with remote sensing and GIS applications, metapopulation dynamics, habitat fragmentation, population viability assessment, prairie restoration and agroecology. My major study organisms have been birds and butterflies, but over the years, I have gotten involved in studying spiders in forested ecosystems, aquatic invertebrates living on the bottom of the Chesapeake Bay, pupfish in California deserts, shorebirds in Michigan, rare dragonflies going extinct in the Chicago, hawks in the Rocky Mountain region, and a broad range of biodiversity in the Peruvian rainforest. In the Yellowstone Ecosystem I have a decades worth of field data and satellite-based habitat classification data. I am using these data to build predictive species distribution models under both current conditions and conditions of global climate change. The long-term goal of this project is to identify species and habitats that are most vulnerable to global climate change. In Iowa, I am specifically interested in restoring prairie habitats and their related species. I am using the Regal Fritillary butterfly species as a model to understand how to put the pieces of a prairie ecosystem back together.