Species Distribution Modeling Fellow
Environmental Resilience Institute
IU Office: Sycamore Hall 304
Email Address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Pascal Title is primarily interested in the factors that shape species ranges, and how these relate to species’ ability to adapt to environmental change. Prior to joining the Environmental Resilience Institute as the species distribution modeling fellow, Title worked with Dr. Dan Rabosky at the University of Michigan, where he examined a wide range of systems to explore how patterns of species diversity relate to the geographic and environmental context within which those species evolved. Title also completed a master’s degree with Dr. Kevin Burns at San Diego State University, where he worked on the diversification and climatic preferences of Neotropical tanagers, one of the dominant groups of birds in Central and South America.
Broadly, Title focuses on acquiring a greater understanding of how biodiversity patterns have formed over evolutionary timescales, with the goal of applying this knowledge to current systems under a changing climate.
Species distribution modeling - By pairing habitat and climatic data with the presence and absence of species from museum collections, survey efforts or citizen science initiatives, scientists can build models to explain how a species is distributed geographically. Such models have many applications, and Title will use these approaches to study how birds might be expected to respond to environmental change. In particular, these methods can be used to evaluate the importance of various factors in the successful maintenance of species populations, and how species' geographic ranges might shift in response to altered habitats across the landscape.
Macroevolution and biogeography - The spatial biodiversity patterns that we see today are the product of factors that have influenced species generation, extinction and dispersal over evolutionary timescales. By analyzing how different parts of the tree of life differ in the way that species form and go extinct, scientists can make inferences about which factors were important for different groups of organisms at different points in time and in different regions. Information gained by analyzing large-scale patterns of biodiversity can potentially provide Title and his peers with novel insight into how different species might respond to changing environmental conditions in the present and into the future.