Understanding the behavioral and physiological responses of animals to environmental change is critical to predicting how populations will adapt to future change. Globally, urban areas have more than doubled since 1992. Using field-based observation and experimentation, Institue Research Fellow Adam Fudickar's team is identifying the impacts of urbanization on wildlife. This work will be applied in the future to identify innovative strategies for conserving natural resources in areas impacted by human activities.
One example of the researchers’ solution-oriented work is their collaboration with the nonprofit organization, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful (KIB). KIB works across Indianapolis to increase urban green infrastructure and add native plants to the landscape. Fudickar and his team are helping KIB measure the impact of the organization’s work on the animals and plants of Indianapolis. Fudickar's team is also comparing the changes that KIB is making, such as increasing the number of plants and new plant species, with bird population and diversity estimates. These estimates help provide KIB with suggestions for maximizing the impact of its work.