Scott Rinnan

Quantitative Ecology and Resource Management, University of Washington


Quantifying sensitivity and exposure to climate change in Western North American species

For my master’s degree, I developed two metrics for quantifying different aspects of vulnerability to climate change in a variety of different species. Climate breadth quantifies sensitivity — the degree to which a given change in climate will affect a species — and the index of exposure quantifies exposure — how much climate change a species might experience in the near future. Using these metrics, we can identify which species might be most vulnerable to climate change before we start seeing the inevitable consequences of vulnerability, such as decreasing population numbers or shrinking habitat. This work was part of a broader study that compared different methods for assessing vulnerability to climate change, and was done with Joshua Lawler.


Population dynamics of competing species in a changing climate

I am developing a deterministic model that predicts the dynamics of species populations that are competing for the same resources in a shifting window of suitable habitat. The model uses integrodifference equations to incorporate dispersal ability, density dependence, and interspecific competition. This work is being done with Mark Kot, and is funded by a grant from the National Science Foundation.




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