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January 31, 2024

12:00pm, PST 1100 TLSB and Zoom

Joseph Curti
UCLA, Dept of EEB

" Using Vertical Gradients of Urban Stressors to Characterize 3D Activity of Mobile Urban Species "

Jointly sponsored by EEB and the La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science


Description: Urbanization is a major force shaping modern distributions of native species, and associated anthropogenic stressors (e.g, artificial light at night and noise) are increasing steadily every year. Research on the ecological impacts of these stressors is generally constrained to how they vary horizontally across the landscape, despite evidence that the vertical air column (the aerosphere) is critical habitat for a range of organisms and ecosystem processes. Bats are an excellent system to investigate three-dimensional responses to urban stressors because they are mobile flying animals that have varying sensitivity to light and sound disturbance, according to their traits. La Kretz Center Postdoctoral Fellow Candidate Joseph Curti’s proposed research will specifically ask 1) in what ways do bat functional groups respond to anthropogenic gradients in the vertical niche, 2) do noise and light stressors interact to influence vertical variability in bat activity and foraging behavior, and 3) are these results generalizable across multiple manifestations of urban centers in California. By studying the relationships of bat traits and variation in anthropogenic stressors in the novel context of vertical strata, he and his project mentors will be able to make recommendations for applied mitigation measures to resource managers and policymakers working in cities.

Project Mentors: Dr. Morgan Tingley (Ph.D.; EEB) & Kat Superfisky (LA City- Urban Ecologist)

Host: LaKretz Center for California Conservation Science