The Hellmann Lab strives to:
- Understand ecological responses to climate and other environmental changes;
- Develop strategies to help people and ecosystems reverse or adapt to these changes;
- Engage in regular dialog with the public to implement such strategies.
Specifically, we do field and laboratory experiments, develop conceptual theories and mathematical models, use genomic techniques (next-generation sequencing (454) and microarrays), and explore the impacts of climatic change to test fundamental processes in ecology and evolution, reveal ecological responses to global change, and form management strategies to improve management of natural resources. Much of the work in our lab aims to predict changes in the geographic distribution of species and explores methods to help species and people adjust to climate change, particularly in insect and plant systems. We often find working with Lepidoptera fun and insightful.
The Lab also leverages our knowledge of ecology and climate science to do interdisciplinary and applied research in climate change adaptation, often with stakeholders in agencies and industry. Adaptation is about reducing the effects of climate change on ecological and humans systems though new and improved management techniques. Our adaptation research, for example, includes the Global Adaptation Index (ND-GAIN), the Collaboratory for Adaptation to Climate Change, and research on the benefits and costs of managed relocation (assisted migration).
Not surprisingly, much of this work overlaps with the Institute on the Environment that Hellmann directs.