Julia Kelly
Ph.D. Student of Geography • Biogeography, Conservation Biology, Forest Ecology, Avian Diversity • M.A. 2011
Physical Geography

Areas of interest: Island Biogeography, Ecosystem Ecology, Invasive Species, Birds
Faculty Advisor: Tom Veblen

Research Interests

My research interests lie in the field of Biogeography including forest ecology, conservation biology, and island biogeography. I enjoy studying a wide variety of topics concerning species distributions. As an undergraduate at UCLA, I studied an endangered Loggerhead Shrike (Lanius ludovicianus anthonyi) found on Santa Cruz Island, California. I hiked the island's rugged terrain in search of this raptor-like passerine and obtained the first quantitative population estimate. As a master's student at CU, I studied the exotic weevil's (Rhinocyllus conicus) presence on native thistles at treeline in the Rocky Mountains, CO. My dissertation work will take place in the San Juan National Forest of Colorado, and will focus on the response of avian communities to spruce beetle outbreak. The current spruce beetle epidemic is rapidly expanding and has the potential to rework species communities at the landscape scale. My goal is to determine how different bird species are affected by widespread spruce mortality. This is just one way to address the significance of spruce beetle outbreaks for ecosystem services. I love studying biodiversity and the mechanisms that lead to changes in native communities. David Quammen's "The Song of the Dodo," perfectly illustrates my passions within geography.

Thesis

2011 - Invasion success of the exotic weevil (Rhinocyllus Conicus) at high elevations in the Rocky Mountains of Colorado