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Our research group thinks about applied questions related to the distributions of animals, the composition of animal communities, and how animals are responding to global change 


The lab is led by Paul Taillie, who joined the faculty in the UNC-Chapel Hill Department of Geography and the Environment in July 2022 as an assistant professor. 

My research and teaching broadly aim to address the implications of global change for biodiversity conservation. As a problem solver, I'm especially excited by applied questions that address real-world problems. Previously, this work has spanned a variety of spatial scales, focal systems, and taxa, including mountains, coasts, forests, wetlands, fire, hurricanes, birds, bats, voles, and rats. Most recently, I'm really excited about coasts and islands because of the unique animals they support, but also because of their vulnerability to rising sea levels. Methodologically, I try to harness the benefits of well-designed field studies, rigorous analytical tools and data science principles, emerging technologies for monitoring elusive wildlife (e.g. camera traps), and remotely-sensed earth observation data (e.g., satellite imagery).

If any of these topics are interesting, get in touch!

In The Field!

As soon as the semester ended, Harrison headed "down east" to resample some vegetation plots that were originally established 20 years ago! We're excited to dig into these data to learn more about the climatic drivers of vegetation change in low-lying coastal areas like Dare, Tyrrell, and Hyde Counties. 


Foot travel can be challenging in coastal wetlands. We typically refer to the "ground" as the "marsh platform," which is mostly decaying organic matter held together by a strong network of plant roots. Except where the marsh platform breaks apart, creating large holes that are easy to fall into.


In The News!

Armadillos have been expanding northward across the US South. But why?

Charlotte Observer 




Paul chatted with WCHL about how coastal wildlife are responding to climate change and the importance of coastal wetlands.

Listen to the segment

Paul's research from his postdoc was featured in Wired Magazine Link



New Paper

In our latest study from the Flordia Keys, we document in unprecedental detail how species are shifting upslope in response to rising sea level. Using radiotelemetry to track an endangered rodent through swamps at night, we compared the elevational range of this species between 2004 and 2021. While many recent studies are documenting these types of shifts for plants, it has proved much more difficult for animals. Our results provide some of the first concrete examples of how animals are shifting upslope, and what that means for their conservation.

Here's a quick video of an engangered silver rice rat being released into a dwarf mangrove swamp in the Florida Keys after being captured and fitted with a telemetry collar. 

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