Department: Environmental Science, Policy and Management
Dr. Chris Schell studies the intersections of society, ecology, and evolution to understand how wildlife (mainly mammalian carnivores) are rapidly adapting to life in cities. The work of the Schell lab combines behavioral, physiological, and genomic approaches to demonstrate the myriad consequences of historical and contemporary inequites on organismal, population, and community-level dynamics of wildlife. In addition, Dr. Schell and his lab leverage human dimensions and community-engaged data streams to decipher how wildlife adaptation and human perceptions create landscapes of risk that contribute to human-carnivore conflict. This interdisciplinary work requires integrating principles from the natural sciences with urban studies to address how systemic racism and oppression affect urban ecosystems, while simultaneously highlighting the need to environmental justice, civil rights, and equity as the bedrock of biological conservation and our fight against the climate crisis.