Museum of Southwestern Biology
Museum of Southwestern Biology

The Museum of Southwestern Biology is a research and teaching facility in the Department of Biology at the University of New Mexico.

open weekdays 8am - 5pm
visitors welcome by appointment
information for visitors

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phone: (505) 277-1360
fax: (505) 277-1351
museum administrator


Museum of Southwestern Biology
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque, NM 87131

University of New Mexico
302 Yale Blvd NE
CERIA 83, Room 204
Albuquerque, NM, USA 87131

Biodiversity Informatics

Future Distribution of Tundra Refugia in Northern Alaska

Climate change in the Arctic is a growing concern for natural resource conservation and management as a result of accelerated warming and associated shifts in the distribution and abundance of northern species. Andrew Hope (PhD 2012 UNM) and colleagues recently introduced a predictive framework for assessing the future extent of Arctic tundra and boreal biomes in northern Alaska. The paper was published in Nature Climate Change and used georeferenced museum specimens to predict the velocity of distributional change into the next century. The paper further compared predicted tundra refugial areas with current land-use. Predicted future refugia overlap managed areas and indicate potential hotspots for tundra diversity. The authors note that to effectively assess future refugia, variable responses among closely related species to climate change warrant careful consideration of both evolutionary and ecological histories.
Tundra Refugia Diagram

Predicting Effects of Climate Change on Riparian Obligate Species in the SW

Riparian vegetation provides crucial habitat for wildlife and is a high conservation priority for land managers throughout the Southwestern US. A central scientific challenge in the region is to generate quantitative predictions of how changes in water availability will affect the amount and quality of riparian wildlife habitat. Collaborating with researchers from Northern Arizona University and the USGS Western Fisheries Research Center, herpetologists at MSB are evaluating the effects of future climate and water flows on the distributions of riparian reptiles. This project builds on recently developed models funded by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and takes advantage of various hydrologic, geomorphic and habitat models to better understand and predict how climate changes will affect critical riparian ecosystems and wildlife in the region. dscn9304.jpg