Photo Credit: Stephen Zozaya

Jesse Borden

Ecosystems around the planet are facing a variety of changes and pressures from species loss and invasion to climate change and habitat loss. I am fascinated by how ecosystems as a whole respond to specific changes and disturbances, particularly those that are anthropogenic in nature. For my current research I am looking at forest fragmentation in the Eastern Arc Mountains of Tanzania. These scattered mountain ranges essentially function as island ecosystems with high rates of endemism and biodiversity, and the greatest threat to their forests is habitat loss, resulting in a patchwork of fragmented forests. Forest edging and fragmentation can change the micro-climates available to the species living in forests. My research focuses on how these changes effect arboreal species of ectotherms (specifically frogs and chameleons) which are highly sensitive to changes in temperature and moisture.