Justin Nowakowski

Justin Nowakowski

Phone: 770-301-8215
Photo of Justin Nowakowski

Research Interests

Climate change, connectivity, dynamic population and community models, impact evaluation, microclimates, land use, thermal ecology, trait-mediated responses, vertebrates

Biographical Sketch

Justin is a Research Ecologist with the Smithsonian Institution. His research focuses on (1) understanding the broad range of organismal responses to landscape change, (2) identifying intrinsic traits and habitat features associated with variable responses, and (3) linking this information to habitat management and conservation. He has conducted field studies in Central and North America with a wide array of vertebrate taxa and in a variety of systems, including deserts, wetlands, forests, and agricultural lands. Justin’s current research centers on evaluating the effectiveness of large-scale conservation interventions for maintaining biodiversity, including terrestrial and marine protected areas, forest restoration, and agroforestry initiatives. This research aims to support the larger goal of identifying strategies for supporting both biodiversity and human livelihoods that can be replicated across systems. Looking across spatial scales, he has also studied the influence of land use on functional connectivity and biodiversity maintenance in working landscapes, the biodiversity benefits of single remnant trees in pastures, and how species that persist in agricultural areas tend to come from the same branches of the tree-of-life. This research has relied on advanced geospatial methods and community modeling, biodiversity surveys, experiments, and quantitative synthesis. Justin earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Georgia, a doctoral degree from Florida International University, and was previously a Postdoctoral Scholar at the University of California, Davis. Beyond research, he has worked with the IUCN to assess the status of threatened species in new protected areas and has contributed to outreach and environmental education programs in the communities where he has worked.

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