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University of Connecticut Mark Urban
Eco-Evolution in Space

We study the ecological and evolutionary mechanisms that shape natural communities across multiple spatial scales

Evolution at Small Spatial Scales

Trends in Ecology & Evolution

We establish a quantitative definition of microgeographic adaptation that standardizes dispersal abilities, enabling this measure to be compared across species.

Plastic and Evolutionary Responses to Climate Change in Amphibians and Reptiles

Evolutionary Applications

Plastic and genetic variation in amphibians and reptiles could buffer some of the formidable threats from climate change, but large uncertainties remain owing to limited data.

Asymmetric Selection and the Evolution of Extraordinary Defences

Nature Communications

Extraordinary defenses can evolve in response to asymmetrical selection when marginal risks of insufficient defense exceed marginal costs of excessive defense.

Evolution Mediates the Effects of Apex Predation on Aquatic Food Webs

Proceedings of the Royal Society

Local adaptation of prey to apex predators can alter local food webs by mediating top-down (predator-dependent) ecological effects.

Contact Information

Mark Urban
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
75 North Eagleville Rd, Unit 3043
Storrs, CT 06269-3043


Office: 860-486-6113
Lab: 860-486-6154
Fax: 860-486-6364


View an example of predator-prey interactions in the video below

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August 2015

Jessie Rack has a number of publications during her NPR fellowship, including one on an emerging salamander pathogen.

July 2015

Read more about Heidi Golden's current field research on Arctic Grayling and the Fishscape project.

June 2015

Jessie Rack is publishing on NPR's page during her AAAS Fellowship this summmer. Her stories cover genetically modified salmon, keeping synthetic estrogens out of waterways , and a new STD app.

Mark Urban and Jonathan Richardson's paper, The evolution of foraging rate across local and geographic gradients in predation risk and competition, was published in The American Naturalist.

May 2015

Mark Urban's paper, Accelerating extinction risk from climate change, was published in Science . The paper concludes that without emissions reductions, as many as 1 in 6 species will be extinct or on the road to extinction by the end of the century. The paper has received much attention, including coverage by the AP, NY Times , BBC , The Washington Post, National Geographic, Smithsonian, Climate Central.

Mark Urban and Jonathan Richardson were interviewed for an article on microgeographic evolution in aeon.

April 2015

Congratulations to Jessie Rack on her AAAS Mass Media Fellowship with NPR this summer!

March 2015

Mark Urban and Jonathan Richardson's research has been referenced in an article on microgeographic evolution studies on .

February 2015

Mark Urban, Louise Lewis, and coauthors have a new publication in Oikos on oomycete infection in Spotted Salamander populations.

January 2015

We are glad to welcome Tim Farkas to the lab as our new post doc.

October 2014

Congratulations to Mark Urban, Linda Deegan and Heidi Golden for receiving a new NSF grant to support research on the adaptation of Arctic grayling to climate change.

See Heidi Golden's Arctic grayling research featured on Frontier Scientists.

September 2014

We are excited to welcome Dana Drake to the lab as our new research assistant/lab manager.

June 2014

We are excited to have two new PhD students join the lab - Chris Nadeau and Annette Evans.

May 2014

Congratulations to Mark Urban for his recent promotion to Associate Professor!

April 2014

2014 is the Year of the Salamander! Our Amphibian Tracker was featured in the April newsletter.

March 2014

Congratulations to Jonathan Richardson for accepting a faculty position in the Biology department at Providence College! Check out Jonathan's eco-evo blog post about his recent TREE article.

February 2014

A new TREE review article by Jonathan Richardson, Mark Urban, and colleagues examines the spatial scale of evolution in nature. Read a blog post about the article on The EEB & Flow by Caroline Tucker.

January 2014

A recent eco-evo blog post by Andrew Hendry highlights our Evolutionary Applications Special Issue on climate change, adaptation and phenotypic plasticity.

Tweets from this month's American Society of Naturalists meeting featured presentations by Jonathan Richardson and Mark Urban on micro-geographic adaptation: