Skip to Search
Skip to Navigation
Skip to Content

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

This website is best viewed using Firefox


May 2016

Congratulations to Chris Nadeau on the successful completion of his general exams.

April 2016

Congratulations to Dr. Jessie Rack on her successful dissertation defense: Antipredator Adaptations of Spotted Salamander Larvae across a Geographic Gauntlet of Predation Risk. Jessie begins teaching at Princeton in the fall!

March 2016

Congratulations to Mark and Jonathan, recipients of the 2016 Presidential Award for the best paper published in The American Naturalist during the preceding calendar year!

KTOO interviewed Mark about the importance of protecting key species from climate change-driven extinction.

Congratulations to Annette Evans on her grant from the Society for the Study of Evolution for her work on color polymorphisms in Plethodon cinereus!

February 2016

Mark Urban and Linda Deegan published an op-ed piece in the NY Times on the effects of climate change experienced this past year in the Arctic.

Annette Evans's paper Mercury Islands and their role in understanding seabird island restoration is available online in the New Zealand Journal of Ecology.

January 2016

Mark's co-authored paper on Evolving Perspectives on Monopolization and Priority Effects is available online in Trends in Ecology and Evolution.

UConn released Climate Change: Predicting the Impact featuring Mark Urban and the research being conducted by him and his colleagues on Arctic Grayling in Alaska.

Mark Urban's Science paper was included as number 15 in Discover's top 100 science news stories from 2015.

UConn Magazine featured the lab's collaborative climate change research being conducted in the Arctic in an article titled Going, going, gone".

Mark's paper co-authored with H. R. Cunningham, L. J. Rissler and L. B. Buckley on abiotic and biotic constraints across reptile and amphibian ranges was selected as Research and Editor's Choice in the latest issue of Ecography.

December 2015

Congratulations to Annette Evans on receiving a Sigma Xi grant for her Plethodon cinereus research.

Mark Urban with 17 UConn faculty and students participated in the COP21 conference on global climate change policy in Paris, France. See some of their blogs, tweets, and Instagrams , and read coverage in The Daily Campus.

November 2015

Congratulations to Annette Evans on her award from the New Zealand Ecological Society for Outstanding Publication by a new career researcher for her recent publication on sugar resources in endemic geckos.

Chris Nadeau's paper on artificial Burrowing Owl burrows and Tim Farkas' paper on fitness trade-offs in pest management are now in print.

September 2015

Mark Urban's recent Science paper was referenced in a CNN report on arctic climate change.

Congratulations to Michael Hutson on the successful completion of his comps!

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 .