Dr. Brett Scheffers
Scheffers joined the University of Florida in 2015 and is a member of the Wildlife Ecology and Conservation Department (WEC). He is a naturalist at heart. Brett loves bird, fish, and frog watching and spends much time trying to find excuses to study them. He enjoys thinking creatively about science - after all why can't a square peg fit into a round hole?
While in the rainforests, Scheffers enjoys climbing trees to study arboreal animal communities in Southeast Asia, the Neotropics, and Madagascar.
His research encompasses the broad topic of global change biology to include how climate change, habitat loss, and the trade of wildlife impacts communities of plants and animals.
Climbing towards a new research horizon
This is a common view for the lab members of the Scheffers' lab--high in the canopy of tropical rainforest trees. Here, plants and animals are highly adapted to living in this high light, dry and often hot environment -- but how will these specie cope with changes in climate? This is a core research theme explored in our lab.
The Old Man Project
In 2015, my long-time friend and collaborator Bert Harris and I decided that we weren't doing enough research together. We carved out a single weekend - Memorial Day - of each year to go to Mt. Mitchell, NC to study the impacts of climate change on bird populations and flower-insect interactions. We figured it will take us 20-30 years of sampling - one weekend each year - to get our first publication from the research. The Old Man Project was born.
The Science of Color: Conservation, Ecology, and Evolution
I have strong interests in understanding the beauty of nature - as a means for conservation (aesthetics), but also in its role in ecology and evolution. Stay tuned for several outputs from ongoing research in the lab.
Society and Nature's responses to climate change
A key interest of mine is to understand how species will respond to climate change. They might hunker down under a log for temporary relief from hot temperatures or they might try to move as they track shifts in their preferred climates. This will raise many dilemmas, spanning ethics to economics, such as what exactly is a native species, what role will society play in protecting novel species, and what criteria do we use to place a valuation on species protection.