Justin Bashares in lab with taxidermy animals

Research Expertise and Interest

wildlife, biodiversity, ecology, conservation, sustainability, climate change, human livelihoods

Research Description

Justin Brashares' research in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley combines traditional ecology with interdisciplinary science to study how human activities are rapidly changing oceans, forests and savannas, and to highlight and communicate the everyday consequences of these changes for nature and society. Through these efforts, their work combines biodiversity conservation with economics, anthropology, public health, nutrition, environmental justice and journalism.

In the News

After California’s 3rd-Largest Wildfire, Deer Returned Home While Trees Were ‘Still Smoldering’

When a massive wildfire tears through a landscape, what happens to the animals? In a rare stroke of luck, researchers from the University of California, Berkeley and other universities were able to track a group of black-tailed deer during and after California’s third-largest wildfire, the 2018 Mendocino Complex Fire. The results were published Oct. 28 in the journal Ecology and Evolution.

Camera traps document wildlife’s return to Gorongosa National Park

Mozambique’s civil war, which raged from 1977 to 1992, took a devastating toll on wildlife in the country’s famed Gorongosa National Park, a 1,500-square-mile reserve at the southern tip of Africa’s Great Rift Valley. During the war, violence and food insecurity drove many people to hunt wild animals to feed themselves, resulting in the loss of more than 90% of the large mammals in the park.

Researchers receive grants from Bureau of Cannabis Control

On November 13th, the California Bureau of Cannabis Control (BCC), the lead state agency that regulates commercial licenses for both medical and adult-use cannabis, announced a wave of research grant funding at public universities. Researchers affiliated with the Berkeley Cannabis Research Center received $4.6 million in grants of the $30 million total that was awarded across the state. 

Saving livestock by thinking like a predator

New study describes how getting in the mind of predators — considering the ecology of how they hunt, how their prey behaves and how they interact with the landscape around them — will help farmers and wildlife managers target interventions to discourage wild carnivores from preying on valuable livestock.

Ecological winners and losers of California’s drought

A long-term study led by UC Berkeley and the University of Washington tracked how hundreds of species in Carrizo Plain National Monument valley fared during the historic drought that struck California from 2012 to 2015. It shows surprising winners and losers, uncovering patterns that may be relevant for climate change.

How to feed a starving world? A new center at Berkeley seeks solutions

How to feed a fast-growing world where 900 million people are undernourished? Claire Kremen, a conservation biologist, sees traditional, sustainable practices as the solution. She and a group of Berkeley colleagues are establishing a new Berkeley Center for Diversified Farming Systems to find ways to scale up agroecological practices around the globe. A special report from the College of Natural Resources.

Ecosystems take hard hit from loss of top predators

A new paper reviewing the impact of the loss of large predators and herbivores high in the food chain confirms that their decline has had cascading effects in marine, terrestrial and freshwater ecosystems throughout the world. The study, co-authored by UC Berkeley researchers, highlights the impact “apex consumers” have on the dynamics of fire, disease, vegetation growth, and soil and water quality.

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