Hillary at Palmyra

Welcome to the Young Lab

Research in our lab lies at the intersection of community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and conservation biology. Specifically, we focus on understanding the effects of wildlife loss and human disturbance on community structure and ecosystem function. Recent work has focused mainly on the effects of wildlife loss on human health and well-being. We work at local and global scales and use a range of observational, experimental, and meta-analytical approaches. For opportunities in our lab, please look under the Join Us tab. 


Lab meetings

Lab meetings will resume in the Fall, date and time TBD. All are welcome to attend.  



Click on images below for more information or go to our News tab for more Young Lab related news.

Recent Publications

View recent publications of Young Lab Members here or go to our Publications tabs for more.

It is vital to understand the impacts of fishing pressure on population structure in delicate ecosystems like coral reefs which are often heavily fished and facing multiple stressors. In this study, Professor Young analyzes the effects of fishing on whole system trophic architecture, finding that human harvest does cause significant compressions in food chain length.
PI Hillary Young examines the impact of elevation, habitat type, and gross primary productivity on community structure through a field study of medium and large mammals on Mt. Kenya. Findings show that the lower the elevation, the higher the species richness and relative abundance of the Mt. Kenyan natural habitats.
Sea level rise poses a risk to atolls due to their loss of island building capacity. In this study, PI Hillary Young examines ways to mitigate long-term climate change effects on atolls.
Previous lab member Georgia Titcomb and PI Hillary Young investigate the dynamics between rising livestock populations and declining wildlife numbers. When untreated for parasites, cattle can significantly alter the level and distribution of parasite exposure in wildlife.
PI Hillary Young and lab members Zoe Zilz and Steph Copeland find that coyotes consume marine resources more consistently than previously thought. This study emphasizes the need to further research the role coyotes play in intertidal ecosystems.