IEMM has partnered with resource agencies and organizations around San Diego to engage in applied research in wildlife conservation, land use and resource management. Across a wide range of projects, IEMM scientists and staff provide necessary quantitative expertise, field and laboratory support. Beyond technical skills and research expertise, IEMM is a research entity that serves to coordinate and collaborate applied research throughout San Diego. Below is a selected list of our current and past projects.



Clatterbuck, C.A., Lewison, R.L., Orben, R.A., Ackerman, J.T., Torres, L.G., Suryan, R.M., Warzybok, P., Jahncke, J., Shaffer, S.A. 2021. Foraging in marine habitats increases mercury concentrations in a generalist seabird. Chemosphere.

Schmidt, G.M.,Lewison, R.L., Swarts, H.M. 2021. Pairing long-term population monitoring and wildlife crossing structure interaction data to evaluate road mitigation effectiveness. Biological Conservation.

Conlisk, E., Haeuser, E., Flint, A., Lewison, R.L.Jennings, M.K. 2021. Pairing functional connectivity with population dynamics to prioritize corridors for Southern California spotted owlsDiversity and Distributions. 


Grimes, T.M., Tinker, M.T., Hughes, B.B., Boyer, K.E., Needles, L., Beheshti, K., Lewison, R.L. 2020. Characterizing the impact of recovering sea otters on commercially important crabs in California estuaries. Marine Ecology Progress Series.

Zeller, K.A., Lewison, R.L., Fletcher, R.J., Tulbure, M.G., Jennings, M.K. 2020. Understanding the importance of dynamic landscape connectivity. Land. 

Jennings, M.K., Zeller, K.A., Lewison, R.L. 2020. Supporting adaptive connectivity in dynamic landscapes. Land

Jennings, M.K.Haeuser, E.Foote, D.Lewison, R.L., Conlisk, E. 2020. Planning for dynamic connectivity: operationalizing robust decision-making and prioritizing across landscapes experiencing climate and land-use changeLand.

Verutes, G.M., Johnson, A.M., Caillat, M., Ponnampalam, L.S., Peter, C., Vu, L., Junchompoo, C., Lewison, R.L., Hines, E.M. 2020. Using GIS and stakeholder involvement to innovate marine mammal bycatch risk assessment in data-limited fisheries. PLOS One.  

Chen, H.LLewison, R.L., An, L., Yang, S., Shi, L., Zhang, W. 2020 Understanding the direct and indirect effects of payment for ecosystem services on resource use and wildlife. Anthropocene.

Lemons, G.E.Lewison, R.L., Seminoff, J.A., Coppenrath, C.M., Popp, B.N. 2020. Nitrogen isotope fractionation of amino acids from a controlled study on the green turtle (Chelonia mydas): Expanding beyond Glx/Phe for trophic positionMarine Biology.   

Hines, E., Ponnampalam, L.S., Junchompoo, C., Peter, C., Vu, L., Huynh, T., Caillat, M., Johnson, A.F., Minton, G., Lewison, R.L., Verutes, G.M. 2020. Getting to the bottom of bycatch: a GIS-based toolbox to assess the risk of marine mammal bycatch. Endangered Species Research.

Schmidt, G.M.Lewison, R.L., Swarts, H.M. 2020. Identifying landscape predictors of ocelot road mortality. Landscape Ecology.

Dundas, S.J., Levine, A.S., Lewison, R.L., Samhouri, J.F., White, C., Galloway, A.W.E., Hazen, E.L., Spalding,A., Stier, A., Doerr, A.N., Garza, C., Hill, T., Padilla-Gamino, J., White, J.W., 2020. Integrating Oceans into Climate Policy: Any Green New Deal Needs a Splash of Blue. Conservation Letters, in press. ​
 News Coverage: 
Surf and turf: Green new deal should be a ‘teal new deal’
Oceans should have a place in climate ‘green new deal’ policies, scientists suggest
‘Teal New Deal’
This is how the oceans can be used to help fight climate change

Chen, H.L.Lewison, R.L., An, L., Tsai, Y.H., Stow, D., Shi, L., Yang, S. 2020. Assessing the effects of payments for ecosystem services programs on forest structure and species biodiversity. Biodiversity and Conservation.

Moleón, M., J. A. Sánchez-Zapata, J. A. Donázar, E. Revilla, B. Martín-López, C. Gutiérrez-Cánovas, W. M. Getz, Z. Morales-Reyes, A. Campos-Arceiz, L. B. Crowder, M. Galetti, M. González-Suárez, F. He, P. Jordano, R. Lewison, R. Naidoo, N. Owen-Smith, N. Selva, J.-C. Svenning, J. L. Tella, C. Zarfl, S. C. Jähnig, M. W. Hayward, S. Faurby, N. García, A. D. Barnosky, and K. Tockner. 2020. Rethinking megafauna. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 287:20192643.

Smith, J. G.M. K. Jennings, E. E. Boydston, K. R. Crooks, H. B. Ernest, S. P. D. Riley, L. E. K. Serieys, and R. L. Lewison. 2020. Carnivore population structure across an urbanization gradient : a regional genetic analysis of bobcats in southern California. Landscape Ecology 4.

– 2019 –

Snavely et al. 2019. Mapping vegetation community types in a highly-disturbed landscape: Integrating hierarchical object-based image analysis with lidar-derived canopy height data, International Journal of Remote Sensing.

Trego, M.L., Whitehead, A., Kellar, N.M., Lauf, M., Lewison, R.L. 2019. Tracking transcriptomic responses to endogenous and exogenous variation in cetaceans in the Southern California Bight. Conservation Physiology 7(1): doi:10.1093/conphys/coz018.

​Trego, M.L., Hoh, H., Kellar, N.M., Meszaros, S., Robbins, M.N., Dodder, N.G, Whitehead, A., Lewison, R.L. 2019. Comprehensive Screening Links Halogenated Organic Compounds with Testosterone Levels in Male Delphinus delphis from the Southern California Bight. Environmental Science & Technology 52(5):3101-3109.

Lewison, R.L., Johnson, A.F., Gan, J.B., Pelc, R., Westfall, K., Helvey, M. 2019. Accounting for unintended consequences of resource policy: Connecting research that addresses displacement of environmental impacts. Conservation Letters 2019:e12628.

– 2018 –

Lippitt et al. 2018. Multitemporal MESMA for Monitoring Herbaceous and Other Vegetation Growth Forms in Southern California Shrublands, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 9 (3):655-683

Jennings et al. San Diego State University. San Diego County Ecosystems: Ecological Impacts of Climate Change on a Biodiversity Hotspot. California’s Fourth Climate Change Assessment, California Energy Commission.

Gudino-Elizondo et al. 2018. Modelling ephemeral gully erosion from unpaved urban roads: Equifinality and implications for scenario analysis

Lee et al. 2018. Thermal and hydrodynamic changes under a warmer climate in a variably stratified hypereutrophic reservoir

Taniguchi et al. 2018. Stream channel erosion in a rapidly urbanizing region of the US-Mexico border: documenting the importance of channel hardpoints with Structure-from-Motion photogrammetry

Zeller et al. 2018. Are all data types and connectivity models created equal? Validating common connectivity approaches with dispersal data. Diversity and Distributions

– 2017 –

Jennings and Zeller 2017. Comprehensive multi-species connectivity assessment and planning for the Highway 67 region of San Diego County, California. Final Report prepared for SANDAG Agreement 5004388, Task Order 3. 135 p.

Beland et al. 2017. Oiling accelerates loss of salt marshes, southeastern Louisiana

Tredick et al. 2017. A Rubric to Evaluate Citizen Science Programs for Long-Term Ecological Monitoring

– 2016 –

Jennings and McCreary 2016. An Overview of San Diego County’s Ongoing Feral Pig Eradication Project. Proceedings of the 27th Vertebrate Pest Conference, Newport Beach, CA

Uyeda, K., D. Stow, J. O’Leary, I. Schmidt and P. Riggan, 2016. Spatial Variation of Fuel Loading in Chaparral Within Stands of Varying Ages, Applied Vegetation Science, 19: 267-279.

Rachels et al. 2016. Chaparral Recovery Following a Major Fire with Variable Burn Conditions, International Journal of Remote Sensing, 37: 3836-3883

Storey et al. 2016. Assessing postfire recovery of chamise chaparral using multi-temporal spectral vegetation index trajectories derived from Landsat imagery, Remote Sensing of Environment, 183: 53-64.

– 2015 –

Taniguchi and Biggs 2015. Regional impacts of urbanization on stream channel geometry: A case study in semiarid southern California

– 2014 –

Lee and Biggs 2014. Impacts of land use, climate variability, and management on thermal structure, anoxia, and transparency in hypereutrophic urban water supply reservoirs

– 2013 –

Hamada, Y. D. Stow, D. Roberts, J. Franklin, and P. Kyrakidis, 2013. Assessing and Monitoring Semi-arid Shrublands Using Object-based Image Analysis and Multiple Endmember Spectral Mixture Analysis, Environmental Monitoring and Assessment, 185: 3173

Jennings and Lewison. 2013. Planning for connectivity under climate change: Using bobcat movement to assess landscape connectivity across San Diego County’s open spaces.

Lewison and Deutschman 2013. Framework for Implementing Adaptive Management. Guidelines for best practices with examples of effective monitoring and management

– 2012 –

Deutschman and Strahm 2012. Monitoring and Management in the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program: Results from a Structured Workshop

Lewison et al. 2012. Developing Conceptual Models: Translating Knowledge into Action: Building and implementing an integrated framework for monitoring and management in San Diego County

– 2011 –

Deutschman and Strahm 2011. Four years of vegetation monitoring on the Irvine Ranch open space easements in central Orange County, CA.

Komoroske et al. 2011. Pollutants and the health of green sea turtles resident to an urbanized estuary in San Diego, CA. Chemosphere

Lemons et al. 2011. Trophic ecology of green sea turtles in a highly urbanized bay: Insights from stable isotopes and mixing models.

Lewison et al. 2011. Chemical Analysis of threatened and endangered species in San Diego

Lewison et al. 2011. Identifying critical habitat for an endangered species in San Diego Bay

Deutschman and Strahm 2011. Evaluation and refinement of vegetation monitoring methods for the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program

– 2010 –

Hamada et al. 2010. Quantifying Biological Integrity of California Sage Scrub Communities Using Plant Life-form Cover. Journal of Mediterranean Ecology, 10: 19-32.

Biggs et al. 2010. Land cover following rapid urbanization on the US-Mexico border: Implications for conceptual models of urban watershed processes. Landscape and Urban Planning

Deutschman et al. 2010. Initial evaluation of the status of the Hermes copper (Lycaena hermes)

– 2009 –

Deutschman and Strahm 2009. Improving statistical sampling and vegetation monitoring for TNC easements in central Orange County: Year 2

Deutschman and Strahm 2009. Improving statistical sampling and vegetation monitoring for the San Diego MSCP

– 2008 –

Deutschman et al. 2008. Improving statistical sampling and vegetation monitoring for open space in central Orange County

Deutschman et al. 2008. Using variance components analysis to improve vegetation monitoring for the San Diego Multiple Species Conservation Program (MSCP)

– 2007 –

Stow et al. 2007. Monitoring shrubland habitat changes through object-based change identification with airborne multispectral imagery Remote Sensing of Environment