Jay Diffendorfer


I'm an applied ecologist working at the Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center.  Trained as an ecologist, I originally worked on spatial ecology and conservation biology, including a USGS-funded post doc at University of Miami modelling reptile and amphibian responses to possible restoration scenarios in the Everglades.  I then worked as an assistant and full professor at San Diego State University, studying relationships between urbanization, fire, and invasive species on a native flora and fauna in southern California. This field-oriented research involved radiotelemetry, capture-recapture, and vegetation studies.  I left San Diego State University and spent 4 years at the Illinois Natural History Survey where my research began to expand into disease ecology and agro-ecosystems.  Since arriving at USGS in 2008, I have continued to expand my research focus and currently work on science related to the energy-environment nexus, ecosystem services, and applied ecology. For more, please refer to my ResearchGate page.



University of Kansas, Ph.D., (Ecology), 1995
Ohio University, BS, (Wildlife Biology), 1989


Positions Held

2014-            Research Scientist and Supervisor, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, USGS, Lakewood, Colorado
2008-2014    Research Scientist, Geosciences and Environmental Change Science Center, USGS, Lakewood, Colorado
2004-2008    Associate Scientist, Illinois Natural History Survey, Champaign, Illinois
1998-2004    Assistant/Associate Professor, San Diego State University, San Diego, California
1995-1998    Postdoctoral research with USGS, University of Miami, Miami, Florida