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Todd Esque

Dr. Todd Esque's research interests are in disturbance ecology with emphasis in areas of community ecology, herpetology, invasive species and fire, habitat restoration, and conservation biology.

Dr. Esque's work focuses on understanding how organisms, habitats, and ecosystem processes respond to environmental change, how organisms interact to effect change, and how human-induced changes compare to the natural range of variation in arid systems. Recent work focuses on the synthesis of these experiments into regional analyses of habitat suitability and connectivity in response to global change and other anthropogenic disturbances for use by natural resource managers. 

Representative studies include: projects to determine how desert tortoises, Mojave ground squirrels, golden eagles, long-lived plants, and biodiversity will respond to climate change and energy development in a rapidly changing landscape; vegetation change from fires across a 30-year chronosequence in Sonoran desert tortoise habitat; identifying habitat and health relationships for the desert tortoise, and developing a vegetation restoration program for the Mojave Desert. 

Dr. Esque's projects are collaborative and interdisciplinary in nature and he is active in academic research as well as applied problems for public entities in the Department of Interior (Bureau of Land Management, National Park Service, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service), Department of Defense, State and local governments, and private entities.


  • Arid Systems
  • Conservation Biology
  • Disturbance and Restoration Ecology
  • Demographic and Habitat Modeling
  • Community Ecology
  • Invasive Species and Wildfire
  • Energy Development


  • 2004 Ph.D. Ecology Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Nevada, Reno                            
  • 1994 M.S. Zoology, Colorado State University
  • 1982 B.A. Biology, Prescott College, Arizona


  • Desert Renewable Energy Conservation Plan – Science Advisory Committee 2012
  • BLM – Rapid Ecoregional Assessments – lead USGS science reviewer for the Mojave and Sonoran Ecoregions 2013


  • Research Ecologist, USGS, Western Ecological Research Center, 1997-Present
  • Station Leader, USGS, St. George Field Station, 1994-1997
  • Research Ecologist, USGS, Mid-continent Ecological Science Center, 1996- 1997
  • Research Ecologist, National Biological Service (Survey), Mid-continent Ecological Science Center, 1993 - 1996
  • Ecologist, Bureau of Land Management, Dixie Resource Area, Utah, 1993 - 1993
  • Research Technician, Fish and Wildlife Service, Region 8, Research, Ft. Collins, CO 1986-1993