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Toni Lyn Morelli, Ph.D.

Toni Lyn Morelli is a Research Ecologist at the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center, where she uses field studies, ecological modeling, genetics, and translational ecology to help resource managers conserve species in the face of global change. 

Toni Lyn grew up near Detroit and received a B.S. in Zoology from Michigan State University. For her Ph.D. at Stony Brook University, she studied lemur behavior, ecology, and genetics in Madagascar. After her Ph.D., Toni Lyn worked as a postdoctoral fellow at UC Berkeley to understand how climate change had affected small mammals and montane meadows over the last century. She has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service, both as a research ecologist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station and as the Technical Advisor to the Democratic Republic of Congo.

Toni Lyn uses translational ecology, species distribution modeling, occupancy modeling, geospatial analysis, population and landscape genetics techniques, and decision analysis to facilitate natural resource management and habitat and species conservation in the face of climate and land use change and invasive species. Current projects include studying the impacts of climate change in boreal ecosystems; helping the National Park Service update its taxonomy and analyze citizen science data; organizing a continent-wide network on Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management; and a continued focus on operationalizing the concept of climate change refugia.

Education and Certifications

  • Ph.D., Stony Brook University

  • B.S. in Zoology, Michigan State University

Affiliations and Memberships*

  • Member of the USGS EMA DEIA Leadership Council, 2022 

  • Member of the NECASC Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee, 2021-2022 

  • Leader of the USGS CASC DEIA Recruitment and Retention Working Group, 2021-2022 

  • Member of the USGS CASC Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Accessibility (DEIA) Leadership Council, 2020-2022 

  • Co-Leader of the CASC Inclusive Mentoring Working Group, 2021-2022 

  • Associate Editor for Conservation Science & Practice, 2018-2022; recognized as 1 of 2 top CSP AEs 

  • Member of the American Geophysical Union 

  • Member of The Ecological Society of America 

  • Member of the Society of Conservation Biology 

  • Member of The Wildlife Society 

Honors and Awards

  • Association of Fish & Wildlife Agencies Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Broad Participation (to NE Regional Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management Network) 

  • University of Massachusetts Department of Environmental Conservation (ECo) Inaugural Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Justice Faculty Award, 2021 

  • USFWS Species Support Partnership (NE Region) Research Grant, 2021-2023

  • USGS Natural Resources Preservation Program (NE Region) Research Grant, 2019-21

  • USGS Ecosystems Mission Area Invasive Species Program Research Grant, 2020-2022 

  • National Climate Adaptation Science Center Research Grant (co-I), 2020-2022 

  • Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center Research Grant, 2019-2020

  • USGS-NPS Natural Resource Preservation Partnership, 2019-2020

  • Second Century Stewardship Fellowship 2018 (Postdoctoral Supervisee)  

  • Community for Data Integration, USGS, 2017 (Co-PI) 

  • Community for Data Integration, USGS, 2018 (Co-PI) 

  • National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources (awarded to the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool Partnership) 

  • YES Internship Awards (x2), USGS, 2017 

  • USGS STAR Award, 2016 

  • National Park Service Grant, Bioblitz Analysis, 2016

Science and Products

*Disclaimer: Listing outside positions with professional scientific organizations on this Staff Profile are for informational purposes only and do not constitute an endorsement of those professional scientific organizations or their activities by the USGS, Department of the Interior, or U.S. Government