Hillary Young is a community ecologist in the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Young received a B.A. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She then received an M.A. in Environmental Management at Yale University where she focused on applied forest management questions. Her PhD in Biology at Stanford University examined cascading effects of changes in plant communities on whole ecosystem and community structure. As a postdoctoral researcher jointly affiliated at Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University she examined the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on mammal communities and ultimately, on zoonotic diseases.
The goal of research in the Young lab is to understand how and when anthropogenic disturbances are likely to drive cascading changes in whole community structure and function. Much of our current work is focused on understanding the impacts such shifts have upon human and wildlife health. While we explore these questions using a broad range of tools (including stable isotopes, biogeochemistry, animal tracking, museum collections, and macroecological comparative approaches) our work is fundamentally driven by field observations and experimental manipulations. Please see the Young lab website for more information.