Staff Profile
Benjamin J. Crain

Biography

Broadly speaking, my primary research interests cover a diversity of subjects, including Conservation Biology, Rare and Endangered Species Ecology, and Biogeography.  I explore these topics in a variety of unique ecosystems, but I focus predominantly on Global Biodiversity Hotspots such as the California Floristic Province, Mesoamerica, the Tropical Andes, Polynesia & Micronesia, and the Caribbean.  Largely, I focus my research on plants in the family Orchidaceae (the Orchids), however, I have also conducted research on several other plant groups as well as on other study systems including insects, birds, and fish.  My research spans several scales, and I focus on study systems that range from organismal to landscape levels.  My investigations employ a number of different analytical strategies ranging from Population Viability Analyses to Geographic Information System (GIS) modelling.  As an educator, I aim to provide hands on learning experiences that connect ecological and environmental issues with broader interdisciplinary topics.  Using these strategies, I aim to improve our understanding of the important issues facing our planet's species and ecosystems while helping to identify practical solutions to problems leading to biodiversity declines.