Urban Ecology of New Orleans

Urban Ecology is a rapidly growing, dynamic field that explores ecosystems in cities and, more generally, the integration between human systems and ecological systems.   Dr Taylor teaches an undergraduate Urban Ecology class, which focuses on the Ecology of New Orleans and supervises undergraduate research projects in this area.

With co-PIs from Tulane – Mike Blum (EEB), Richard Campanella (Geography / Architecture), and Kevin Gotham (Sociology) as well as from other institutions – Jamie Childs (Epidemiology, Yale) and Amy Lessen (Ecology, Dillard) – we received an award from the NSF’s Coupled Natural and Human Systems (CNH) interdisciplinary program to explore the ongiong effects of, and recovery from, hurricane Katrina within the urban landscape of New Orleans. Within the CNH project, our lab is using network ideas to model spatial population dynamics of Norway rats and disease risk from rats in New Orleans. This work is led by postdoctoral researcher Rosalyn Rael.

Our new monarch butterfly project also has a strong local and Urban Ecology component as we examine how planting of milkweed in New Orleans and nearby influences the phenology and behavior of monarch butterflies. Undergraduate students interested in participating on the monarch project should contact Caz Taylor or graduate student, Christen Steele, to find out about opportunities.