Andrew Shirk , M.S.

Research Scientist Climate Impacts Group

Andrew’s professional mission is to inform conservation of species and habitats under climate change through collaborative research aimed at identifying factors influencing population viability and habitat suitability over time in dynamic environments.

Areas of Expertise

Conservation Biology Landscape Ecology Population & Landscape Genetics Ecological Modeling Spatial Analysis


Andrew Shirk is a research ecologist with the UW Climate Impacts Group. In collaboration with state and federal agencies and regional conservation groups, he studies the interacting effects of climate change, development, and natural processes on species and their habitats, with special focus on the demographic and genetic viability of populations, connectivity conservation and habitat modeling. He received a B.S. in Biology from Indiana University and a M.S. in Environmental Science from Western Washington University.

Research Interests

Andrew works with government agencies and regional conservation groups to study and model the impacts of climate change and development on ecological processes that support biodiversity, with particular focus on wildlife and forests. His primary research interests include:

  • Modeling the combined influences of climate, developmental impacts, and natural factors on species habitat suitability and connectivity
  • Simulating population dynamics (including population genetics and migration) in complex landscapes under scenarios of climate change, development, natural disturbance regimes, and conservation actions
  • Developing methods to improve our ability to model and simulate species habitat, connectivity, and population dynamics

Select Current Projects

  • Modeling the genetic adaptations, range shifts, and population demographics of three tree species in the Western US under current and future climates
  • Modeling the impacts of climate, development, and natural factors on habitat and connectivity of the greater sage-grouse in the Columbia Basin
  • Monitoring the abundance of marbled murrelets off the Pacific coast of the US