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Author ORCID Identifier


Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program

Environmental Conservation

Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Toni Lyn Morelli

Second Advisor

Chris S. Sutherland

Third Advisor

John A. Litvaitis

Fourth Advisor

L. Scott Mills

Subject Categories

Applied Statistics | Biodiversity | Biostatistics | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology | Forest Management | Population Biology | Zoology


The motivation of my dissertation research was to understand the influence of climate and biotic factors on range limits with a focus on winter-adapted species, including the Canada lynx (Lynx canadensis), American marten (Martes americana), and snowshoe hare (Lepus americanus). I investigated range dynamics along the boreal-temperate ecotone of the northeastern US. Through an integrative literature review, I developed a theoretical framework building from existing thinking on range limits and ecological theory. I used this theory for my second chapter to evaluate direct and indirect causes of carnivore range limits in the northeastern US, using data collected from 6 years (2014–2019) of fieldwork. My third chapter again used this theory and classical understanding of density-dependence to evaluate factors influencing snowshoe hare populations along their trailing edge in the northeastern US. Finally, for my fourth chapter, I used the model outputs from the second chapter to compare current and future distributions based on causal and correlational frameworks given projected changes in snowpack and forest biomass.


Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 4.0 License