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Will Turner

Research Associate (STEP 2004-2006)

My research concerns the distribution of species and of species diversity in space, from local to global scales. Based on this work, I explore methods for sustaining and restoring nature. At Princeton, David Wilcove and I are assessing the state of imperiled species in Florida's Lake Wales Ridge. Within this ecosystem, we are developing decision tools for more efficient allocation of management actions given scarce resources. Elsewhere, I have found human-dominated areas to be both fertile ground for basic research and critical targets for successful conservation. As a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona, I created the Tucson Bird Count (, an ongoing, community-based program which monitors birds at more than 1000 sites in the Tucson area. There, I modeled the scale-dependent relationships between bird species and their habitats in fragmented landscapes, and -- using simulation -- evaluated alternative "future Tucsons" to determine development and restoration strategies best able to sustain native birds. Other recent projects include improving methods for estimating species diversity, and understanding scale-dependence in species-area relationships.


Turner, W. R., T. Nakamura and M. Dinetti. Submitted. Global urbanization and declining baselines of biodiversity.

Turner, W. R. In revision for Oikos. Interpreting fractal properties of species’ geographic ranges.

Tjørve, E. and W. R. Turner. In revision for Global Ecology and Biogeography. The sample-isolate model of species-area relationships at the landscape scale.

Turner, W. R. 2003. Where are Tucson's birds? Multiscale models, shifting baselines, and alternative futures. Ph.D. Dissertation. University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA.

Turner, W. R. 2003. Citywide biological monitoring as a tool for ecology and conservation in urban landscapes: the case of the Tucson Bird Count. Landscape and Urban Planning 65:149-166.

Rosenzweig, M. L., W. R. Turner, J. G. Cox, and T. H. Ricketts. 2003. Estimating diversity in unsampled habitats of a biogeographical province. Conservation Biology 17:864-874.

Turner, W. R. 2003. The Tucson Bird Count: 2001-2002 results and analysis. Online at [].

Turner, W. R. 2002. Bird banding at Tumacácori National Historical Park, AZ: 2002 report to the National Park Service.

Leitner, W. A., and W. R. Turner. 2001. Measurement and analysis of biodiversity. Pages 23-44 in S. Levin, editor. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. Academic Press, San Diego.

Turner, W. R. 2001. Native birds are in trouble in Tucson. Is there hope? Vermilion Flycatcher 45:21-24.

Turner, W. R., W. A. Leitner and M. L. Rosenzweig. 2000. WS2M: Software for the measurement and analysis of species diversity. Version 2.0.1. Program and documentation at [].

Kime, N. M., W. R. Turner, and M. J. Ryan. 2000. The transmission of advertisement calls in Central American frogs. Behavioral Ecology 11:71-83.

Will Turner