Toni Lyn Morelli (she/her)Toni Lyn Morelli

Adjunct Assistant Professor

USGS Research Ecologist


Phone: 413-545-2515


Toni Lyn is a research ecologist that has lived all over the world and now resides in beautiful Western Massachusetts. She is a proud mom of the passionate Darrow; read more about how being a mom has affected her science:

Primary Interests

In her role as USGS Research Ecologist for the NE CSC, Toni Lyn uses species distribution modeling, occupancy modeling, geospatial analysis, and population and landscape genetics techniques, facilitated by translational ecology, to improve conservation in the face of global change.

Current Projects

Currently she is investigating how climate change is affecting species ranges in the northeastern United States; identifying climate change refugia across the world; using citizen science to track biodiversity change; using decision science to drive research questions and improve outcomes; and helping natural resource managers reduce the impacts of climate change and invasive species. You can learn more at:

Courses Taught

ECO 691 – Ecological Impacts of Climate Change

NRC 597 – Conservation and Animal Behavior

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Experience

  • Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee for UMass ECO
  • Member of the USGS CASC Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion (JEDI) Council
  • Representative for the College of Natural Science Climate Advisory Committee
  • Member of the Conservation Science & Practice DEI Committee
  • Member of the Hadley Learns DEI group
  • Volunteer for the Eureka! Girls Inc. summer program
  • Coordinator and tutor for the Prison University Project, San Quentin Prison
  • Collaborator on Empowering Madagascar, using renewable energy to provide light and clean water to rural medical clinics
  • Freewheel bike grant coordinator-fixing and granting used bikes to community members

Recent Grants, Awards, and Fellowships

  • USGS Natural Resources Preservation Program (NE Region) Research Grant, 2019-2021
  • USGS Ecosystems Mission Area Invasive Species Program Research Grant, 2020-2022
  • National Climate Adaptation Science Center Research Grant (co-I), 2020-2022
  • Southwest Climate Adaptation Science Center Research Grant, 2019-2020
  • USGS-NPS Natural Resource Preservation Partnership, 2019-2020
  • S. Forest Service – USGS Interagency Agreement (Co-PI), 2013-2020
  • Northeast Climate Science Center Research Grant (co-I), 2016-2019
  • Community for Data Integration, USGS, 2017 & 2018 (Co-PI)
  • Northeast Climate Science Center Research Grant, 2015-2017
  • National Fish, Wildlife, and Plants 2017 Climate Adaptation Leadership Award for Natural Resources (awarded to the Massachusetts Wildlife Climate Action Tool Partnership)
  • YES Internship Awards (x2), USGS, 2017
  • USGS STAR Award, 2016
  • National Park Service Grant, Bioblitz Analysis, 2016
  • California Landscape Conservation Cooperative Grant (Co-PI), 2011-2014
  • National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology, 2010-2011


Golden, N., K. Devarajan, C. Balantic, J. Drake, M.T. Hallworth & T.L. Morelli. In Review. Ten Simple Rules for Productive Lab Meetings. PLOS Computational Biology.

Morelli, T.L., C.J. Brown-Lima, J.M. Allen, E.M. Beaury*, E.J. Fusco, A. Barker-Plotkin, B.B. Laginhas*, B. Quirion, B. Griffin, B. McLaughlin, L. Munro, N. Olmstead, J. Richburg, & B.A. Bradley. In Review. Translational Invasion Ecology: Bridging research and practice to address one of the greatest threats to biodiversity. Biological Invasions.

Sirén, A.P.K., C. Sutherland, C. Bernier, K. Royar, J. Kilborn, C. Callahan, R. Cliché, L. Prout, & T.L. Morelli. In Review. Abiotic stress and biotic factors mediate range dynamics on opposing edges: A test of Interactive Range-Limit Theory (iRLT). Proceedings B.

Sirén, A.P.K., M. Zimova, C. Sutherland, J. Kilborn, R. Cliché, L. Prout, L.S. Mills, & T.L. Morelli. In Review. A Great Escape: The role of climate, resource availability, and density-dependent dynamics on an iconic herbivore along its trailing edge. Ecology.

Teitelbaum, C.S.*, C. Raymond, J. Foster, C. Lesk, J. Hinton, J.L. Friar, R.M. Horton, E. Coffel, A.P.K. Sirén*, D. Kramer, K.A. Zeller, D.W. Wattles, & T.L. Morelli. In Review. Can behavioral adaptations to climate maintain a species’ distribution? Diversity and Distributions.

Schwartz, M.W., E. Fleishman, M.A. Williamson, J.N. Williams, & T.L. Morelli. In Press. The use of boundary-spanning organizations to bridge the knowledge-action gap in North America. In Closing the Knowledge-Implementation Gap in Conservation Science – Evidence Transfer across Spatiotemporal Scales and Different Stakeholders [Ferreira, C.C. & C.F.C. Klütsch (Eds.)]. Springer.

Barrows, C.M., A. Ramirez, M.F. Mahalovich, L.C. Sweet, T.L. Morelli, C. Millar, N. Frakes, M.J. Kimsey, J. Rodgers, & S. Winward. 2020. Validating climate change refugia: empirical, ‘bottom-up’ approaches needed to direct management actions. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 18(5): 298- 306. doi:10.1002/fee.2205.

Bradley, B.A., A. Bayer, B. Griffin*, S. Joubran*, B.B. Laginhas*, L. Munro, S. Talbot, J.M. Allen, A. Barker-Plotkin, E.M. Beaury*, C. Brown-Lima, E.J. Fusco, H. Mount*, B. Servais*, & T.L. Morelli. 2020. Regional Invasive Species & Climate Change Management Challenge: Gardening with climate-smart native plants in the Northeast. Environmental Conservation Education Materials.

Devarajan, K., T.L. Morelli, & S. Tenan. 2020. Multi‐species occupancy models: review, roadmap, and recommendations. Ecography 43: 1–13.

Laginhas, B.B.*, T.L. Morelli, A. Barker-Plotkin, E.M. Beaury*, E. Cousins*, S. Joubran*, M. Nelson, S. Talbot*, & B.A. Bradley. 2020. Regional Invasive Species & Climate Change Management Challenge: Nuisance Neonatives. Guidelines for Assessing Range-Shifting Species. Environmental Conservation Education Materials.

Morelli, T.L., et al. 2020. Biodiversity Change in the Slow Lane: Advances in Refugia Thinking. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 18(5): 228-234. doi:10.1002/fee.2189.

Morelli, T.L./Smith, A.B., et al. 2020. The fate of Madagascar’s rainforest habitat. Nature Climate Change 10: 89–96.

Morelli, T.L./Wallingford, P.D.*, et al. 2020. Adjusting the lens of invasion biology to focus on the impacts of climate-driven range shifts. Nature Climate Change 10:398-405.

Rubenstein, M.A., S.R. Weiskopf, S.L. Carter, M.J. Eaton, C. Johnson, A.J. Lynch, B.W. Miller, T.L. Morelli, M. Rodriguez, A. Terando, & L.M. Thompson. 2020. Do empirical observations support commonly-held climate change range shift hypotheses? A systematic review protocol. Environmental Evidence 9(10).

Sirén, A.P.K.* & T.L. Morelli. 2020. Interactive range-limit theory (iRLT): a theoretical extension for predicting range shifts. Journal of Animal Ecology 89: 940-954.

**Short-listed for the Journal of Animal Ecology’s Sidnie Manton award

Stralberg, D., et al. 2020. Climate-change refugia in boreal North America: what, where, and for how long? Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment 18(5): 261-270. doi:10.1002/fee.2188.

Weiskopf, S.R. et al. 2020. Climate change effects on biodiversity, ecosystems, ecosystem services, and natural resource management in the United States. Science of the Total Environment 733:137782.

Beaury, E.M.*, E.J. Fusco, M.R. Jackson, B.B. Laginhas*, T.L. Morelli, J.M. Allen, V.J. Pasquarella, & B.A. Bradley. 2019. Incorporating climate change into invasive species management – insights from managers. Biological Invasions 22: 233–252.

Rapp, J.M., D.A. Lutz, R.D. Huish, B. Dufour, S. Ahmed, T.L. Morelli, & K.A. Stinson. 2019. Finding the sweet spot: Shifting optimal climate for maple syrup production in North America. Forest Ecology & Management 448: 187-197.

Rapp, J.M., D.A. Lutz, R.D. Huish, B. Dufour, S. Ahmed, T.L. Morelli, & K.A. Stinson. 2019. Sugar maple responses to climate change: We’ll boil it down for you. Forest Ecology & Management 458: 117760.

Smith, A.B., E.A. Beever, A.E. Kessler, A.N. Johnston, & 75 other co-authors. 2019.  Alternatives to genetic affinity as a context for within-species response to climate. Nature Climate Change 9: 787-794.

**Shortlisted for a The Wildlife Society Wildlife Publication Award

Zimova, M.*, A.P.K. Sirén*, J.J. Nowak, A.M. Bryan, J.S. Ivan, T.L. Morelli, S.L. Suhrer, J. Whittington, & L.S. Mills. 2019. Local climate determines vulnerability to camouflage mismatch in snowshoe hares. Global Ecology and Biogeography 29:503-515.

Lipton, D., M. A. Rubenstein, S.R. Weiskopf, S. Carter, J. Peterson, L. Crozier, M. Fogarty, S. Gaichas, K.J.W. Hyde, T.L. Morelli, et al. 2018. Ecosystems, Ecosystem Services, and Biodiversity. In Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States: Fourth National Climate Assessment, Volume II [Reidmiller, D.R., et al. (Eds.)]. U.S. Global Change Research Program, Washington, DC.

Sirén, A.P.K.*, M. Somos-Valenzuela, C. Callahan*, J.R. Kilborn, T. Duclos*, C. Tragert*, & T.L. Morelli. 2018. Looking beyond wildlife: Using remote cameras to evaluate accuracy of gridded snow data. Remote Sensing in Ecology and Conservation.

Janowiak, M.K., et al. 2018. New England and New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: a report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-173. Newtown Square, PA; U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. 234 p.

Enquist, C.E., et al. 2017. Foundations of Translational Ecology. Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution 15(10): 541–550.

Galbraith, H. & Morelli, T.L. 2017. Vulnerabilities to climate change of Massachusetts animal species of greatest conservation need. Massachusetts Department of Fish and Game report.

Hallett, L.M., T.L. Morelli, et al. 2017. Navigating translational ecology: Creating opportunities and overcoming obstacles for scientist participation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15: 578–586.

Jacobs, R.L., T.S. MacFie, A.N. Spriggs, A.L. Baden, T.L. Morelli et al. 2017. Novel opsin gene variation in large-bodied diurnal lemurs. Biology Letters 13: 20170050.

Littell, J.S., A.J. Terando, & T.L. Morelli. 2017. Balancing research and service to decision makers. Frontiers in Ecology & Evolution 15(10): 598.

Maher, S., T.L. Morelli, M. Hershey*, A. Flint, L. Flint, C. Moritz, & S.R. Beissinger. 2017. Erosion of refugia in the Sierra Nevada meadows network. Ecosphere 8(4):e01673.

Morelli, T.L. 2017. Mapping Climate Change Refugia in the Sierra Nevada. Mountain Views 11(2): 7-10.

Morelli, T.L., S. Maher, M.C.W. Lim*, C. Kastely, L.P. Eastman*, A. Flint, L. Flint, S.R. Beissinger, & C. Moritz. 2017. Climate Change Refugia and Habitat Connectivity Promote Species Persistence. Climate Change Responses 4:8.

Schwartz, M.W., K.J. Hiers, F.W. Davis, G. Garfin, S.T. Jackson, A.J. Terando, C.A. Woodhouse, T.L. Morelli, M.A. Williamson, & M.W. Brunson. 2017. Developing a Translational Ecology Workforce. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 15(10): 587-596.

Morelli, T.L., C. Daly, S. Dobrowski, J. Ebersole, S.T. Jackson, J. Lundquist, S. Maher, C.I. Millar, W. Monahan, K. Nydick, K. Redmond, S. Sawyer, S. Stock, & S.R. Beissinger. 2016. Climate change refugia as a tool for climate adaptation. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0159909.*

*See NPR interview:

Staudinger, M.D., T.L. Morelli, & A.M. Bryan. 2015. Integrating Climate Change into Northeast and Midwest State Wildlife Action Plans. DOI Northeast Climate Science Center Report, Amherst, Massachusetts.

Oyono, P.R., T.L. Morelli, J. Sayer, et al. 2014. Allocation and use of forest land: Current trends, issues and perspectives. In: The Forests of the Congo Basin – State of the Forest 2013. Eds: de Wasseige, C., J. Flynn, D. Louppe, F. Hiol Hiol, Ph. Mayaux. Weyrich. Belgium. 328 p.

Morelli, T.L., R.A. Hayes, H.F. Nahrung, T.E. Goodwin, I.H. Hirwa, L.J. MacDonald & P.C. Wright. 2013. Relatedness communicated in lemur scent. Naturwissenschaften 100: 769–777.

Eastman, L.E.*, T.L. Morelli, K.C. Rowe, C.J. Conroy & C. Moritz. 2012. Size increase in high elevation ground squirrels over the last century. Global Change Biology 18: 1499–1508.

Morelli, T.L., A.B. Smith, C. Kastely*, I. Mastroserio*, C. Moritz & S.R. Beissinger. 2012. Anthropogenic refugia ameliorate the severe climate-correlated decline of a montane mammal along its trailing edge. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 279: 4279-4286.**

**Chosen as Editor’s Choice by Science Magazine: Vignieri, S. 2012. Humans mitigate climate change effects. Science: 1274.

Morelli, T.L., S. Yeh, N. Smith & C.I. Millar. 2012. Climate Project Screening Tool: An aid for climate change adaptation. U.S.D.A. Forest Service PSW-RP-236.

Peterson, D.L., C.I. Millar, L.A. Joyce, M.J. Furniss, J.E. Halofsky, R.P. Neilson & T.L. Morelli. 2012. Responding to climate change on national forests: a guidebook for developing adaptation options. Gen. Tech. Rep. U.S.D.A. Forest Service GTR-PNW-855.

Wright, P.C., et al. 2012. Long-term lemur research at Centre Valbio, Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. In: Kappeler, P.M. & D.P. Watts (eds). Long-term Field Studies of Primates. Berlin Heidelberg: Springer. 67-100.

Farris, Z.J.*, T.L. Morelli, T. Sefczek & P.C. Wright. 2011. Comparing aye-aye (Daubentonia madagascariensis) presence and distribution between degraded and non-degraded forest within Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. Folia Primatologica 82: 94–106.

Morelli, T.L. & S. Carr. 2011. A review of the potential effects of climate change on quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the western United States and a new tool for surveying sudden aspen decline. Gen. Tech. Rep. U.S.D.A. Forest Service GTR-PSW-235.

Morelli, T.L., L.A. Joyce & C.I. Millar. 2011. Climate Project Screening Tool. U.S. Forest Service.

Morelli, T.L., M.C. McGlinchy & R.P. Neilson. 2011. A climate change primer for land managers from the Sierra Nevada. Gen. Tech. Rep. U.S.D.A. Forest Service GTR-PSW-RP-262.

Rowe, K.C., S. Singhal, M. MacManes, J. Ayroles, T.L. Morelli, E. Rubidge, Ke Bi & C.C. Moritz. 2011. Museum genomics: low-cost and high-accuracy genetic data from historical specimens. Molecular Ecology Resources 11(6): 1082-1092.

King, S.J., T.L. Morelli, S. Arrigo-Nelson, F.J. Ratelolahy, L.R. Godfrey, J. Wyatt, S. Tecot, J. Jernvall & P.C. Wright. 2011. Morphometrics and pattern of growth in wild sifakas (Propithecus edwardsi) at Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 73: 155-172.

Morelli, T.L.  2009. The ecology of a primate community. (Review of the book Monkeys of the Tai Forest: An African Primate Community). Ecology 90: 287-288.

Morelli, T.L., S.J. King, S.T. Pochron & P.C. Wright. 2009. The rules of disengagement: takeovers, infanticide, and dispersal in a rainforest lemur, Propithecus edwardsi. Behaviour 146: 499-523.

Wright, P.C., S.J. Arrigo-Nelson, K.L. Hogg, B. Bannon, T.L. Morelli, J. Wyatt, A.L. Harivelo & F. Ratelolahy. 2009. Habitat disturbance and seasonal fluctuations of lemur parasites in the rain forest of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. In: Huffman, M.A. & C.A. Chapman (eds). Primate Parasites Ecology: The Dynamics and Study of Host-Parasite Relationships. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. 311-330.

Andriantompohavana, R., T.L. Morelli, S.M. Behncke, S.E. Engberg, R.A. Brenneman & E.E. Louis Jr. 2007. Characterization of 20 microsatellite marker loci in the red-bellied brown lemur (Eulemur rubriventer). Molecular Ecology Notes 7: 1162-65.

Hayes, R.A., T.L. Morelli & P.C. Wright. 2006. Volatile components of lemur scent secretions vary throughout the year. American Journal of Primatology 68: 1202-1207.

Hayes, R.A., T.L. Morelli & P.C. Wright. 2005. The chemistry of scent marking in two lemurs: Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi coquereli. In: Mason R. T., LeMaster M. P. & Müller-Schwarze D. (eds). Chemical Signals in Vertebrates X. Kluwer/Plenum/Academic Press p 159-167. NY.

Pochron, S.T., T.L. Morelli, J. Scirbona & P.C. Wright. 2005. Sex differences in scent marking in Propithecus edwardsi of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American J. Primatology 66: 97-110.

Pochron, S.T., T.L. Morelli, P. Terranova, J. Scirbona, J. Cohen, G. Kunapareddy, G. Rakotonirina, R. Ratsimbazafy, R. Rakotosoa & P.C. Wright. 2005. Patterns of male scent marking in Propithecus edwardsi of Ranomafana National Park, Madagascar. American Journal of Primatology 65: 103-115.

Hayes, R.A., T.L. Morelli & P.C. Wright. 2004. Anogenital gland secretions of Lemur catta and Propithecus verreauxi coquereli: a preliminary chemical examination. Amer J Primatology 63(2):49–62.

Hario, M., T.E. Hollmén, T.L. Morelli & K.T. Scribner. 2002. Effects of mate removal on the fecundity of common eider Somateria mollissima females. Wildlife Biology 8(3): 161-168.

Boydston, E.E., T.L. Morelli & K.E. Holekamp. 2001. Sex differences in territorial behavior exhibited by the spotted hyena (Crocuta crocuta). Ethology 107(5): 369-385.