Toni Lyn MorelliToni Lyn Morelli

Adjunct Assistant Professor/USGS Research Ecologist
Northeast Climate Science Center
134 Morrill Science Center
University of Massachusetts


Phone: 413-545-2515

Curriculum Vitae

Background and Research Interests

Toni Lyn Morelli obtained her B.S. in Zoology at Michigan State University and her Ph.D. in Ecology & Evolution at Stony Brook University, studying rainforest lemur behavior and conservation genetics in Madagascar. She went on to collaborate with Steve Beissinger and Craig Moritz on the Grinnell Resurvey Project as a National Science Foundation postdoctoral researcher; she continued those collaborations examining climate refugia under funding she obtained from the California Landscape Conservation Cooperative. She has also worked for the U.S. Forest Service, both as a research ecologist at the Pacific Southwest Research Station and as the Technical Adviser to the Democratic Republic of Congo. In addition to Adjunct Faculty in the Department of Environmental Conservation, she is USGS Research Ecologist with the Department of Interior Northeast Climate Science Center, based at UMass.

Toni Lyn uses translational ecology, species distribution modeling, occupancy modeling, geospatial analysis, population and landscape genetics techniques, and decision analysis to facilitate natural resource management and habitat and species conservation in the face of climate and land use change. Current projects include studying the impacts of climate change in boreal ecosystems, including carnivore and hare work from my Ph.D. student Alexej Siren; helping the National Park Service update its taxonomy and analyze citizen science data; organizing a Regional Effort on Invasive Species and Climate Change (RISCC) Management; and a continued focus on operationalizing the concept of climate change refugia.

Selected Grants and Fellowships

  • 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
  • Northeast Climate Science Center Research Grant, 2015-217
  • California Landscape Conservation Cooperative Grant*, 2011-2013, 2013-2014
  • National Science Foundation, Postdoctoral Research Fellowship in Biology, 2010-2011
  • National Science Foundation, Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant, 2006-2007
  • Louis Leakey Foundation Research grant, 2006
  • National Science Foundation Graduate Research Fellowship, 2003-2006

*In collaboration with Professors Steve Beissinger and Craig Moritz at U.C. Berkeley

Selected Publications

Enquist, C.E., et al. Accepted. Translational Ecology: Revolution, Evolution, or a Different Set of Clothes (OR, new clothes for an old emperor)? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Hallett, L.M., T.L. Morelli, et al. In Revision. Navigating translational ecology: Creating opportunities and overcoming obstacles for scientist participation. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Milton, A. D.*, B. I. Inogwabini, T.L. Morelli, & A. A. Aguirre. In Revision. Impacts of deforestation on ecosystem services, wildlife, and public health in the northwest Democratic Republic of Congo. EcoHealth.

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. In Revision. Developing a Translational Ecology Workforce. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

Janowiak, M.K., et al. In Press. New England Forest ecosystem vulnerability assessment: a report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework. Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station.

Jacobs, R.L., T.S. MacFie, A.N. Spriggs, A.L. Baden, T.L. Morelli et al. In Press. Novel and highly polymorphic colour vision in the diurnal, largest-bodied extant lemurs. Biology Letters 13: 20170050.

Maher, S., T.L. Morelli, M. Hershey, A. Flint, L. Flint, C. Moritz, & S.R. Beissinger. In Press. Erosion of refugia in the Sierra Nevada meadows network. Ecosphere.

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.

Morelli, T.L., C.I. Millar, S. Maher, C. Daly, S. Dobrowski, J. Ebersole, A. Flint, S. Jackson, J. Lundquist, 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 the NPR interview:

S. Maher, Morelli, T.L., M. Lim, C. Kastely, L. Eastman, S.R. Beissinger, &C. Moritz. In Press. Erosion of refugia in the Sierra Nevada meadows network. Ecosphere.

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. (undergraduate author), 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.

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., 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., 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.

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.

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.

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.