Hillary Young is a community ecologist in the department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology at UC Santa Barbara. Originally from San Diego, Dr. Young received a B.A. degree in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. She then received an M.A. in Environmental Management at Yale University where she focused on applied forest management questions. Her PhD in Biology at Stanford University with advisor Rodolfo Dirzo examined cascading effects of changes in plant communities on whole ecosystem and community structure. As a postdoctoral researcher jointly affiliated at Smithsonian Institution and Harvard University she examined the impacts of anthropogenic disturbance on mammal communities and ultimately, on zoonotic diseases.
The Young lab seeks to understand how and when anthropogenic disturbances are likely to drive cascading changes in whole community structure and function, including implications for human health. Specific foci include 1) understanding patterns and consequences of large wildlife declines, 2) exploring interactive effects of wildlife loss or invasion and climate change on ecosystem function, particularly nutrient cycling and disease dynamics, 3) predicting effects of species loss or invasion on community structure and ecosystem connectivity.
J Buck, SB Weinstein, G Titcomb, HS Young. 2020. Conservation implications of disease control. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 18(6):329-334
ES Forbes, JH Cushman, DE Burkepile, TP Young, M Klope, HS Young. 2019. Synthesizing the effects of large, wild herbivores on ecosystem function. Functional Ecology. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2435.13376
SB Weinstein, JC Buck, HS Young. 2018. A landscape of disgust. Science. 359 (6381), 1213-1214
HS Young, IM Parker, G Gilbert, A Guerra, CL Nunn. 2017. Introduced species, disease ecology, and biodiversity-disease relationships Trends in Ecology and Evolution. 32(1):41-54. DOI: 10.1016/j.tree.2016.09.008
HS Young, DJ McCauley, R Dirzo, CL Nunn, MG Campana, B Agwanda, ER Otarola-Castillo, ER Castillo, RM Pringle, KE Veblen, D Salkeld, K Stewardson, R Fleischer, EF Lambin, TM Palmer, KM Helgen. 2017. Interacting effects of land use and climate on rodent-borne pathogens in central Kenya. Philisophical Transactions of Royal Society B. DOI: 10.1098/rstb.2016.0122
HS Young, DJ McCauley, KM Helgen, JR Goheen, EO Castillo, TM Palmer, RM Pringle, TP Young, R Dirzo. 2013. Effects of mammalian herbivore declines on plant communities: Observations and experiments in an African savanna. J. Ecology. 101: 1030-1041
HS Young, DJ McCauley, M Galetti, R Dirzo. 2016. Patterns, causes and consequences of Anthropocene Defaunation. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics. DOI: 10.1146/annurev-ecolsys-112414-054142
HS Young, R Dirzo, KM Helgen, DJ McCauley, CL Nunn, P Snyder, KE Veblen, S Zhao, VO Ezenwa. 2015. Large wildlife removal drives increases in immune defenses in rodents. Functional Ecology.30: 799-807
HS Young, R Dirzo, KM Helgen, DJ McCauley, S Billeter, M. Kosoy, L. Osikowicz, DJ Salkeld, TP Young, K. Dittmar. 2014. Declines in large wildlife increase landscape-level prevalence of a rodent-borne disease in Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 11: 7036-7041.
HS Young, DJ McCauley, R Dunbar, and R Dirzo. 2010. Plants cause ecosystem nutrient depletion via the interruption of bird derived spatial subsidies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 107: 2072-2077.