Brian A. Maurer

Associate Professor

Michigan State University

Department of Fisheries & Wildlife

Department of Geography



Address: 334E Natural Resources Building

Phone: (517) 353-9478

Fax: (517) 432-1699



Education BS, Zoology, Brigham Young University

MS, Wildlife Management, West Virginia University

MS, Statistics, University of Arizona

PhD, Wildlife Ecology, University of Arizona


Curriculum vitae



Research Interests: Macroecology, Biogeography, Quantitative Ecology


Ecology is understood to be the study of phenomena that occur on a wide range of spatial and temporal scales. My interest focuses on the largest spatial and longest temporal scales studied by ecologists. To understand the importance of processes at geographical scales, it is important to understand how they connect to local scale processes. Thus, I am interested in modeling population and community dynamics in a geographical context. I am working with a variety of vertebrate organisms to model how population dynamics and abundance vary from one place to the next within their geographical ranges. These focal questions, however, give rise to a number of different ancillary questions regarding such things as the ecological and evolutionary importance of body size, geographic patterns of species diversity, and resource use behavior. Modeling ecological systems in space and time is a major tool that I use to answer questions about geographic scale ecological processes. To this end, my lab uses a variety of quantitative and computational technologies. We intensively use geographical information systems (GIS) to analyze and model spatial processes. Spatial statistics and related techniques from geostatistics provide the analytical framework for many of our statistical analyses. Finally, use of nonlinear and spatially explicit mathematical modeling techniques allows us to develop theoretical approaches to large scale ecological systems.



Recent Publications and Manuscripts


Maurer, B.A. 2004. Statistical mechanics of complex ecological aggregates. ms


Ernest, S.K.M., B.J. Enquist, J.H. Brown, E.L. Charnov, J.F. Gillooly, V.M. Savage, E.P. White, F.A. Smith, E.A. Hadly, J.P. Haskell, S.K. Lyons, B.A. Maurer, K.J. Niklas, and B. Tiffney. 2003. Thermodynamic and metabolic effects on the scaling of production and population energy use. Ecology Letters 6: 990-995.


Maurer, B.A., and M.L. Taper. 2002. Connecting geographical distributions with population processes. Ecology Letters 5: 223-231.


Gammon, D.E., and B.A. Maurer. 2002. Evidence for non-uniform dispersal in the biological invasions of two naturalized North American bird species. Global Ecology and Biogeography 11:155-161.


Maurer, B.A. 2002. Big thinking. Nature 415:489-491


Hadly, E. A., and B.A. Maurer. 2001. Spatial and temporal patterns of species diversity in montane mammal communities of western North America. Evolutionary Ecology Research 3:477-486.


Barnosky, A.D., E.A. Hadly, B.A. Maurer, and M.I. Christie. 2001. Temperate terrestrial vertebrate faunas in North and South America: interplay of ecology, evolution, and geography with biodiversity. Conservation Biology 15:658-674.


Maurer, B.A. 2000. Macroecology and consilience. Global Ecology and Biogeography 9:275-280.


Maurer, B.A. 1998. Ecological science and statistical paradigms: at the threshold. Science 279:502-






Maurer, B.A. 1999. Untangling ecological complexity: the macroscopic perspective. University of

Chicago Press, Chicago.


Maurer, B. A. 1994. Geographical population analysis: tools for the analysis of biodiversity.

Blackwell Scientific Publications, Boston.





Students in the Maurer Lab

Katie Kahl M.S./Ph.D. Status of Blue- and Golden-Winged Warblers in Michigan


Genny Nesslage Ph.D. Determinants of Range Expansion Velocity


Jennie Skillen Ph.D. Extinction Risk of Populations and Species



Funding and Collaborating Agencies


National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis

National Science Foundation

Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

U.S.G.S. Gap Analysis Project