Andrew Latimer


Contact Information:

Andrew M. Latimer, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, The University of Connecticut, 75 N. Eagleville Road, Unit 3043, Storrs, CT 06269-3043

Tel:+01 (860) 486-4157, Fax: +01 (860) 486-6364,

Research Interests:

I am currently a post-doctoral researcher working in an interdisciplinary, collaborative project to model and predict regional-scale climate trends and extremes in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa (CFR), a global hot-spot of plant diversity, and to link these climate patterns to individual and population-level plant responses, as well as to ecosystem-level impacts on soil moisture, vegetation type, and fire regime.

Statistical modeling. Using Bayesian hierarchical models to learn about individual and population-level performance over space and time, represent dynamics of soil moisture and fire, and understand biogeographical patterns.

Field Work. Currently using field measurements of demographic rates in natural plant populations to infer performance and detect the influence of climate. In my dissertation research, I conducted reciprocal transplant trials in the CFR to test biotic and abiotic limits on the distributions of a group of closely related species of South African Proteaceae, the White Proteas.

Lab Work. Using stable carbon isotope ratios to measure plant-level water availability across environmental gradients and over time. Developed microsatellite markers to investigate migration rates and population history in these species.

Environmental Law and Policy. Designed and taught a joint Law School/Biology seminar on the role of science in policy and legal decision making, focusing on how ecological data and inference inform decisions about forestry and fishery resources. I am interested in studying factors that are associated with successful integration of science into regulatory processes.


Latimer, A.M. (2007). Geography and resource limitation complicate metabolism-based predictions of species richness. Ecology 88:1885-1888.[pdf]

Herron, P.M., C.T. Martine, A.M. Latimer and S.A. Leicht. (2007). Invasive plants and their ecological strategies: a model-based approach to prediction and explanation of woody plant invasion in New England. Diversity and Distributions 13:633-644.[pdf]

Leicht-Young, S.A., J.A. Silander Jr. and A.M. Latimer (2007). Comparative performance of invasive and native Celastrus species across environmental gradients. Oecologia 154:273-282.[pdf]

Latimer, A.M., S. Wu, A.E. Gelfand and J.A. Silander, Jr. (2006). Building statistical models to analyze species distributions. Ecological Applications 16:33-50.[pdf]

Hille Ris Lambers, J., B. Aukema, J. Diez, M. Evans and A.M. Latimer (2006). Effects of global change on inflorescence production: a Bayesian hierarchical analysis. In J.S. Clark and A.E. Gelfand, Hierarchical modeling for the environmental sciences: statistical methods and applications. Oxford University Press, Oxford. [link to book details][pdf preview]

Etienne, R.S., A.M. Latimer, J.A. Silander, Jr. and Richard M. Cowling. (2006). Comment on “Neutral Ecological Theory Reveals Isolation and Rapid Speciation in a Biodiversity Hot Spot.” Science 311:610b. [link]

Latimer, A.M., J.A. Silander, Jr. and Richard M. Cowling (2005). Neutral Ecological Theory Reveals Isolation and Rapid Speciation in a Biodiversity Hot Spot. Science 309:1722-1725. [link]

Gelfand, A.E., J.A. Silander, Jr., S. Wu, A. M. Latimer, P. Lewis, Anthony G. Rebelo and M. Holder (2005). Explaining species distribution patterns through hierarchical modeling. Bayesian Analysis 1:41-92. [pdf]

Gelfand, A.E., A.M. Schmidt, S. Wu, J.A. Silander, Jr., A. M. Latimer and A.G. Rebelo (2005). Modelling species diversity through species level hierarchical modeling. Journal of the Royal Statistical Society, Section C Applied Statistics (in press). [pdf]

Latimer, A.M., J.A. Silander, Jr., A.E. Gelfand, A.G. Rebelo and D.M. Richardson (2004). Comparing land use impacts using hierarchical models: a case study in the CFR. South African Journal of Science 100:81-86. [pdf]

Comments to the EPA on the status of Ferric Ferrocyanide as a Toxic Pollutant under the Clean Water Act (January 2001). Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts. Submitted by Division Chief James R. Milkey, Deputy Division Chief William Pardee and AAG Andrew Latimer.

Report on Control over Land Use at the Massachusetts Military Reservation (1998). Office of the Attorney General of Massachusetts. Principal authors and contacts Section Chief Milkey and AAG Latimer.

Recent Presentations/Conferences:

Invited speaker and participant, NSF Workshop: Data-Model Assimilation in Ecology: Techniques and Applications (October 2007). Follow this link to pictures and program.

Invited participant, Colloquium on Climate change and biodiversity in Megadiverse Ecosystems, Perth, Australia (September 2007).

Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting (August 2007). "Linking changing climate, productivity, and fire in the Cape Floristic Region."

Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting (August 2007). "Diversity and Distribution Limits in South African Plants."

Invited seminar, Departments of Zoology and Botany, University of Cape Town, May 2006.

"Neutral ecological theory and diversity patterns." Invited seminar, March 2006, Montana State University Departments of Plant Sciences, Ecology, and Land Resources and Environmental Science.

Best Poster, Ecological Section, Botanical Society of America meeting (2005) for "Predicting the next woody invasives in New England: A model-based approach to identifying future threats". Martine, Christopher, Patrick M. Herron, Andrew M. Latimer, Stacey A. Leicht and Eric S. Mosher.

"Uncertainty and Variability in Ecological Inference, Forecasting, and Decision Making: An Introduction to Modern Statistical Computation." Participant, Summer Institute 2004 at Duke University's Center on Global Change.

"Exploring species distributions using hierarchical regression models." Andrew M. Latimer, John A. Silander, Jr., Alan E. Gelfand, Shanshan Wu, Anthony G. Rebelo, Richard M. Cowling and Henri Laurie. Southern Connections 2004. Cape Town, South Africa. January 2004.


Seminar in Bayesian Hierarchical Modeling. Co-leading graduate seminar on Bayesian modeling methods in WinBUGS and R.

Seminar in Law and Ecology. Developed and co-taught joint EEB/Law School course on the role of ecological science in natural resource decision making. Course included law students and ecology graduates and advanced undergraduates. We focused on case studies in forestry and fishery regulation, and looking also at national and international endangered species protection.

Faculty member for UConn Summer Faculty Workshop in Forensic Genetics, July 2005 and June 2006. Presented lecture and computing exercise: "Microsatellite applications in biodiversity."

Teaching Assistant, Constitutional Law, Yale Law School 1994-1995.


    Spatial Modeling
    Lab exercise implementing simple spatial and non-spatial models for species distributions in WinBUGS, with example data sets (WinBUGS .odc format).


    OpenBUGS code for Bayesian hierarchical models to assess the strength of MTE predictions across multiple data sets.


Protea Atlas Project

Department of Environment and Conservation of Western Australia

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