Meet the Team
Sam Veloz, Ph.D.
Climate Adaptation Group Director
Climate Change and Quantitative Ecology
As the Climate Adaptation Group Director at Point Blue, I lead a team that uses our science to help decision makers and natural resource managers prepare for future environmental changes. Our group specializes in the development of models and tools that enable climate smart decision making. Our group works in ecosystems ranging from upland and tidal marsh ecosystems in the San Francisco Estuary, to coastal forests and grasslands of the pacific northwest, to the deserts of the southwest United States and Northern Mexico.
My personal research focuses on studies of spatial patterns of species occurrence and abundance across the landscape. Most of work explores, through modeling, how species will respond in space to changing climate and other modifications to the environment. By understanding how species respond to changing environmental conditions and incorporating novel methods for dealing with future uncertainty, we can better inform conservation decision making.
I came to Point Blue in 2010 after working as a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Wisconsin, Madison where I studied how plant species responded to global warming following the last deglaciation as a proxy for how species will respond to future climate change. I received my Ph.D from UC Davis in ecology in 2008 where I studied how urbanization in Australia led to behavioral changes in megabats and the coincidental emergence of fatal zoonotic diseases in humans. I received my bachelors degree in environmental studies from UC Santa Cruz in 1997.
My recent work has focused on how species will respond to future climate change, including tidal marsh bird response to sea level rise in the San Francisco Bay, changes in density and occurrence of Pacific northwest breeding birds and identifying new ways to prioritize conservation and restoration efforts when future projections are highly uncertain.
My research has been published in peer review journals including Global Change Biology, Global Ecology and Biogeography, Ecosphere, Journal of Biogeography, Climatic Change and Ecography. For a complete list of my publications see my CV here.
Although I spend a lot my time in the office at our Petaluma headquarters, I enjoy surfing and travelling throughout California and the world with my wife and two sons.
Improving effectiveness of systematic conservation planning with density data.
Veloz, S. D., Salas, L., Altman, B., Alexander, J., Jongsomjit, D., Elliott, N., Ballard, G. 2015.
Conservation Biology, 24: 1217-1227
Modeling climate change impacts on tidal marsh birds: Restoration and conservation planning in the face of uncertainty
Veloz, S.D., Nur, N., Salas, L. Jongsomjit, D., Stralberg, D., Wood, J. K., and Ballard, G