Jacob Socolar

Postdoctoral researcher


I am an ecologist and conservation biologist with broad interests in community dynamics, species distributions, tropical forests, and avian biology. As a postdoctoral researcher in the Edwards lab and the Tor Haugaasen Lab (Norwegian University of Life Sciences), I work on understanding the biodiversity impacts of cattle pastures on Colombian biodiversity. This work uses high-quality local biodiversity data, collected across vast spatial areas and major geophysical gradients, to understand the spatial scaling of biodiversity loss.

Do losses of beta-diversity and localised endemic species result in unexpectedly severe biodiversity impacts at large spatial scales?

I address these questions with a large field effort focused on birds and dung beetles across Colombia, and with a diverse suite of modelling approaches including hierarchical modelling of species occupancy, phylogenetic and functional diversity metrics, and modern approaches to measuring beta-diversity and upscaling biodiversity data.

My previous work focuses on the distributional ecology and population dynamics of North American birds in the context of global change (Morgan Tingley Lab, UConn), and on biodiversity loss and determinants of avian community structure in Peruvian Amazonia, home to the richest bird assemblages on Earth (David Wilcove Lab, Princeton University).

About me

When I’m not hard at work, I like to be in the field as much as possible. Otherwise, I enjoy a good jazz record, history book, or cooking project. Most of all, I enjoy spending time with my family, including my recently arrived daughter.