Austin Xu

MSC student


2017 – Present: M.S. Biological Sciences, California State University Los Angeles

2012 – 2017: B.S. Biological Sciences with a concentration in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, California State University Fullerton

contact: axu3 'at'

Project Title: The effects of a megafire on bird and butterfly communities in the Santa Monica Mountains

I am a second year graduate student studying the effects of a megafire, specifically the Woolsey fire of 2018, on the bird and butterfly communities in various habitats of the Santa Monica Mountains. Partnering with the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreation Area, I have a series of sites situated in a network of public lands where I conduct surveys for birds and butterflies. I am employing several analytical techniques to model changes in wildlife communities before and after the megafire occurred. This study has implications for broadly understanding recovery of wildlife communities in Southern California in the event of a catastrophic wildfire, an event which is perceived to occur more frequently in the foreseeable future.

A California Scrub Jay ( Aphelocoma californica ) catching some rays in the Santa Monica Mountains.

A California Scrub Jay (Aphelocoma californica) catching some rays in the Santa Monica Mountains.