Dr. Scott Hotaling
My group studies how high mountain ecosystems are being affected by climate change with an emphasis on the cryosphere—the collection of Earth’s frozen waters. Typical focal taxa and habitats include aquatic insects living in the meltwater of glaciers and ice worms living in glacier ice. To carry out our work, we use an integrative toolkit including long-term ecological monitoring, genomics, and physiology. Ultimately, we aim to better understand the past, present, and future of biodiversity in these imperiled habitats.
In addition to our research goals, we also work with stakeholders, community partners, and the public to bolster climate resiliency in Utah and the Intermountain West. We do this in a variety of ways—e.g., public presentations, providing expertise on decisions, training community scientists—and we are always looking for new ways to support our community, state, and region.
Academic Background: I received my PhD from the University of Kentucky where I used genomic tools to study aquatic insect biodiversity in glacier-fed streams of Glacier National Park, MT. After that, I was a postdoc for several years at Washington State University where I continued my high-mountain research while also studying genome biology of polar fishes in the Arctic and Antarctic.