Photo of Lazarus Y. Pomara

Lazarus Y. Pomara

200 W.T. Weaver Blvd
200 WT Weaver Blvd
Asheville, NC 28804-3454
Phone: 828-257-4357
Fax: 828-257-4894

Current Research

Current research involves assessing stressors to ecosystem services and biodiversity, and developing tools to better understand vulnerabilities and resilience at landscape and regional scales. Lars has worked on these issues in the Appalachian region with the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative, and nationally through work on the Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT). LanDAT is a set of computationally intensive methods for monitoring and assessing landscape ecological conditions and dynamics across the conterminous United States, using remotely sensed vegetation data. Other ongoing projects: (1) assessing bird and butterfly community responses to large-scale invasive plant removal and native plant restoration in desert riparian habitat along the Rio Grande in Big Bend National Park, Texas; (2) Using remotely sensed vegetation phenology dynamics to link distribution and abundance of early-successional forest obligate songbirds to forest dynamics and landscape change; (3) continuing collaboration on climate change vulnerability assessments for wildlife species of conservation concern (see Past Research below).

Research Interests

Landscape ecology, wildlife ecology, biogeography, conservation science, ecosystem management, ecosystem services, ornithology. Specializations in spatial analysis and spatial dynamics through time, species distribution modeling, spatially explicit demographic models, vulnerability & resilience assessment.

Past Research

As a postdoctoral researcher in Forest and Wildlife Ecology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison I developed climate change vulnerability assessments for wildlife species of conservation concern, in collaboration with the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative. These efforts included spatially explicit demographic modeling for Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Ruffed Grouse, and Henslow's Sparrow; I remain a collaborator in this research. My doctoral dissertation investigated factors influencing landscape-level spatial pattern in the species composition of bird communities in the Peruvian Amazon. My MS thesis investigated mixed-species flocking behaviors of birds inhabiting high-elevation forests and shade coffee fields in the Republic of Panama. While working as a spatial ecologist at PRBO Conservation Science (AKA Point Blue), I was involved in several avian ecology and conservation projects in California, including riparian forest habitat conservation planning, and spatial modeling of nesting habitat suitability for the Spotted Owl.

Why This Research is Important

Understanding the vulnerabilities of ecosystem services, species, and biodiversity to anthropogenic stressors as well as natural drivers of landscape change is crucial for effective ecosystem management and conservation planning.


Ph.D. in Geography and the Environment, 2009
University of Texas at Austin
M.S. in Wildlife Ecology, 2001
University of Georgia, Athens
B.S. in Biology, 1995
University of Dallas

Professional Experience

Postdoctoral Research Associate, Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison
Lecturer and Research Associate, University of Texas at Austin
Spatial Ecologist / GIS specialist, PRBO Conservation Science, AKA Point Blue


Research Highlights

Climate change vulnerability assessments inform management efforts for species of conservation concern (2017)
SRS-2017-146 Vulnerability assessment focuses on understanding how climate change, along with other factors such as land use change, affects species of conservation concern. Approaches that measure the sensitivity and exposure of species to climate variability across their ranges can help identify regions of especially high risk and regions that may offer refuge from climate change. Studies of several species in the U.S. Upper Midwest revealed that the consequences of climate change can be very different for species with different habitat conditions.

Using Forest Phenology to Understand Landscape Change (2020)
SRS-2020-21 The Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT) is designed to help natural resource managers assess changing landscapes and understand how these changes impact ecosystem services. LanDAT relies on vegetation phenology to map forest changes driven by fire, land use, insects, disease, and climate.