Caitlin C. Mothes, Ph.D.

I am a conservationist, spatial ecologist and data scientist currently working with the Geospatial Centroid at Colorado State University. I recently received my Ph.D. from the University of Miami in the Department of Biology working in the Christopher Searcy Lab. My research investigates how environmental factors influence the spatial structure of species, with a diverse body of work that includes projects applying species distribution models and landscape genomics to pressing biodiversity conservation issues and developing new tools for landscape conservation design. I also lead multiple projects related to imperiled species policy, recently published in Conservation Biology and Conservation Letters. I have worked towards developing a broad skill set in geospatial analysis and data science which I use to analyze ecological data and develop tools to make important insights and contributions to biodiversity conservation. My work spans a broad range of species and systems, with the overarching goal of applying my research to conservation management decisions and policy action to best protect species and preserve natural ecosystems.


  • Conservation
  • Spatial Ecology
  • Connectivity Planning
  • Imperiled Species Policy
  • Data Science


  • Ph.D. in Conservation Ecology, 2016 - 2021

    University of Miami

  • Certificate in Geospatial Technology, 2018

    University of Miami

  • B.S. Zoology, 2012-2016

    North Carolina State University

  • B.S. Conservation Biology, 2012-2016

    North Carolina State University

Recent Publications

Protect or perish; Quantitative analysis of state-level species protection supports preservation of the Endangered Species Act

In Conservation Letters

An extreme cold event leads to community-wide convergence in lower temperature tolerance in a lizard community

In Biology Letters

Amphibian responses to livestock use of wetlands: new empirical data and a global review

In Ecological Applications

Use of standardized methods to improve extinction risk classification

In Conservation Biology

Active Projects


Habicon: an open-source toolset to improve landscape connectivity planning

The goal of habicon is to calculate habitat patch and corridor priority in terms of their degree of importance to ecological …

Quantitative review of state imperiled species acts

Assessing state-level coverage of the IUCN Red List and the Endangered Species Act

Habitat Suitability Models for the Imperiled Wood Turtle

Using Ecological Niche Models to help guide Wood Turtle managment under future climate change

Using Landscape Genomics to Study Dispersal of Invasive Species

Understanding post-invasion dispersal and spatial genetic structure of non-native lizards in Miami, FL


  • 211G Morgan Library, Fort Collins, CO 80523