Marina Alberti

Marina Alberti
University of Washington Seattle | UW · Urban Design and Planning

Ph.D Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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101
Publications
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Introduction
Skills and Expertise

Publications

Publications (101)
Article
Full-text available
Humans challenge the phenotypic, genetic, and cultural makeup of species by affecting the fitness landscapes on which they evolve. Recent studies show that cities might play a major role in contemporary evolution by accelerating phenotypic changes in wildlife, including animals, plants, fungi, and other organisms. Many studies of ecoevolutionary ch...
Article
Full-text available
Emerging evidence that cities drive micro-evolution raises the question of whether rapid urbanization of Earth might impact ecosystems by causing systemic changes in functional traits that regulate urban ecosystems' productivity and stability. Intraspecific trait variation—variation in organisms' morphological, physiological or behavioural characte...
Article
A great challenge for ecology in the coming decades is to understand the role humans play in eco-evolutionary dynamics. If, as emerging evidence shows, rapid evolutionary change affects ecosystem functioning and stability, current rapid environmental change and its evolutionary effects might have significant implications for ecological and human we...
Article
Urban ecology is a field encompassing multiple disciplines and practical applications and has grown rapidly. However, the field is heterogeneous as a global inquiry with multiple theoretical and conceptual frameworks, variable research approaches, and a lack of coordination among multiple schools of thought and research foci. Here, we present an in...
Article
Full-text available
Most of our global population and its CO2 emissions can be attributed to urban areas. The process of urbanization changes terrestrial carbon stocks and fluxes, which, in turn, impact ecosystem functions and atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Using the Seattle, WA, region as a case study, this paper explores the relationships between aboveground carbon...
Article
Full-text available
Research on the evolutionary ecology of urban areas reveals how human-induced evolutionary changes affect biodiversity and essential ecosystem services. In a rapidly urbanizing world imposing many selective pressures, a time-sensitive goal is to identify the emergent issues and research priorities that affect the ecology and evolution of species wi...
Article
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Explicit characterisation of the complexity of urban landscapes is critical for understanding patterns of biodiversity and for detecting the underlying social and ecological processes that shape them. Urban environments exhibit variable heterogeneity and connectivity, influenced by different historical contingencies, that affect community assembly...
Article
Urbanization transforms environments in ways that alter biological evolution. We examined whether urban environmental change drives parallel evolution by sampling 110,019 white clover plants from 6169 populations in 160 cities globally. Plants were assayed for a Mendelian antiherbivore defense that also affects tolerance to abiotic stressors. Urban...
Article
Urbanization transforms environments in ways that alter biological evolution. We examined whether urban environmental change drives parallel evolution by sampling 110,019 white clover plants from 6169 populations in 160 cities globally. Plants were assayed for a Mendelian antiherbivore defense that also affects tolerance to abiotic stressors. Urban...
Article
Full-text available
Record climate extremes are reducing urban liveability, compounding inequality, and threatening infrastructure. Adaptation measures that integrate technological, nature-based, and social solutions can provide multiple co-benefits to address complex socioecological issues in cities while increasing resilience to potential impacts. However, there rem...
Article
During the last few decades, biologists have made remarkable progress in understanding the fundamental processes that shape life. But despite the unprecedented level of knowledge now available, large gaps still remain in our understanding of the complex interplay of eco-evolutionary mechanisms across scales of life. Rapidly changing environments on...
Article
Full-text available
Many of the world’s major cities have implemented tree planting programs based on assumed environmental and social benefits of urban forests. Recent studies have increasingly tested these assumptions and provide empirical evidence for the contributions of tree planting programs, as well as their feasibility and limits, for solving or mitigating urb...
Preprint
We seek to model the coupled evolution of a planet and a civilization through the era when energy harvesting by the civilization drives the planet into new and adverse climate states. In this way we ask if triggering "anthropocenes" of the kind humanity is experiencing now might be a generic feature of planet-civilization evolution. In this study w...
Article
Full-text available
Cities are uniquely complex systems regulated by interactions and feedbacks between natural and social processes. Characteristics of human society – including culture, economics, technology, and politics – underlie social patterns and activity, creating a heterogeneous environment that can influence and be influenced by both ecological and evolutio...
Article
Urban trees play a key role in alleviating elevated summertime land surface temperatures in cities. However, urban landscape influences the capacity of urban trees to mitigate higher temperatures. We propose that both developed land characteristics and tree cover should be considered to accurately estimate the mitigation effects of canopy cover. We...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization is changing Earth's ecosystems by altering the interactions and feedbacks between the fundamental ecological and evolutionary processes that maintain life. Humans in cities alter the eco-evolutionary play by simultaneously changing both the actors and the stage on which the eco-evolutionary play takes place. Urbanization modifies land...
Article
Full-text available
Urban science seeks to understand the fundamental processes that drive, shape and sustain cities and urbanization. It is a multi/transdisciplinary approach involving concepts, methods and research from the social, natural, engineering and computational sciences, along with the humanities. This report is intended to convey the current “state of the...
Article
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This is a report on the discussions held during an NSF SUS conference “Graduate Education for a New Sustainable Urban Systems Science: Designing a New PhD Curriculum Integrating Sustainability Science and Urban Science”. The conference was motivated by the call made by the NSF for “...developing the next generation of sustainable urban systems scie...
Article
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Urban ecosystems are rapidly expanding throughout the world, but how urban growth affects the evolutionary ecology of species living in urban areas remains largely unknown. Urban ecology has advanced our understanding of how the development of cities and towns changes environmental conditions and alters ecological processes and patterns. However, d...
Article
We present a framework for studying generic behaviors possible in the interaction between a resource-harvesting technological civilization (an exo-civilization) and the planetary environment in which it evolves. Using methods from dynamical systems theory, we introduce and analyze a suite of simple equations modeling a population which consumes res...
Chapter
Full-text available
Global urbanization promises better services, stronger economies, and more connections; it also carries risks and unforeseeable consequences. To deepen our understanding of this complex process and its importance for global sustainability, we need to build interdisciplinary knowledge around a systems approach. Urban Planet takes an integrative look...
Chapter
Full-text available
Global urbanization promises better services, stronger economies, and more connections; it also carries risks and unforeseeable consequences. To deepen our understanding of this complex process and its importance for global sustainability, we need to build interdisciplinary knowledge around a systems approach. Urban Planet takes an integrative look...
Article
We develop a classification scheme for the evolutionary state of planets based on the non-equilibrium thermodynamics of their coupled systems, including the presence of a biosphere and the possibility of what we call an agency-dominated biosphere (i.e. an energy-intensive technological species). The premise is that Earths entry into the Anthropocen...
Book
As human activity and environmental change come to be increasingly recognized as intertwined phenomena on a rapidly urbanizing planet, the field of urban ecology has risen to offer useful ways of thinking about coupled human and natural systems. On the forefront of this discipline is Marina Albert whose innovative work offers a conceptual framework...
Chapter
Full-text available
North America contains some of the most urbanized landscapes in the world. In the United States (U.S.) and Canada, approximately 80 % of the population is urban, with Mexico slightly less (Kaiser Family Foundation 2013). Population growth combined with economic growth has fueled recent urban land expansion in North America. Between 1970 and 2000, u...
Chapter
Full-text available
We are entering a new urban era in which the ecology of the planet as a whole is increasingly influenced by human activities (Ellis 2011; Steffen et al. 2011a, b; Folke et al. 2011). Cities have become a central nexus of the relationship between people and nature, both as crucial centres of demand of ecosystem services, and as sources of environmen...
Technical Report
Full-text available
The Snohomish Basin Scenarios (SBS) aim to support critical decisions for maintaining ecosystem functions in the Snohomish Basin in the long term despite irreducible uncertainty. The Project, led by the Urban Ecology Research Lab in partnership with a team of regional experts, aimed to develop and assess hypotheses about the future trajectories of...
Conference Paper
The Puget Lowlands are the most rapidly changing ecoregion in the US, as a result of forestry management and urbanization. However, it is unlikely that the processes driving land cover changes are uniform across the entire Puget Sound lowlands. Forest management practices by vary by land owner, and urban land uses are usually spatially autocorrelat...
Article
Detecting impervious surface in urban areas is critical to understanding the effects of urbanization on ecological processes. However, it presents unique challenges due to the spatial and spectral heterogeneity of the urban surfaces and the rapid changes in land cover that occur over short time periods. In this project, we develop a hybrid approach...
Article
Understanding the role humans play in modifying ecosystems through changing land cover is central to addressing our current and emerging environmental challenges. In particular, the consequences of urban growth and land cover change on terrestrial carbon budgets is a growing issue for our rapidly urbanizing planet. Using the lowland Seattle Statist...
Conference Paper
Historic land use is a potentially significant factor determining present day watershed condition. Previous research has shown that historical land uses can have lasting effects on watershed condition that are manifest in present day hydrologic and water quality variables. However, the relative importance of past land uses such as the extent and in...
Article
Full-text available
The distributed hydrology–soil–vegetation model (DHSVM) was used to study the potential impacts of projected future land cover and climate change on the hydrology of the Puget Sound basin, Washington, in the mid-twenty-first century. A 60-year climate model output, archived for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fourth Assessment...
Article
Urbanizing regions increasing challenge the ecosystem's capacity to deliver important ecological services to the human population and support human well-being. Scholars of urban ecology have hypothesized that the patterns of urbanization control ecosystem dynamics through complex interactions and feedback mechanisms linking urban activities and the...
Chapter
This chapter presents a unified modeling approach to predict urban development, land-cover change, and ecosystem response to landscape change focusing on predicting the effects of future landscape change on avian communities as a case example of models that produce results useful to conservation planning across large landscapes. The Central Puget S...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanization and the resulting changes in land cover have myriad impacts on ecological systems. Monitoring these changes across large spatial extents and long time spans requires synoptic remotely sensed data with an appropriate temporal sequence. We developed a multi-temporal land cover dataset for a six-county area surrounding the Seattle, Washin...
Article
This is the second of two special issues in Progress in Planning exploring emerging research agendas in planning. It brings together scholars from diverse schools working on new areas of research and application in urban design and planning. Emergent research agendas include both novel areas of research and important shifts in the direction of a re...
Article
Full-text available
This special issue explores emerging research agendas in planning. It brings together scholars from diverse schools working on new areas of research and application in urban design and planning. Emergent research agendas include both novel areas of research and important shifts in the direction of a research area. The challenge for planning schools...
Article
Full-text available
The Puget Sound basin in northwestern Washington, USA has experienced substantial land cover and climate change over the last century. Using a spatially distributed hydrology model (the Distributed Hydrology-Soil-Vegetation Model, DHSVM) the concurrent effects of changing climate (primarily temperature) and land cover in the basin are deconvolved,...
Article
A controversial issue in managing urbanizing watersheds is determining the scale at which conservation measures should be implemented. Current “best practices” suggest establishing riparian buffers along stream corridors and limiting impervious surfaces to prevent degradation of instream biological conditions. While there is increasing evidence tha...
Article
Full-text available
Our central paradigm for urban ecology is that cities are emergent phenomena of local-scale, dynamic interactions among socioeconomic and biophysical forces. These complex interactions give rise to a distinctive ecology and to distinctive ecological forcing functions. Separately, both the natural and the social sciences have adopted complex system...
Article
Humans have continuously interacted with natural systems, resulting in the formation and development of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS). Recent studies reveal the complexity of organizational, spatial, and temporal couplings of CHANS. These couplings have evolved from direct to more indirect interactions, from adjacent to more distant lin...
Article
Full-text available
Urbanizing regions are major determinants of global and continental scale changes in carbon budgets through land transformation and modification of biogeochemical processes (Pataki et al. 2006). However, direct measurements of the effects of urbanization on carbon fluxes are extremely limited. In this paper we develop a strategy to quantify urban c...
Article
The Earth’s urban population has increased dramatically over the past century, from 224 million in 1900 to 2.9 billion in 2000 (United Nations [UN] 2004). Currently, more than 50 percent of the world’s population lives in urban areas (3.5 billion), and it is expected that this proportion will reach nearly 70 percent (6.3 billion) in 2050 (UN 2009)....
Article
A 34 year time series (1972–2006) of Landsat imagery for a portion of Snohomish and King Counties, Washington (the Snohomish Water Resource Inventory Area (WRIA)) was analyzed to estimate the amount of land that was converted into impervious surface as a result of urban and residential development. Spectral unmixing was used to determine the fracti...
Article
Full-text available
We used an integrated modeling approach to simulate future land cover and predict the effects of future urban development and land cover on avian diversity in the Central Puget Sound region of Washington State, USA. We parameterized and applied a land cover change model (LCCM) that used output from a microsimulation model of urban development, Urba...
Chapter
Full-text available
Our central paradigm for urban ecology is that cities are emergent phenomena of local-scale, dynamic interactions among socioeconomic and biophysical forces. These complex interactions give rise to a distinctive ecology and to distinctive ecological forcing functions. Separately, both the natural and the social sciences have adopted complex system...
Article
In this paper I build on current research in urban and ecological simulation modeling to develop a conceptual framework for modeling the urban ecosystem. Although important progress has been made in various areas of urban modeling, operational urban models are still primitive in terms of their ability to represent ecological processes. On the other...
Chapter
Full-text available
Ecological studies of terrestrial urban systems have been approached along several kinds of contrasts: ecology in as opposed to ecology of cities; biogeochemical compared to organismal perspectives, land use planning versus biological, and disciplinary versus interdisciplinary. In order to point out how urban ecological studies are poised for signi...
Chapter
One of the greatest challenges for natural and social scientists over the next few decades will be to understand how urbanizing regions evolve through the extraordinarily complex interactions between humans and biophysical processes. The challenge is to incorporate this complexity in studying urban ecosystems and their evolution. For more than a ce...
Book
The future of Earth's ecosystems is increasingly influenced by the pace and patterns of urbanization. One of the greatest challenges for natural and social scientists is to understand how urbanizing regions evolve through the complex interactions between humans and ecological processes. Questions and methods of inquiry specific to our traditional d...
Book
Urban Ecology is the study of ecosystems that include humans living in cities and urbanizing landscapes. It is an emerging, interdisciplinary field that aims to understand how human and ecological processes can coexist in human-dominated systems and help societies with their efforts to become more sustainable. It has deep roots in many disciplines...
Chapter
Scholars working at the interface between ecology and the social sciences have started to articulate the opportunities and challenges for ecology to fully and productively integrate the complexity and global scale of human activity into ecological research (Liu et al. 2007). The future of Earth's ecosystems is increasingly influenced by human actio...
Chapter
Urbanizing regions present challenges to ecosystem ecology, but the field may gain important insights from studying these areas. Earth's ecosystems are increasingly influenced by urbanization, and their functioning is dependent on the landscape patterns emerging in urbanizing regions. While ecosystem ecology still lacks a theory of ecosystem functi...
Article
Full-text available
Humans have continuously interacted with natural systems, resulting in the formation and development of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS). Recent studies reveal the complexity of organizational, spatial, and temporal couplings of CHANS. These couplings have evolved from direct to more indirect interactions, from adjacent to more distant lin...
Article
Full-text available
Integrated studies of coupled human and natural systems reveal new and complex patterns and processes not evident when studied by social or natural scientists separately. Synthesis of six case studies from around the world shows that couplings between human and natural systems vary across space, time, and organizational units. They also exhibit non...
Article
Landscape change associated with urbanization poses major challenges to aquatic ecosystems. Extensive studies have shown that the composition of land cover within a watershed can account for much of the variability in water quality and stream ecological conditions. While several studies have addressed the relationship between watershed urbanization...
Article
Full-text available
In the Puget Sound, the early settlement started in the mid-1800s. Since then population has increased by 17 times. Now, about 70% of Washington state population lives in the Puget Sound. Population increase has changed landscape in the Puget Sound. The urban area, mostly located in the Puget Sound lowland, increased to about 6% by 2002. Forest, mo...