Hillary S Young

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We live amid a global wave of anthropogenically driven biodiversity loss: species and population extirpations and, critically, declines in local species abundance. Particularly, human impacts on animal biodiversity are an under-recognized form of global environmental change. Among terrestrial vertebrates, 322 species have become extinct since 1500, and(More)
Large predators are often highly mobile and can traverse and use multiple habitats. We know surprisingly little about how predator mobility determines important processes of ecosystem connectivity. Here we used a variety of data sources drawn from Palmyra Atoll, a remote tropical marine ecosystem where large predators remain in high abundance, to(More)
Many studies have suggested that ecosystem conservation protects human and wildlife populations against infectious disease. We tested this hypothesis using data on primates and their parasites. First, we tested for relationships between species' resilience to human disturbance and their parasite richness, prevalence and immune defences, but found no(More)
Control of human infectious disease has been promoted as a valuable ecosystem service arising from the conservation of biodiversity. There are two commonly discussed mechanisms by which biodiversity loss could increase rates of infectious disease in a landscape. First, loss of competitors or predators could facilitate an increase in the abundance of(More)
Understanding the effects of land-use change on zoonotic disease risk is a pressing global health concern. Here, we compare prevalence of Yersinia pestis, the etiologic agent of plague, in rodents across two land-use types-agricultural and conserved-in northern Tanzania. Estimated abundance of seropositive rodents nearly doubled in agricultural sites(More)
Populations of large wildlife are declining on local and global scales. The impacts of this pulse of size-selective defaunation include cascading changes to smaller animals, particularly rodents, and alteration of many ecosystem processes and services, potentially involving changes to prevalence and transmission of zoonotic disease. Understanding linkages(More)
Large mammalian herbivores (LMH) strongly influence plant communities, and these effects can propagate indirectly throughout food webs. Most existing large-scale manipulations of LMH presence/absence consist of a single exclusion treatment, and few are replicated across environmental gradients. Thus, important questions remain about the functional roles of(More)
Large animals are severely depleted in many ecosystems, yet we are only beginning to understand the ecological implications of their loss. To empirically measure the short-term eVects of removing large animals from an ocean ecosystem, we used exclosures to remove large Wsh from a near-pristine coral reef at Palmyra Atoll, Central PaciWc Ocean. We identiWed(More)
Accurately surveying shark populations is critical to monitoring precipitous ongoing declines in shark abundance and interpreting the effects that these reductions are having on ecosystems. To evaluate the effectiveness of existing survey tools, we used field trials and computer simulations to critically examine the operation of four common methods for(More)
Ectoparasites frequently vector pathogens from often unknown pathogen reservoirs to both human and animal populations. Simultaneous identification of the ectoparasite species, the wildlife host that provided their most recent blood meal(s), and their pathogen load would greatly facilitate the understanding of the complex transmission dynamics of(More)