Isaac Shepard: Doctoral Student Graduate Research Excellence Award

The Doctoral Student Graduate Research Excellence Award recognizes a student who has an exemplary record of research and scholarly activity.

Isaac Shepard standing in the forest.
Photo taken in adherence with health and safety guidelines.

Isaac Shepard came to the University of Maine to transform how scientists think about ecological principles in the context of climate change.

With the guidance of his advisor Hamish Greig, associate professor of stream ecology, Shepard explores the idea that interactions among species are relatively more important for determining habitat limitations at the fringes of their geographic range—a first in aquatic ecosystems. If proven true, future models designed to predict where species are headed in response to climate change will need to account not only for their interactions with their environments, but also other species. 

Shepard’s novel hypothesis was published in the leading journal Global Change Biology. He has been first- or co-author on two additional papers —one in the seminal journal Ecology Letters—and has four more in development. He has also served as an expert reviewer for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 

After he graduates with a Ph.D. in Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Shepard plans to continue to push our understanding of the dynamics between life and the landscapes it inhabits.