It is with deep sadness that we announce Brad McRae, a former NCEAS post-doc and dear friend to many, passed away last week from stomach cancer. He is survived by his wife and two children, ages 2 and 4. This is a significant loss to the NCEAS community and the scientific community as a whole.
Brad was in residence at NCEAS from November 2005 to July 2008, where his postdoctoral project focused on linking landscape ecology and population genetics using algorithms from circuit theory. His work, in collaboration with others, led to the creation of Circuitscape, a connectivity analysis software used to predict population movement patterns in a landscape.
Most recently, Brad worked for the Nature Conservancy as a Senior Landscape Ecologist for the North America region. His job focused on spatial analyses, including incorporating habitat connectivity, climate change, and ecosystems services into conservation planning.
Brad had a profound impact on the science and personal lives of almost everyone that overlapped with him. He was a brilliant scientist that applied theory from electrical engineering to conservation science, and developed tools based on his research that have had global impact on conservation design and strategy. He was humble, witty, thoughtful, and caring, with a passion for being outdoors and making a difference in the world and people’s lives.
Friends and colleagues of his have set up a memorial fund here.
Brad McRae will be dearly missed by all that knew him.
Brad's publications from his NCEAS work:
- Epperson, B. K., McRae, B. H., Scribner, K. I. M., Cushman, S. A., Rosenberg, M. S., Fortin, M. J., James, P.M.A., Murphy, M., Manel, S., Legendre, P., & Dale, M. R. (2010). Utility of computer simulations in landscape genetics. Molecular Ecology, 19(17), 3549-3564.
- McRae, B. H., Dickson, B. G., Keitt, T. H., & Shah, V. B. (2008). Using circuit theory to model connectivity in ecology, evolution, and conservation. Ecology, 89(10), 2712-2724.
- McRae, B. H., Schumaker, N. H., McKane, R. B., Busing, R. T., Solomon, A. M., & Burdick, C. A. (2008). A multi-model framework for simulating wildlife population response to land-use and climate change. Ecological Modelling, 219(1), 77-91.
- McRae, B. H., & Beier, P. (2007). Circuit theory predicts gene flow in plant and animal populations. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 104(50), 19885-19890.
- McRae, B. H. (2006). Isolation by resistance. Evolution, 60(8), 1551-1561.
Brad participated in the following NCEAS working groups:
- Landscape and population connectivity
- Analysis and conservation prioritization of landscape connectivity in Nevada
- Genetic monitoring: Development of tools for conservation and management
- An interdisciplinary approach to advancing landscape genetics
- An introduction to the analysis of community time series using Multivariate Autoregressive (MAR) models training workshop