Date of Award




Document Type

Master's Thesis

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Department of Biological Sciences

Content Description

1 online resource (vii, 64 pages) : color illustrations, maps

Dissertation/Thesis Chair

Mary K Gonder

Committee Members

Jeremy Kirchman, George Robinson


cameroon, chimpanzee, climate change, ecological niche modeling, GIS, nigeria, Chimpanzees, Endangered species

Subject Categories

Biology | Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Ecological niche theory states that a set of environmental conditions exists that a species relies upon in order to survive and reproduce. Collectively, these variables define a species' niche, which includes a species' dispersal abilities and its range. Ecological niche modeling predicts the distributions of species by using information from environmental variables across geographic space, making it a valuable tool for studying how environment affects population dynamics. With accurate species presence data and geospatial information that describe its known habitat, ENMs can effectively map a species' realized niche across geographical space, and for closely related taxa, be used to understand the ways that ecological variation might contribute to speciation. These modeled ecological niches can also be projected onto other areas to test for habitat suitability as well as over a time series of predicted climate change, to see how the realized niche may change in the future.