Elissa Olimpi was a postdoc in the Karp Lab in the Department of Wildlife, Fish, and Conservation Biology at the University of California, Davis from 2017-2020. Elissa completed her PhD in 2017 at the University of California, Santa Cruz. Elissa’s doctoral research focused on bat ecology and conservation in agricultural landscapes in California’s Central Coast. She examined how the characteristics of agroecosystems influence the diversity, distribution, and diets of bats. Her research suggests that bats respond to local farm management practices and landscape structure.
Elissa’s interdisciplinary research is situated at the interface of conservation and agriculture and strives to understand how production landscapes can support biodiversity and benefit from the services provided by intact, ecological communities. She draws on ecological theory to understand how highly-modified agricultural landscapes influence biodiversity, and asks how changes in biodiversity translate into changes in ecosystem services. Her research informs management by identifying where and how to prioritize conservation efforts in production landscapes. To complement her ecological research, Elissa explores how changing food-safety standards influence grower adoption of agricultural conservation practices intended to protect environmental quality and biodiversity.