Research at IAB

The Institute of Arctic Biology is Alaska’s principal research and educational institution for investigating high-latitude plant, animal, and human biological systems and providing the public, state of Alaska, and national resource managers and policymakers the necessary knowledge to interpret, predict, and manage biological ecosystems in the face of uncertainty.

Research in Wildlife includes predator-prey behavior and ecology, migration ecology and evolution, wildlife diseases and effects of contaminants; nutritional physiology and ecology; stochastic population processes; quantitative ecology, particularly development and application of capture-recapture estimators; endangered species management and planning; remote sensing; habitat and landscape processes; conservation biology; avian ecology; and behavioral, population, and community ecology of insects, birds, and mammals.

Ecology and Ecosystem research includes climate change modeling; tundra and boreal ecosystem structure and function; biogeochemistry, ecosystem nutrient cycling and fine-root dynamics; species diversity and ecosystem processes; plant-microbe interactions; CO2 flux in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems; evolutionary and population ecology of insect-plant interactions; and insect behavioral and chemical ecology.

Physiology research includes stress endocrinology and physiological ecology of birds; physiological ecology, neurobiology, and molecular genetics of hibernation in mammals; biological rhythms and sleep; overwintering biology of animals including insects; evolutionary and ecological immunology; neural regulation of thermoregulation, and behavioral and physiological mechanisms by which animals cope with arctic environments.

Biomedical research programs include the Center for Alaska Native Health Research, which investigates weight, nutrition, and health in Alaska Natives from genetic, dietary, and cultural-behavioral perspectives; the Alaska Basic Neuroscience Program, which strives to expand and stimulate basic neuroscience research with a focus on neuroprotection, and the IDeA Networks of Biomedical Research Excellence, which focuses on infectious wildlife diseases and effects of contaminants, especially in subsistence species.

Genetics and Evolutionary Biology research include population genetics of plants, animals, and fungi; molecular systematics; population structure and adaptive evolution of sex and sex ratios in plants; and the genetic basis of obesity in humans.