Headshot of Thomas Albright

Thomas Albright

Interim Nevada State Climatologist, Associate Professor


Thomas Albright employs landscape ecological and biogeographic perspectives to understand the causes and consequences of environmental change at local to global scales. His work has examined the role of climate and human dispersal in the spread of invasive plants in the US and China, the effects of extreme weather and disturbance on avian communities across the US, and the rate and patterns of land cover change and desertification in the West African Sahel.

In his research and teaching, Dr. Albright employs a variety of remote sensing platforms, field data, GIS, spatial analysis, and hierarchical modeling. His remote sensing work has included inventories of glacier cover in the Himalaya using synthetic aperture radar, documenting the rise and fall of the world's largest water hyacinth infestation in East Africa, and characterizing heat waves using thermal remote sensing. Dr. Albright has a long history of international research, applications, and teaching from over 15 countries and speaks French and Spanish proficiently.

Research areas of interest

Conservation Biogeography; ecoclimatology; landscape ecology and remote sensing


  • Postdoctoral Associate, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007-2010
  • Ph.D., Zoology (ecology), University of Wisconsin-Madison, 2007
  • Senior Scientist, USGS EROS Center, South Dakota, 1997-2007
  • M.A., Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, 1997
  • B.S., Geography & Cartography/GIS, University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993

Courses taught

  • Physical Geography of the World's Environments (GEOG 103)
  • Remote Sensing: Principles and Applications (GEOG/NRES 411/611)
  • Climate Solutions: Local to Global Perspectives (GEOG 434/634)
  • Seminar in Biogeography: Climate-Change Ecology (GEOG 701S)
  • Conservation of Natural Resources (GEOG 422/622)

Selected publications

  • Albright, TP, D Mutiibwa, AR Gerson, EK Smith, WA Talbot, JJ O'Neill, AE Mckechnie, BO Wolf, 2017, Mapping evaporative water loss in desert passerines reveals an expanding threat of lethal dehydration, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1613625114.
  • Sadoti G, TP Albright, K Johnson, 2017, Applying dynamic species distribution modelling to lek-mating species, Journal of Biogeography, 44(1):75-87, doi:10.1111/jbi.12886.
  • Behnke, R, SJ Vavrus, A Allstadt, TP Albright, W Thogmartin, V Radeloff, 2016, Evaluation of downscaled, gridded climate data for the conterminous United States, Ecological Applications, 26(5):1338-1351, 10.1002/15-1061
  • Mutiibwa, D, SJ Vavrus, SA McAfee, TP Albright, 2015, Recent Spatio-temporal patterns in Temperature Extremes across Conterminous United States. J of Geophys. Res. - Atmospheres /Wiley-AGU, 120(15), 7378-7392.
  • Albright TP, AM Pidgeon, CD Rittenhouse, MK Clayton, CH Flather, PD Culbert, BD Wardlow, & VC Radeloff, 2010, Effects of drought on avian community structure, Global Change Biology 16:2158-2170, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2009.02120.x .
  • Albright, TP, TG Moorhouse, & TJ McNabb, 2004, The rise and fall of water hyacinth in Lake Victoria and the Kagera River Basin, 1989-2001, Journal of Aquatic Plant Management, 42:73-84.