Tom dilts

Tom Dilts

Research Scientist, Landscape Ecology/Spatial Analyst


I'm a research landscape ecologist with skills in Geographic Information Systems, remote sensing, habitat modeling, habitat connectivity modeling, landscape genetics, and a member of the Great Basin Landscape Ecology Lab led by Dr. Peter Weisberg. I also work collaboratively with other faculty members in NRES on a variety of projects. Interests include:

  • Understanding landscape change using remote sensing, field measurements, and historical information such as General Land Office survey notes
  • Understanding habitat connectivity using genetic data or movement data combined with habitat variables using landscape genetics optimization approaches
  • Modeling current and future species distributions using novel climatic, topographic, and vegetation variables such as climatic water deficit and height above river
  • Working with emerging technologies such as LiDAR, UAVs, and hyperspectral imagery
  • Developing GIS scripts to automate repetitive and/or complex tasks


Fact Sheets


Impacts of climate change and renewable energy development on habitat of an endemic squirrel Xerospermophilus mohavensis in the Mojave Desert, USA.


Biological Conservation, 200, 112-121

Inman, R., Esque, T., Nussear, K., Matocq, M., Leitner, P., Weisberg, P., Dilts, T.

Multi-scale connectivity and graph theory highlight critical areas for conservation under climate change.


Ecological Applications, 26, 1223-1237

Dilts, T., Weisberg, P., Leitner, P., Matocq, M., Inman, R., Nussear, K., Esque, T.

Fire modulates climate change response of simulated aspen distribution across topoclimatic gradients in a semi-arid montane landscape.


Landscape Ecology, 30(6), 1055 - 1073.

Yang, J., Weisberg, P. J., Shinneman, D. J., Dilts, T., Earnst, S. L., Scheller, R. M. (2015).

Functionally relevant climate variables for arid lands: using climatic water deficit modeling to predict distribution of desert shrub vegetation.


Journal of Biogeography, 42(10), 1986 - 1997.

Dilts, T., Weisberg, P. J., Dencker, C. M., Chambers, J. C.

Predicting wildfire occurrence distribution with spatial point process models and its uncertainty assessment: a case study in the Lake Tahoe Basin, USA.


International Journal of Wildland Fire, 24, 380 - 390.

Yang, J., Weisberg, P. J., Dilts, T., Loudermilk, L., Scheller, R., Stanton, A., Skinner, C.

Guild-specific responses of avian species richness to LiDAR-derived habitat heterogeneity.


Acta Oecologica 59: 72-83.

Weisberg, P.J., Dilts, T.E., Becker, M.E., Ammon, E.M., Young, J.S., Newton, W.E., Wong-Kone, D.C.

Longitudinal- and transverse- scale environmental influences on riparian vegetation across multiple levels of ecological organization.


Landscape Ecology, 26(3): 381-395.

Yang, J., T.E. Dilts, L.A. Condon, P.L. Turner, Weisberg, P.J.

The Landscape Similarity Toolbox: new tools for optimizing the location of control sites in experimental studies.



Dilts, T., Yang, J., Weisberg, P. J.

<p> Large-scale manipulative experiments are critically important for linking ecological theory with land management at a relevant spatial scale. Statistically powerful inferential approaches such...

A weights-of-evidence model for mapping the probability of fire occurrence in Lincoln County, Nevada.


Annals of the Association of American Geographers, 99(4), 712-727.

Dilts, T., Sibold, J. S., Biondi, F.

Lay or Popular Publications

Mapping riparian vegetation with LiDAR data: Predicting plant community distribution using height above river and flood height.


Redlands, California: ArcUser

Dilts, T., Yang, J., Weisberg, P. J.