Iara Lacher is a landscape ecologist and program lead with the Smithsonian Conservation Biology Institute's Changing Landscapes Initiative. She has an interdisciplinary background in policy and environmental management, which she leverages into applied biodiversity and conservation research on the factors that influence the distribution and diversity of species across landscapes.

Lacher earned a Ph.D. in ecology from the University of California, Davis, where her dissertation evaluated the climatic responses of native plant species and the use of species distribution models to predict extinction risk. Her current work combines scenario planning and spatially explicit land-use models to illustrate how different land-use features may impact biodiversity and ecosystem services.


Changing Landscapes Initiative

Smithsonian scientists work alongside community members in Northwestern Virginia to evaluate the impacts of land-use change on wildlife, ecosystem services and community health.