Patrick Shirey

  • Associate Director, Pittsburgh Water Collaboratory
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Geology & Environmental Sciences

Dr. Patrick Shirey is a Certified Ecologist (Ecological Society of America) and Certified Fisheries Professional (American Fisheries Society). Patrick conducts multidisciplinary research using techniques from his terminal degrees in ecology (Ph.D.) and law (J.D.). He has given over 40 scientific presentations (19 invited) and has published an invited comment in Nature and 18 peer-reviewed manuscripts in Conservation Letters, Earth Surface Processes and Landforms, Ecology and Society, Ecohydrology, Fisheries, the Journal of Paleolimnology, and other journals. His recently published research topics include urban stream restoration, endangered species conservation policy, environmental DNA, and science communication.

    Education & Training

  • Postdoctoral Associate, University of Pittsburgh
  • Ph.D. Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • J.D. The Dickinson School of Law at The Pennsylvania State University; Certificate in Environmental and Natural Resources Law
  • M.S. Wildlife Science, New Mexico State University
  • B.S. Wildlife and Fisheries Science, The Pennsylvania State University
  • International Study Experience: University College Cork

Research Interests

As an ecologist that works on policy, I evaluate how society restores ecosystems and recovers imperiled species to seek pragmatic policy solutions grounded in science. My educational background in both ecology (Ph.D.) and law (J.D.) enables me to train students to approach scientific inquiry with a mindset of (1) asking research questions relevant to society and (2) applying the knowledge gained to solve societal problems exacerbated by inefficient laws and policies. My research is strengthened by a transdisciplinary approach that uses ecological data combined with the study of existing laws to identify inefficiencies in resource management and opportunities to inform environmental policy.