My research investigates the ecology of anthropogenic landscapes and their changes at local to global scales. Current work in my lab has three main foci: the global ecology and history of human landscapes (anthropogenic biomes), tools for global synthesis of local knowledge of landscape change (GLOBE), and inexpensive tools for measuring and managing ecological change across anthropogenic landscapes (Ecosynth, Anthropogenic Ecotope Mapping). All of these come together in my main goal: informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. My earlier work investigated ecological changes in China's village landscapes during the traditional to industrial agriculture transition. My teaching includes Environmental Science & Conservation (120), Landscape Ecology (305), Applied Landscape Ecology (405/605), Biogeochemical Cycles in the Global Environment (412/612) and Field Methods in Geography: Environmental Mapping (485/685). From 2013-2015 I co-taught GSD 6241: Ecologies, Techniques, Technologies III (Introduction to Ecology) as Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. I am currently a member of the Anthropocene Working Group, the Scientific Steering Committee of the Global Land Project, and Senior Fellow of the Breakthrough Institute.
Land change trade-offs for ecosystem services and biodiversity , Land management systems
A new opinion piece in Philosophical Transactions B of the Royal Society looks at how Earth's most disruptive force of nature, the power of human aspirations, can be guided to achieve a better future for both people and the planet.
A Special Issue of IOPscience Environmental Research: Food System seeks articles that address "how" exactly transformations to more sustainable land systems can be achieved. There is a greater need to better understand how competing visions for the land can be reconciled and to explore the full range of solution space for sustainability. This also implies going beyond individual policy approaches to envisioning and executing transformations in the structural factors shaping land systems including, for example, colonial legacies, capitalist and economic growth oriented economic systems, consumptive cultures, and unjust or undemocratic political systems. Deadline: 1 May 2024
A new article in Nature found that the cropland expansion in PAs accelerated dramatically from 2000 to 2019, compared with that of global croplands. Notably, some PAs with the highest conservation levels failed to prevent cropland expansion.
Clarivate Analytics, the global leader in providing trusted insights and analytics to enable researchers to accelerate discovery, published its annual Highly Cited Researchers (HCR) list for 2022 with 31 GLP Members, SSC Members, and GLP Fellows on it.