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In January, 2012, I joined the faculty at the University of Georgia, with joint appointments in the Odum School of Ecology and the Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources. I study sustainability in African dryland social-ecological systems, and more recently, restoration in tidal marshes on the Georgia coast.
in African Drylands
My main research interests revolve around semi-arid ecosystems and traditional pastoralist societies that rely upon them. My approach to these social-ecological systems began with my doctoral research (Population Biology, UC Davis) in the field of restoration ecology, where I examined the utility of planting native aloe shrubs into degraded Kenyan rangelands to promote vegetation recovery. Since then, I have continued to work on community-based rangeland restoration projects in
I collaborate with academic researchers, practitioners, and graduate students on projects ranging from ecohydrology, to landscape-herbivore interactions, to human ecology and resource management. Our research is largely baesd on communally-owned group ranches in northern Laikipia District, Kenya. We also work at the nearby Mpala Research Centre. The region is home to the Laikipia Maasai people, lots of charismatic megafauna, and stunning landscapes.
Watch a recent seminar online ~~ African Pastoralists in Transition: Linked Social and Ecological Dimensions
Marsh Restoration: Land Use Legacies and Resilient Futures
I am initiating a new research program, in response to growing interest among resource management and conservation agencies in tidal marsh restoration on the Georgia coast. We will investigate how legacies of land use and hydrological manipulations affect ecosystem function, and how soil-water-vegetation dynamics reorganize following restoration activities and in response to climate change. In particular, we are focusing on sites where tidal flows have been restricted by dikes, causeways, impoundments, etc., Since restoration entails reintroducing tidal flows into previously tidal-restricted areas, can this study system serve as a window to view the potential impacts of sea level rise?
"The Lab" tab for
more information about
graduate study opportunities associated with these two research agendas.
Also at UGA, I am on the Executive Committee of the Center of for Integrative Conservation Research, which offers a PhD. program in Integrative Conservation. Students may enter the program through Ecology, Forestry & Natural Resources, Anthropology, or Geography. It's a very exciting, cutting edge program, with unique and powerful training for tomorrow's sustainability practitioners and scholars. There are few, if any, programs like it. Check it out!