Elizabeth G. King, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Odum School of Ecology and
Warnell School of Forestry & Natural Resources;
Center for Integrative Conservation Research
University of Georgia

140 E. Green St.
Athens, GA 30602 USA
office: 706-542-1348
fax:  706-542-3344
mobile: 352-262-3378
egking "at" uga.edu

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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.

Sustainability 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 Kenya, as well as studying the spatial and ecohydrological dynamics of land degradation and restoration.  I am also keenly interested in the social and policy sides of land degradation, land tenure.  I believe that integrating biophysical research with investigations into human dimensions of common pool resource management is essential to promoting pastoralist sustainability.   This approach to sustainability science is at the heart of my research and teaching interests.

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

Salt 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?     

 Refer to "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!

Further Reading:

CV and publications