Erle C. Ellis (艾尔青) Lab Director

Ph.D., Cornell University, 1990
Professor, Geography & Environmental Systems
    University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC)

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Anthropocene, Landscape Ecology, Global Change & Sustainable Ecosystem Management


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: human transformation of the biosphere (anthromes, anthroecology), 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, a Fellow of the Global Land Programme, and Senior Fellow of the Breakthrough Institute.


Visit our BLOG

Anthropocene VSI


A Very Short Introduction

Discovery Channel video about my research:
"Human influence on ecology mapped"

Jorge Ribas, December 14, 2007
The Anthropocene: a man-made world
Tea with the Economist (video):
Erle Ellis on the Anthropocene
Oliver Morton, May 26, 2011

Keywords: landscape ecology, biogeochemistry, ecosystem management, resource management, sustainable agriculture, traditional agriculture, agroecosystems, agroecology, village-scale ecosystems, anthropogenic ecosystems, anthropogenic landscapes, human dominated landscapes, ecological history, agricultural history, ecotope, human ecology, China, observational uncertainty analysis, data quality, integration, ecological synthesis.

    Philosophy ... an informal part of this site...