China’s rural revolution

China’s explosive economic growth has awed the world, and is now felt in every corner of the Earth. As a result, earth systems are being changed at unprecedented rates, while bringing more people into a modern lifestyle than ever before. While we normally perceive these changes in terms of rapid urbanization and industrialization, China’s ancient rural landscapes are also being […]

Dynamics of village change in China’s Yangtze Delta (new publication)

 China’s Yangtze Delta (also known as the Tai Lake Region) is home to some of the world’s most ancient anthropogenic landscapes. Rice was likely domesticated here 8,500 years ago, and the region’s nickname “land of fish and rice” sums up it’s long history of highly productive agriculture. Indeed, the region has long been a poster child for sustainable traditional agriculture […]

Pushing back the Anthropocene at the AGU

The Early Anthropocene Hypothesis holds that human alteration of climate began with forest clearing and rice production more than 6 thousand years ago. Here are my personal impressions of recent work supporting this hypothesis, from last week’s annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union (AGU) in San Francisco (a conference of 15,000- so big its like Woodstock for Earth scientists). […]

Land Use and Climate Change

by Erica Antill At the end of August, my graduate adviser, Erle Ellis, was invited to a joint US-German conference in Berlin, Germany: Tough Choices: Land Use under a Changing Climate. (http://www.nkgcf.org/usg08) The NSF, which funded the US side, encouraged the “senior scientists” who were attending to invite a “young scientist” to come along, in the spirit of encouraging future […]

Anthromes on the cover of Frontiers in Ecology

At last! After nearly one year online, my paper with Navin Ramankutty introducing Anthropogenic Biomes (Anthromes), is now in print in the October issue of Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Even better, it is on the cover! The paper can be viewed online (with permission) at the Frontiers in Ecology web site: esajournals.org/doi/abs/10.1890/070062 And downloaded for free, here: ecotope.org/people/ellis/papers/ellis_2008.pdf […]

Is managing global climate now our duty?

We live in interesting times. We’ve now realized that our activities are changing global climate and thereby harming both ourselves and the rest of the biosphere. And we are begining to do something about it. International efforts are assessing and attempting to manage our climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and many institutions and even individuals are taking action to become “carbon […]

The Earth We Created – an interview

Here is an interview about my work with anthropogenic biomes and opinions about sustainable management of the environment: http://knowledge.allianz.com/search.cfm?156/the-environmental-impact-of-population-growth The reporter, Thilo Kunzemann, of Allianz Knowledge, did a great job by asking me some hard questions- they were fun to answer- but I hope my answers won’t seem overconfident in the next 50 years!

Welcome to our new blog site!

Welcome to our new blogging site for the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology! This site will give members of our lab a forum for discussing the nature we humans have created on our planet, and the tools we need to observe, model, and manage our new human nature.