A Nature Guide for a Human Planet

What is Nature? Are you imagining a place without people? If you did, that’s no surprise. Even in kindergarten many are taught to think of the global patterns of nature in terms of tropical rainforests, savannas, deserts, and other “natural” patterns of ecology – the biomes shaped by climate that were first recognized by Alexander von Humboldt more than two […]

On the passing of Will Steffen

This morning, I learned, through the Anthropocene Working Group (AWG), that Will Steffen had just died. I just had to pause and think about him, and this is my spontaneous Monday morning reflection. Will’s body of work and many accolades will testify to his formative and ongoing influence on the fields of global change and Earth system science. In fact, […]

12,000 years of Anthrome Culture

Ever since Navin Ramankutty and I introduced anthromes in our 2008 paper, “Putting people in the map”, I’ve been working to shift global thinking on people and nature. Today, our PNAS paper “People have shaped most of terrestrial nature for at least 12,000 years” presents evidence supporting a new paradigm for global ecology and conservation. Our work confirms, through a […]

Welcome to the New Anthroecology Site!

After more than 20 years at ecotope.org, we now have a new home at anthroecology.org. We are now The Anthroecology Lab, changed from the Laboratory for Anthropogenic Landscape Ecology. The old site served us well over the years, but it used old web technology, and though we still study the ecology of anthropogenic landscapes, our focus on anthromes and anthroecology […]

UMBC Presidential Research Professor

I’m so happy to be the UMBC Presidential Research Professor for 2021-2024! A huge thank you to all of you who made this possible – there are so many! And especially those who encouraged me to apply for this, with a special shout out to Dr. Christine Mallinson, Director of the Center for Social Science Scholarship, my department chair, Alan […]

Anthroecology: A New Synthesis

Why did behaviorally modern humans and no other multicellular species in the history of the Earth gain the capacity to transform an entire planet? Biology alone cannot explain this – Homo sapiens is just another species in the genus Homo with a few distinctive traits- not including stone tools (common to all species in the genus) and fire (common to […]

Blogging on!

The Human Landscapes Blog is back! Last year, I began an upgrade to WordPress – and got stuck- much harder than expected.  More importantly, after starting to use twitter (@erleellis, @ecosynth, @globalyzer), I’d basically stopped blogging. Yet, I’d been feeling that something was missing – twitter isn’t a real replacement for blogging about the papers we publish and the work of others that […]