Erle C. Ellis

Director, Anthroecology Lab

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

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My work explores the ecology of human landscapes and their changes from local to global scales, including human transformation and sustainable stewardship of the biosphere (anthromes, anthroecology), tools for global synthesis of local knowledge (GLOBE), inexpensive tools for measuring and managing ecological change across anthropogenic landscapes (Ecosynth, Anthropogenic Ecotope Mapping), and long-term ecological changes across China’s village landscapes. All of these efforts come together in my main goal: informing sustainable stewardship of the biosphere in the Anthropocene. I teach courses in environmental science and landscape ecology at UMBC, and I’ve taught ecology at Harvard’s Graduate School of Design. I am currently a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Martin School (2023-2024), a chapter author of the US National Nature Assessment, a lead author of the Transformative Change Assessment of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES), a Fellow of the Global Land Programme, a Senior Fellow of the Breakthrough Institute, an advisor to the Nature Needs Half movement, and a former member of the Anthropocene Working Group (2009-2023). I’ve published more than 100 scientific articles and I’m recognized as a global highly cited researcher. I am the 2021 to 2024 Presidential Research Professor at UMBC.


My first book, Anthropocene: A Very Short Introduction, was published in 2018 by Oxford University Press.