Assistant Professor of Urban Ecology
For more than ten years my academic and professional research has attempted to understand how ecological systems work and how to conserve biodiversity and restore damaged ecosystems and their associated functions. My research, teaching, and activism centers on the premise that humans are integrated components of ecosystems and therefore must recognize and take responsibility for the intimate role they play in the structuring and functioning of all ecosystems. This is nowhere more apparent than in urban areas. Cities are home to more than fifty percent of humanity. Hence, most people’s experience of nature is urban. This requires that cities become models of highly sustainable human ecosystems. Therefore, my current research efforts are focused on better understanding urban socio-ecologies and specifically on protecting and restoring ecological functions and services in the urban forests of New York City.Prior to joining The New School, I spent three years as a Columbia University Science Fellow teaching environmental and ecological science and conducting research at Columbia’s Earth Institute. I have also worked as an ecologist at the American Museum of Natural History’s Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, am a former National Science Foundation Fellow, and continue to work with local policymakers, planners, and designers on urban sustainability research and education.