Erle C. Ellis (艾尔青)

Associate Professor
Geography & Environmental Systems
University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Ph.D., Cornell University, 1990
ece "at"

Department web page:

Landscape Ecology, Global Change, Biogeochemistry & Sustainable Ecosystem Management


My research investigates the ecology of anthropogenic landscapes and their changes at local and global scales. My early work studied nitrogen cycling and sustainable agroecosystem management in China's ancient village ecosystems, and later measured long-term changes in carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus storage and flux across China's village landscapes caused by the transition from traditional to industrially-based agricultural systems. At present, my research has three main foci: understanding the global ecology of anthropogenic landscapes (anthropogenic biomes), the development of global synthesis tools that link human and ecological change processes at landscape scales with their global causes and consequences (GLOBE), and developing inexpensive tools for measuring and managing ecological pattern, process and 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 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).


The latest from our BLOG
human landscapes

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...