Lance Gunderson


Office: 400 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

Phone: 404-727-2429

Fax: 404-727-4448



Lance Gunderson was born and raised in southern Florida. He attended the University of Florida, receiving bachelor's and master's degrees in Botany and a Ph. D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences. He worked for over a decade as a botanist with the US National Park Service in the Big Cypress and the Everglades regions of southern Florida. He then worked for a decade as a research scientist in the Dept. of Zoology at the University of Florida. He was the founding chair of the Department of Environmental Studies at Emory University from 1999-2005. He has served as the executive director of the Resilience Network, as Vice Chair of the Resilience Alliance and on the Science Advisory Board of the Grand Canyon Monitoring and Research Center, and Chair of the National Academy of Sciences, National Research Council Committee on Ecological Impacts of Road Density. He is also Co-Editor in Chief of the online journal Ecology and Society ( In 2007 he was named a Beijer Fellow, of the Beijer Institute for Ecological Economics Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences, (

Courses Taught

  • ENVS 131 Environmental Sciences
  • ENVS 240 Ecosystem Ecology
  • ENVS 320 Environmental Assessment and Management
  • ENVS 385 Wetland Ecology
  • ENVS 420 Law and Biodiversity

Research Interests

His ongoing research interests are in two major categories: 1) understanding how ecosystem processes and structures interact across space and time scales and 2) how scientific understanding influences resource policy and management. His interests are in the human and institutional dimensions to resource ecology

Recent Publications

Journal Articles

Allen, C.R., L Gunderson, A. Johnson. .2005. The Use of Discontinuities and Functional Groups to Assess Relative Resilience in Complex Systems. Ecosystems 8 (8): 958-966.

Gunderson, L. H., S. R. Carpenter, C. Folke, P. Olsson, and G. D. Peterson. 2006. Water RATs (resilience, adaptability, and transformability) in lake and wetland social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 11(1): 16. [online] URL:

Olsson, P., L. H. Gunderson, S. R. Carpenter, P. Ryan, L. Lebel, C. Folke, and C. S. Holling. 2006. Shooting the rapids: navigating transitions to adaptive governance of social-ecological systems. Ecology and Society 11(1): 18. [online] URL:

F. Berkes, T. P. Hughes, R. S. Steneck, J. A. Wilson, D. R. Bellwood, B. Crona, C. Folke, L. H. Gunderson, H. M. Leslie, J. Norberg, M. Nyström, P. Olsson, H. Österblom, M. Scheffer, and B. Worm. 2006. Globalization, Roving Bandits, and Marine Resources. Science 311: 1557-1558.

Gunderson, L.H. and S.S. Light. 2006. Adaptive management and adaptive governance in the Everglades . Policy Sciences 39(4): 323-334.

Gunderson, L.H. 2007. Ecology: Surprising Pathway For Coral Reef Recovery. Current Biology 17(1): 27-28.


Gunderson, L.H., C.S. Holling, and S.S. Light. 1995. Barriers and Bridges to Renewal of Ecosystems and Institutions. Columbia University Press, New York, New York.

Gunderson, L.H., and C.S. Holling. 2002. Panarchy: Understanding Transformations in Human and Natural Systems. Island Press, Washington, DC .

Gunderson, L.H., and L. Pritchard. 2002. Resilience and the Behavior of Large Scale Ecosystems. SCOPE volume. Island Press, Washington, DC.

National Research Council. 2005. Assessing And Managing Ecological Conditions and Roads Across Spatial and Temporal Scales. National Academy Press, Washington, DC.

Research Links

The Resilience Alliance

Ecology and Society