Lance Gunderson

Professor & Chair

Office: 400 Dowman Drive, Atlanta, GA 30322

Phone: 404-727-2429

Fax: 404-727-4448



Lance Gunderson attended the University of Florida, receiving bachelor's and master's degrees in Botany and a Ph. D. in Environmental Engineering Sciences. He was a botanist with the US National Park Service in the Big Cypress and the Everglades regions of southern Florida, and 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 Co-Editor in Chief of 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 130 Environmental Sciences
  • ENVS 240 Ecosystem Ecology
  • ENVS 420 Law and Biodiversity
  • ENVS 521 Natural Resource Management

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.


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.


Recent Publications

Cosens, B. and L. Gunderson (Eds).  2018.  Practical Panarchy: Linking Law, Resilience and Adaptive Water Governance of Regional Scale Social Ecological Systems.   Edited volume. Springer.

Gunderson, L., B. A. Cosens, B. C. Chaffin, C. A. (Tom) Arnold, A. K. Fremier, A. S. Garmestani, R. Kundis Craig, H. Gosnell, H. E. Birge, C. R. Allen, M. H. Benson, R. R. Morrison, M. C. Stone, J. A. Hamm, K. Nemec, E. Schlager and D. Llewellyn. 2017. Regime shifts and panarchies in regional scale social-ecological water systems. Ecology and Society 22 (1):31. [online] URL:

Chaffin, B, L. Gunderson and B. Cosens (eds.) 2017. Practicing Panarchy: Assessing Legal Flexibility, Ecological Resilience, and Adaptive Governance in U.S. Regional Water Systems Experiencing Climate Change, special feature in Ecology and Society.

Baho, D. L., C. R. Allen, A. Garmestani, H. Fried-Petersen, S. E. Renes, L. Gunderson and D. G. Angeler. 2017. A quantitative framework for assessing ecological resilience. Ecology and Society 22 (3):17. [online] URL:

Sendzimir, J. P. Magnuszewski, L. Gunderson. 2018. Adaptive management of riverine socio-ecological systems: learning, administration, and governance.  Chapter 19, Riverine Ecosystem Management. S. Schmutz, J. Sendzimir, (eds).  Springer  

Research Links

The Resilience Alliance

Ecology and Society