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Truman P. Young - Professor and Restoration Ecologist



Truman P. Young

Truman P. Young

Department of Plant Sciences

University of California, Davis
Davis, CA 95616

Room 2234, PES Building

Tel. (530) 754-9925
Fax (530) 752-1819


Recent lab news:

April 2014     Marit Wilkerson's single-authored paper is accepted in Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment.

April 2014     Hillary Young's paper on disease prevalence in KLEE is accepted in PNAS.

March 2014     Emily Peffer's single-authored paper is accepted in Hydrobiologia.

March 2014     Laura Morales begin her major field season in the Andes.

March 2014    Derek Young returns from his two-month NSF-IGERT internship to Central and South America.

March 2014     Truman, Emily, and Steve bring restoration, macrophytes and soil crusts to the Grand Canyon.

January 2014    Jen Balachowski begins her Fulbright Fellowship in Montpellier, France.

January 2014   Marit Wilkerson begins her traveling fellowship to the University of Queensland, Australia.

January 2014    Kevin Welch receives additional support from USFS for the study of forest regeneration after fire.

December 2013   Video coverage of one of our controlled burns in KLEE is uploaded and available.

December 2013   Marit Wilkerson's model of invasive species in landscape linkages is published in Ecography.

December 2013   Kristina Wolf is awarded a Milton D. and Mary M. Miller Plant Science Award.

December 2013   Kelly Gravuer is awarded a Foin Fellowship.

November 2013   Antony Kirigia's et al. paper on the Laikipia livestock manure market is published in the African Journal of Agricutural Research.

October 2013   Duncan Kimuyu et al. paper on controlled burns in KLEE is published online in Ecological Applications.

August 2013     Starry Sprenkle takes a job as Deputy Director of Programs, JP/Haitian Relief Organization.

August 2013     Marit Wilkerson and Starry Sprenkle complete their doctoral degrees. Congratulations!

August 2013     Duncan Kimuyu is awarded a $15,000 grant from IFS.

August 2013    Lab alumna Lauren Porensky takes a job as Research Ecologist with the ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit in Fort Collins, Colorado.

June 2013      Lauren Porensky's review of interacting edges is published in Conservation Biology.

May 2013        Lab alumnus Wilfred Odadi is awarded a NatureNet Science Fellowship at The Nature Conservancy.

May 2013        Derek Young is awarded a National Park Service George Melendez Wright Climate Change Fellowship!

April 2013         Lab alumna Corinna Riginos begins her position as Research Ecologist at the Conservation Research Center of Teton Science Schools.

Feb-Mar 2013     Ryan Sensenig and Duncan Kimuyu complete 18 controlled burns in the KLEE plots.

February 2013     Lauren Porensky, Corinna Riginos et al. publish a paper on KLEE vegetation in Ecological Applications.

January 2013     KLEE NSF grant is renewed for five more years!

OK, Back to Truman's stuff:

Truman Young CV

Professional History:

2003-present  Professor and Restoration Ecologist, University of California, Davis
1996-2003      Lecturer, Assistant and Associate Professor, University of California, Davis
1992-96         Associate Professor, Fordham University
1981-91         Post-doc, Lecturer, Consultant, Scientific Director, peripatetic tropical ecologist
1976-81         University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D.)
1972-75         University of Chicago (B.A.)

Research Interests:

I have broad interests in plant population and community ecology, including 35 years of research in Africa.  For the last 20 years, I have been involved with more applied research at the community and landscape scales in California and Kenya.  My current research projects are related to the ecology, management, restoration, and conservation of human-dominated landscapes.

My current research focuses on the following projects:

  1. Contingency in restoration ecology: priority effects, year effects, and site efferct (PRYER)
  2. Livestock and biodiversity in an African savanna (KLEE)


Secondary (and past) research includes:

  1. Planting issues in ecological restoration
  2. The maintenance of biodiversity in a model system (ACACIA)
  3. The evolution of semelparity


My early research (1970s and '80s) concentrated on basic and theoretical questions in population ecology, and the ecology of Mount Kenya

See this link for more details on graduate student research

I also collaborate with my wife, Lynne Isbell, in her studies of primate behavioral ecology.  I provide a life history and plant ecological perspective to her explorations of how food and predation influence the evolution of mammalian behavior. (Behavioral ecology publications).

I am a member of the Graduate Group in Ecology and the Center for Population Biology.

UC Davis Spotlight article on the KLEE exclosure project

Klee monochromatic

Satellite view of the KLEE exclosure plots in Laikipia, Kenya, where we have been excluding various combinations of cattle, wildlife, and mega-herbivores (elephants and giraffes) from a savanna grassland since 1995.  Each of the 18 plots is 200m x 200m.  This is an NDVI layer of an image taken 20 June 2003 (Quickbird, via Digital Globe). Lighter areas are indicative of higher productivity.  The larger white areas are anthropogenic glades, and the smaller white areas are low termite "mounds".  Both are hot spots of soil fertility, plant productivity, and animal use.

Click on the image to enlarge and display in false color, where the high-productvity areas appear red.