Young Lab

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Truman Young:

Professional and Educational History:

2022-present:  Faculty Affiliate, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE), Colorado State University
2021-present:   Research Professor and Professor Emeritus, Univ. California-Davis, and Salida, Colorado
2003-2020:      Professor and Restoration Ecologist, Univ. California-Davis
1996-2003:       Lecturer, Assistant & Associate Professor, Univ. California-Davis
1992-1995:        Associate Professor, Fordham University, New York
1981-1991:         Lecturer, Post-doc, Consultant, Tour Guide, Scientific Director, Peripatetic Tropical Ecologist
1976-1981:         University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D.)
1975:                   Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Gothic, Colorado
1972-1975:         University of Chicago (B.A.)
1969-1972:         Littleton High School, Colorado

Research Interests:

I have broad interests in population and community ecology, including 45 years of research in Africa.  For the last 30 years, I have been involved with more applied research at the community and landscape scales in the western U.S. and Kenya.  My current research is related to the ecology, management, restoration, and conservation of human-dominated landscapes.

My main research focuses on:

Wildlife, livestock and biodiversity in an African savanna: the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE)

Additional and past research includes:

  1. Contingency in restoration ecology: priority effects, year effects, and site effects (PRYER)
  2. Critical issues in ecological restoration
  3. The maintenance of biodiversity and mutualism in an acacia ant system (ACACIA)
  4. The evolutionary ecology of semelparity ("big bang" reproduction)
My early research (1970s and ’80s) concentrated on basic and theoretical questions in population ecology, and the ecology of Mount Kenya.
I also have collaborated with Lynne Isbell in her studies of primate behavioral ecology, providing a life history and plant ecological perspective to her explorations of how food and predation influence the evolution of behavior. (Behavioral Ecology publications).
I am a member of the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology (GDPE) at Colorado State University and the Graduate Group in Ecology and the Center for Population Biology at UC Davis.
More details on graduate student alums and their research

2015 KLEE

Satellite view of the KLEE exclosure plots in Laikipia, Kenya, where we have been excluding six different 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.  Darker areas are indicative of greater densities or forbs and woody species.  The larger pale areas are anthropogenic glades, and the smaller (30m x 30m) white squares visible in some plots are sites of small controlled burns. KLEE is the most productive field experiment ever carried out on the African continent.

KLEE false color image