Young Lab

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Truman Young:

Professional History:

2021-present:    Research Professor and Professor Emeritus, Univ. California, Davis

2003-2020:      Professor and Restoration Ecologist, Univ. California, Davis

1996-2003:       Lecturer, Assistant & Associate Professor, Univ. California, Davis

1992-1995:        Associate Professor, Fordham University

1981-1992:         Post-doc, Lecturer, Consultant, Tour Guide, Scientific Director, Peripatetic Tropical Ecologist

1976-1981:         University of Pennsylvania (Ph.D.)

1975:                 Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory

1972-1975:        University of Chicago (B.A.)

Research Interests:

I have broad interests in plant 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 current research focuses on the following two projects:

  1. Wildlife, livestock and biodiversity in an African savanna: the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE)
  2. Contingency in restoration ecology: priority effects, year effects, and site effects (PRYER)

Past research includes:

  1. Critical issues in ecological restoration
  2. The maintenance of biodiversity and mutualism in an acacia ant system (ACACIA)
  3. 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 Group in Ecology and the Center for Population Biology at UC Davis

More details on graduate student research

KLEE false color image

2015 KLEESatellite 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 image taken 2015 (Google Earth). 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 the 2013 controlled burns. This is the most productive field experiment ever carried out on the African continent.