University of Vermont

Taylor Ricketts, Rubenstein School
tricketts people


Taylor Ricketts

Taylor Ricketts. Professor, Environment and Natural Resources; Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.
I'm interested in connecting rigorous interdisciplinary research with real-world conservation problems, both in Vermont and worldwide. My recent focus has been the economic benefits provided to people by forests, wetlands, reefs, and other natural areas. I work on understanding how ecosystems provide these benefits, what they are worth (and to whom), and how they might change in the future. Other interests include global patterns of biodiversity, conservation planning, ecological economics, and community and landscape ecology.

I went to college at Dartmouth (Earth Sciences) and got my PhD at Stanford (Biology). I remain a Senior Fellow at World Wildlife Fund, where I directed the Conservation Science Program for nine years before moving to UVM in 2011. In addition to my faculty post in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, I direct the Gund Institute for Ecological Economics at UVM.
Taylor's Bio and CV and papers

Post Docs

  • Insu Koh

    Insu Koh. Post-Doctoral Associate.
    I'm broadly interested in how landscape structure and composition influence biodiversity, organism dispersal and ecosystem services. This interest began when I considered the role of traditional Korean landscape configuration in mitigating environmental condition. After that, my interests moved towards how landscape connectivity influences organism dispersal as related to ecosystem services such as seed dispersal, biological pest control, and pollination. Currently, I'm focusing on modeling crop pollination services provided by bees across agricultural landscapes within the US. To conduct this research, I mainly use ArcGIS and R. | Insu's Bio

  • Diego Herrera Garcia

    Diego Herrera Garcia. Post-Doctoral Associate.
    I am an environmental economist studying conservation policies’ environmental and socioeconomic impacts in developing country settings. I work with a large global dataset to assess human health impacts of conservation in priority watersheds and model effects of ecosystem change on health outcomes. This project, directed by Taylor Ricketts and Brendan Fisher, informs conservation and public health decisions. My previous research is on evaluation of Brazilian Amazon protected areas’ local deforestation spillovers and underlying mechanisms, focusing on human migrations and expansion of road networks. In my analyses I apply econometrics and program evaluation methods using remote sensing, census and survey datasets. | Diego's Bio

  • Leif Richardson

    Leif Richardson. Post-Doctoral Associate.
    I work on multispecies interactions centered on plants and their pollinators, especially bees. As a USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture postdoctoral research fellow, I'll be examining how wild bee pollinators of commercial blueberry are affected by plant chemistry and how plants' interactions with mycorrhizal fungi affect bee health. Another research interest is using museum specimen data to study patterns of decline in North American and European bumble bee species. | Leif's Bio

  • Laura Sonter

    Laura Sonter. Post-Doctoral Associate.
    I am interested in global environmental change. My post-doc will explore how land use, climate change and management interventions affect forest-related ecosystem services in New England. I have previously worked on similar projects in other countries, including Brazil and Australia, where we have demonstrated the wide-ranging implications of industrial development on conservation and carbon emissions. My research tends to combine field data and remote sensing observations with spatially-explicit land use change models to better understand historic trajectories of environmental change and to simulate future possible scenarios. Website: | Laura's Bio

Graduate Students

  • Keri Bryan

    Keri Bryan. PhD Student.
    I am interested in how development can be balanced with the conservation of ecosystem services and biodiversity. As a graduate student at UVM, my research will focus on quantifying and mapping ecosystem services across the state of Vermont. I have a B.S. in Environmental Studies: Ecology and Biodiversity, from the University of the South.

  • Jesse Gourevitch

    Jesse Gourevitch. PhD Student.
    I am interested in the role of ecosystem services in environmental decision-making. For my dissertation, I will explore how valuing the supply and demand of benefits from Vermont’s forest landscapes can improve investments in conservation. I received a B.A. in Environmental Studies with a focus in conservation and development from Carleton College.
    Arriving Fall 2016

  • Charlie Nicholson

    Charlie Nicholson. PhD Student.
    I am interested in the delivery of pollination services to Vermont's farms and food system. I aim to understand the crop production benefits provided by native pollinators, particularly native bees. The goal of my research is to demonstrate incentive for the conservation of pollinators and the land they rely on. I received a B.A. in Biology: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior from Skidmore College.

  • Aaron Schwartz

    Aaron Schwartz. PhD Student.
    I am interested in the intersection of ecological economics and human well-being. As a graduate student at UVM, my research will focus on applying novel techniques from data science to uncover connections between the management of natural resources, human behavior, and environmental health. I have a B.A. in Economics and Computer Science from Williams College.


Samantha Alger. PhD. Biology, UVM

Michelle Brown. PhD. Rubenstein School, UVM

Sam Carlson. MS. Rubenstein School, UVM

Pierro Mokondoko. PhD. Insituto de Ecologia, Vera Cruz, Mexico

Qing Ren. PhD. Rubenstein School.


  • Jill Cunningham

    Jill Cunningham. Assistant to the Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics.

  • Jen Hayes

    Jen Hayes. Research Assistant.

  • Ashlin Treadway

    Ashlin Treadway. Research Assistant.

  • Rose Watts

    Rose Watts. Research Assistant.

  • Liana Vitousek

    Liana Vitousek. Research Assistant.

Lab Alumni

Alicia Ellis. 2014. (Postdoctoral Associate).

Steve Posner. 2015. (PhD Student).

Sebastian Castro. 2014. (Advisee).

Joan White. 2014. (Advisee).

Anna Beauchemin. 2013. (Research Assistant).

Paige Carncross. (Undergraduate Intern).

Melissa Moldovan. (Undergraduate Intern).

Erin Cain. 2013. (Undergraduate Intern).

Katie Burns. (Field Assistant).

Kristian Moore. (Field Assistant).

Elizabeth Gribkoff. 2013. (Field Assistant).

Last modified September 15 2015 08:39 AM

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