Audrey L. Mayer

Audrey L. Mayer


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Associate Professor of Ecology and Environmental Policy

Coordinator, Peace Corps Masters International Program in Forestry

  • PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee
  • BA, Biology/Public Policy Analysis, Pomona College

Sustainability Science and Policy

I have a joint appointment with the Department of Social Sciences and the School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science. My research fits generally within the framework of multidisciplinary sustainability science. I develop and test sustainability indices for their utility to manage dynamic human-environmental systems from local to global scales. I also look at the impact of economic trade on the sustainability of these systems, the so-called "leakage" effect, and its impact on local biodiversity and ecosystems, the "boomerang" effect. Finally, I have been working on biodiversity conservation and conservation policy since working on the federally threatened California gnatcatcher (Polioptila californica) while at Pomona College, and the federally endangered Cape Sable seaside sparrow (Ammodramus maritimus mirabilis) in graduate school.

My training and experience is multidisciplinary, split between ecology and policy, as well as some natural resource economics. I use computer simulations and GIS, to data collection in a variety of habitats. I have conducted field work in the coastal sage scrub in southern California, the Florida Everglades, urbanized watersheds in Cincinnati, protected natural areas throughout the Midwest, and the boreal forest in Finland and Russia.

Areas of Expertise

  • Landscape ecology
  • Conservation Biology
  • Environmental and Natural Resources Policy
  • Sustainability science

Recent Publications

  • Toppinen A, A* Virtanen, AL Mayer and A Tuppura. 2015. Standardizing CSR via ISO 26000: empirical insights from the forest industry. Sustainable Development 23(3):153-166. Read More
  • Tortini R*, AL Mayer, and P Maianti. 2015. Using an OBCD approach and Landsat TM data to detect harvesting on nonindustrial private property in upper Michigan. Remote Sensing 7(6):7809-7825. Read More
  • Lind-Riehl J, S Jeltema, M Morrison, G Shirkey, AL Mayer, MD Rouleau, and R Winkler. 2015. Family legacies and community networks shape private forest management. Land Use Policy 45:95-102. Read More
  • Rahman SMM and AL Mayer. 2015. How social ties influence metal resource flows in the Bangladesh ship recycling industry. Resources, Conservation and Recycling 104(A):254-264. Read More
  • Hu Y, G Tian, AL Mayer, R He. 2015. Risk assessment of soil erosion by application of remote sensing and GIS in Yanshan Reservoir catchment, China. Natural Hazards 79(1):277-289. Read More
  • Kline KL, FS Martinelli, AL Mayer, R Medeiros, COF Oliveira, G Sparovek, ACS Walter, L Venier. 2015. Bioenergy and biodiversity: Key lessons from the Pan American region. Environmental Management 56(6):1377:1396. Read More
  • Mayer AL. 2015. Biology in Environmental Management. Pp. 47-73 in Sarkar D, Mukherjee A, Bedwan N, Datta R, Hannigan R (eds.), An Integrated Approach to Environmental Management. John Wiley & Sons, Inc., Hoboken, NJ. Read More
  • Mayer AL, RP Donovan, and CW Pawlowski. 2014. Information and entropy theory for the sustainability of Coupled Human And Natural Systems (CHANS). Ecology and Society 19(3):11. Read More
  • Henareh Khalyani A, AL Mayer, and ES Norman. 2014. Water flows towards power: Socioecological degradation of Lake Urmia, Iran. Society and Natural Resources 27(7):759-767. Read More
  • Vaidya A and AL Mayer. 2014. Use of the participatory approach to develop sustainability assessments for natural resource management. International Journal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology 21(4):369-379. Read More
  • Roy AH, LK Rhea, AL Mayer, WD Shuster, JJ Beaulieu, MA Hopton, MM Morrison, and A St. Amand. 2014. How much is enough? Minimal responses of water quality and stream biota to retrofit stormwater management in a suburban neighborhood. PLoS ONE 9(1):e85011. Read More

Recent Funding

  • 2012-2016: National Science Foundation, SEP program, $1,800,000: “Sustainable Forest-Based Biofuel Pathways to Hydrocarbon Transportation Fuels: Biomass Production, Torrefaction, Pyrolysis, Catalytic Upgrading, and Combustion” (as Co-PI; PI: David Shonnard)
  • 2012-2016: FORMAS (Swedish Research Council for Environment, Agricultural Sciences and Spatial Planning), 25,000,000 SEK: “Green infrastructures for ecological sustainability and human well-being: A network of forest, rural and urban landscapes as laboratories for integrative research.” (as Co-I; PI Per Angelstam, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU))
  • 2010-2012: USDA Forest Service, McIntire-Stennis, $21,000: “Correlating change in landscape scale carbon storage through shifting forest ownership and management goals.” (PI)


Research Projects

  • Sustainability indices using information theory
  • Green Infrastructure
  • Sustainable biofuels
  • Dynamics of landscapes dominated by small private forest owners
  • Deforestation drivers and remote sensing

Teaching Experience

  • FW/SS4380 – Landscape Ecology and Planning
  • SS3300 – Environmental Problems
  • SS3313/FW3313/SS5313 – Sustainability Science, Policy & Assessment
  • SS5310 - Ecological Economics
  • FW5780 - Agroforestry