Headshot for Elizabeth M. Cook

On May 17, 2021, the Ecological Society of America published a special feature in its journal Ecosphere with important findings from long-term data collected on populations and communities within changing ecosystems. The work, co-authored by Professor Elizabeth M. Cook, is titled "Connectivity: Insights from the U.S. Long Term Ecological Research Network." The article is one of five papers in the series, each of which uses case studies to explore how land-use and climate change interact with various ecosystems’ communities and resources. As an urban ecosystem scientist with interdisciplinary expertise in social and natural sciences, Cook investigates future urban sustainability and human-environment feedback. In this work, she and her co-authors assessed 40 years of careful, reliable science about the Earth's changing ecosystems to examine connections among the air, water, plants, microbes, soil, and humans that are difficult for individual researchers to discern using data collected over shorter periods of time. Scientific ecology has significant implications for environmental policy and critical ecosystem services.