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Jayne Belnap, Ph.D.

Over the past 30 years, Dr. Belnap’s work has focused on dryland and rangeland ecosystems. Because many types of land uses can reduce the fertility and stability of these ecosystems, her research focus on how these lands can be managed sustainably. Specifically, her work highlights the central role biological soil crusts play in dryland ecosystems.

She has also been actively engaged in studies on how climate change will affect drylands ecosystems and in developing adaptation options for people using and managing these lands. Dr. Belnap has been involved in many creative, successful, and cost-effective restoration efforts aimed at reducing soil erosion and restoring plant productivity using local materials and labor. Her research efforts have been conducted around the world, including Iceland, Australia, China, Mongolia, Antarctica, the western U.S., Kenya, Tanzania, Ethiopia, Zimbabwe, and South Africa. She has led many large interdisciplinary teams and excels at bringing people together, having published over 260 peer-reviewed articles and has had over 300 collaborators during her career. She travels extensively throughout the world, training federal, state, and private land managers/pastoralists on best management practices for dryland ecosystems. She has served on National Academy panels and participates in many other professional capacities as well.  In 2008, she was recognized by the ESA as one of the most outstanding ecologists in the United States. In 2010 and 2013, she received awards as one of the outstanding women in science award from the US Department of Interior. In 2015, she was elected a Fellow of ESA.  

Membership/Participation in Professional Societies

American Bryological and Lichenological Society

American Institute for Biological Sciences

Ecological Society of America (past Chair, Soil Ecology Section)

Ecological Society of America Governing Board

Soil Ecology Society (past President)

Soil Science Society of America