Lianne Ball, Ph.D.
Lianne brings her experience in monitoring, wildlife management and ecology to the development of novel research projects in USGS to provide the science needed by partners to tackle complex ecological problems.
M.S Wildlife Management; Humboldt State University; Arcata CA.
Ph.D. Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology; University of Nevada, Reno.
Science and Products
Human activity has caused considerable ecological alterations in the Great Lakes region during the last 150 years and a majority of the most degraded habitats are found along urban coasts. Although strongly affected by human development, urban coasts are home to a variety of species with high ecological, economic, and societal value. USGS is remediating effects of human-induced ecosystem...
The current warming trend in the Arctic is unlike anything previously recorded and is affecting the region faster than any other place on Earth, bringing dramatic reductions in sea ice, altered weather, and thawing permafrost.
USGS scientists have made great strides in refining and extending the capabilities of the Computational Assessments of Scenarios of Change for the Delta Ecosystem (CASCaDE II model systems); a collaboration among the USGS and several academic and international organizations. This paved the way for more reliable and objective evaluations of the ecosystem consequences of management actions and...
Protecting endangered species while managing economically important species is an ongoing natural
resource management challenge, especially in rivers. The USGS develops tools like biological/economic models to identify optimal strategies and economic and biological tradeoffs when adding nonnative species to rivers where endangered native species exist. This ongoing research will provide...
Mountain ecosystems are highly sensitive to climate change, and USGS is conducting montane research across the West to help resource managers plan now for the future. Coordination with scientists around the world has led to mountain research networks to expand our understanding of how these ecosystems respond to climate change.
The Mangrove Science Network is a collaboration of USGS scientists focused on working with natural resource managers to develop and conduct research whose findings will support and evaluate decisions made in mangrove management and restoration.
USGS research on mangrove ecosystem biology includes mangrove regeneration, tree growth, sedimentation, and early seedling development. We are...
Forests are a key component of a healthy ecosystem. Management of these resources is vital to their protection as a recreational resource as well as an environmental resource.
Deserts are areas of the country which receive less than 10 in (250 mm) annual precipitation. In the United States, we have four distinct major deserts. Three are “hot deserts” because they receive precipitation in the summer months (Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan) and one “cold desert” because it receives precipitation during the winter (Great Basin).
USGS research on the outer continental shelf is focused on understanding the natural conditions and the influence of human disturbances on species, populations, communities, habitats, and ecosystems ranging from coastlines to deep blue water.
USGS research on large scale restoration is focused on understanding the natural conditions and the influence of human disturbances on species, populations, communities, habitats, and ecosystems.
Ecological research is largely concerned with the system levels beyond that of the organism. An ecological community is all the animal and plant populations occupying a given area. The community (biotic) and the nonliving environment function (abiotic) together as an ecological system or “ecosystem” which is governed by principles such as population dynamics, competition, and energy and...
USGS scientists work with decision makers and stakeholders to develop decision analytic frameworks to deliberately reduce the uncertainty that negatively affects the quality of decisions whether made once (i.e., Structured Decision Making) or repeatedly (i.e., Adaptive Management).
Overcoming challenges to the recovery of declining amphibian populations in the United States
The US Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) affords many potential benefits to species threatened with extinction. However, most at-risk amphibians—one of the most imperiled vertebrate groups—remain unlisted under the provisions of the ESA, and many impediments to recovery exist for those species that have been listed. Of the 35 US amphibian...Walls, Susan C.; Ball, Lianne C.; Barichivich, William J.; Dodd, Kenneth; Enge, Kevin M; Gorman, Thomas A.; O'Donnell, Katherine; Palis, John G; Semlitsch, Raymond D.
Mangrove ecosystems protect vulnerable coastlines from storm effects, recycle nutrients, stabilize shorelines, improve water quality, and provide habitat for commercial and recreational fish species as well as for threatened and endangered wildlife. U.S. Geological Survey scientists conduct research on mangrove ecosystems to provide reliable...Ball, Lianne C.
Wetlands Postcard Research conducted by scientists at the U.S. Geological Survey provides reliable scientific information for the management of wetlands ranging from small freshwater alpine lakes in the Western United States to coastal wetlands of the Great Lakes and salt marshes along the Southeastern coast. Learn more about USGS wetlands...Ball, Lianne C.
An adaptive decision framework for the conservation of a threatened plant
Mead's milkweed Asclepias meadii, a long-lived perennial herb of tallgrass prairie and glade communities of the central United States, is a species designated as threatened under the U.S. Endangered Species Act. Challenges to its successful management include the facts that much about its life history is unknown, its age at reproductive maturity...Moore, Clinton T.; Fonnesbeck, Christopher J.; Shea, Katriona; Lah, Kristopher J.; McKenzie, Paul M.; Ball, Lianne C.; Runge, Michael C.; Alexander, Helen M.