Laura Dee
Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2015 • Assistant Professor

I am an ecologist interested in the 1) preservation of natural systems and biodiversity and the 2) continued provision of benefits from nature to human well-being (i.e., ecosystem services) under global change. A main objective of my research is to inform conservation and resource management strategies for the sustainable provision of ecosystem services that will be robust to climate change. In particular, I study drivers and management of ecosystem services in the face of climate change and uncertainty. For instance, I examine the contribution of biodiversity and species interactions to ecosystem services, the impacts of climate change, variability, and extremes on ecosystem services, and how to best conserve species and services given uncertainty and climate variability. To do so, I use statistical and mathematical modeling approaches and combine tools from ecology, decision science, and economics. My interests span multiple ecosystem types including forests, grasslands, and marine and coastal ecosystems, and different scales, from local to global. 


“Selected Publications” summary:

Dee, L.E., Cowles, J., Isbell, F., Pau, S., Gaines, S., Reich, P.B. (2019) When do ecosystem services depend on rare species? Trends in Ecology & Evolution 34(8): 746-758.


Xiao, H., McDonald-Madden, E., Sabbadin, R., Peyrard, N., Dee, L.E., Chades, I. (2019) The value of understanding feedbacks between ecosystem function and species for managing ecosystems. Nature Communications 10(1): 10-1.


Bodin, O., Alexander, S., Baggio, J., Barnes, M., Berardo, R., Cumming, G.S., Dee, L.E., Fischer, M., Guerrero, A., Ingold, K., Mancilla-Garcia, Matous, P., Pittman, J., Robins, G., Sayles, J. (2019) Improving network approaches to the study of complex social-ecological interdependencies. Nature Sustainability 2: 551-559



Xiao, H., Dee, L.E., Chades, I., Sabbadin, R., Peyrard, N., Stringer, M., McDonald-Madden, E. (2018) Win‐wins for biodiversity and ecosystem service conservation depend on the trophic levels of the species providing services. Journal of Applied Ecology 55: 2160-2170.


Dee, L.E., De Lara, M., Costello, C., Gaines, S.D. (2017) To what extent do ecosystem services motivate protecting biodiversity? Ecology Letters 20: 935-946. 


Dee, L.E., Thompson, R., Massol, F., Guerrero, A. Bohan, D.A. (2017) Do socio-ecological syndromes predict outcomes for ecosystem services? – a reply to Bodin et al. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 32(8): 549-552.


Dee, L.E., Allesina, S., Bonn, A., Eklof, A., Gaines, S., Hines, J., Jacob, U., McDonald-Madden, E., Possingham, H., Schroter, M., Thompson, R. (2017) Operationalizing network theory for ecosystem service assessments. Trends in Ecology & Evolution 32(2): 118-130.


Runting, R., Bryan, B., Dee, L.E., Maseyk, F., Mandle, L., Hamel, P., Wilson, K., Yetka, K., Possingham, H., Rhodes, J. (2017) Incorporating climate change into ecosystem service assessments and decisions: A review. Global Change Biology 23: 28-41.


Pau, S. & Dee, L.E. (2016) Remote sensing of species dominance and the value for quantifying ecosystem services. Remote Sensing in Ecology &. Conservation 2, 141–151.


Dee, L.E, Miller, S.J., Peavey, L.E., Bradley, D., Gentry, R., Startz, D., Gaines, S., Lester, S. (2016) Functional diversity of catch mitigates negative effects of temperature variability on fisheries yields. Proceeding of the Royal Society B 283, 20161435.


Boersma, K.S., Dee, L.E., Miller, S.J., Bogan, M., Lytle, D.A., Gitelman, A.I.  (2016) Linking multi-dimensional functional diversity to ecological theory: A graphical hypothesis-driven framework. Ecology 97(3), 583-593.


Balvanera, P., Siddique, I., Dee, L.E., Paquette, A., Isbell, F., Gonzalez, A., Brynes, J., O’Connor, M., Hungate, B., Griffin, J. (2014) Linking biodiversity and ecosystem services: current uncertainties and the necessary next step. BioScience 64(1):49-57.