Laura Dee

Dr. Laura Dee is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at University of Colorado, Boulder. Sustaining both biodiversity and nature’s contribution to people (i.e., ecosystem services) is a major challenge for scientists and managers. Achieving both goals is complicated by accelerating global environmental change. In response, Laura’s research combines global change ecology, community ecology, conservation, and sustainability science and uses quantitative tools from multiple disciplines to understand how ecosystems contribute to human well-being, how global change will alter these relationships, and how to best adapt management in response.

Laura’s interests span multiple spatial scales and ecosystem types (e.g., forests, marine and coastal ecosystems); and she leverages quantitative tools from several disciplines (e.g., ecological theory, network theory, causal inference approaches from econometrics, decision science, and functional trait ecology). To tackle complex sustainability challenges, Laura leads and contributes regularly to collaborative and interdisciplinary teams that focus on synthesis science (e.g., with ecologists, sociologists, economists, applied mathematicians, computer scientists, and conservation practitioners).

Laura received her Ph.D. in Ecology, at the Bren School of Environmental Science & Management at UC Santa Barbara, focused on the impacts of temperature variability and biodiversity on global fisheries yields and the extent to which managing for ecosystem services provides an economic incentive for conservation. She completed a concurrent MA in Economics at UC Santa Barbara. Laura was a post-doctoral associate at the University of Minnesota, examining how extreme disturbances alter forest ecosystem services.

Also see more about work in the Dee lab at CU Boulder at

A headshot of Laura Dee