UCF Biology

Reed Noss

  • Professor Emeritus and Pegasus Professor
  • reed.noss@ucf.edu
  • Biological Sciences, BIO402A

Research Area(s): Conservation planning, vertebrate ecology, vegetation science, disturbance ecology, climate change, adaptive management.


Reed Noss is Provost’s Distinguished Research Professor, Pegasus Professor, and Davis-Shine Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Central Florida and President of the Florida Institute for Conservation Science. He has a B.S. in Education from the University of Dayton, an M.S. in Ecology from the University of Tennessee, and a Ph.D. in Wildlife Ecology from the University of Florida. He has served as Editor-in-Chief of Conservation Biology (1993-1997), President of the Society for Conservation Biology (1999-2001), and President of the North American Section of the Society (2006-2008). He is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has served on many boards and advisory panels, including the Board of Governors of the Society for Conservation Biology, the Board of Trustees of the Florida Chapter of The Nature Conservancy, and Florida’s Acquisition and Restoration Council. He recently served as Vice-Chair of a Federal Advisory Committee for the U.S. Climate Change Science Program.

Professor Noss has more than 300 publications and is recognized as one of the 500 most highly cited authors in all fields worldwide. He has published seven books, the most recent being Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and Conservation (2013, Island Press). He is currently writing books on the fire ecology of Florida and the lower Southeastern Coastal Plain (University Press of Florida) and on natural disturbance as a primary factor that structures ecosystems (Island Press).


The focus of Dr. Noss’s research program is the application of science and the arts to species-level and ecosystem-level conservation planning, restoration, and management. For three decades he has been a global leader in systematic conservation planning on regional scales. He designed and directed such studies in Florida, the Pacific Northwest, California, the Rocky Mountains, and several regions of Canada, and has been an advisor to similar projects throughout North America and parts of Latin America, Europe, and Australia.

Dr. Noss has directed his research attention recently to natural history, biogeography, and disturbance ecology. His research program is interdisciplinary and includes work on fire ecology; forest, grassland, and shrubland ecology; adaptive management and monitoring; bird population and community ecology; road ecology; and conservation of large carnivores such as the Florida Panther.

Recent and current research projects include (1) the impacts of, and adaptation to, sea level rise in Florida, with emphasis on species and natural communities of high conservation concern; (2) the biogeography, ecology, and conservation of biodiversity of the southeastern United States; and (3) the responses of species, communities, and ecological processes to environmental conditions along rural-urban land-use gradients. Other recent projects include research on the Florida Grasshopper Sparrow and its dry prairie habitat; road ecology (e.g., responses of wildlife to roads and the design of wildlife crossings and barriers to minimize impacts); and movement ecology (e.g., design of wildlife corridors and functional landscape connectivity).

Noss Lab Website


  • Noss, R.F., W.J. Platt, B.A. Sorrie, A. S. Weakley, D.B. Means, J. Costanza, and R.K. Peet. 2015. How global biodiversity hotspots may go unrecognized: Lessons from the North American Coastal Plain. Diversity and Distributions, in press. Online version available November 2014: DOI: 10.1111/ddi.12278.
  • Beudert, B., C. Bässler, R. Noss, B. Schröder, and J. Müller. 2015. Bark beetles increase biodiversity while maintaining drinking water quality. Conservation Letters, in press.
  • Stambaugh, M.C., J.M. Varner, R.F. Noss, D.C. Dey, N.L. Christensen, R.F. Baldwin, R.P. Guyette, B.B. Hanberry, C.A. Harper, S.G. Lindblom, and T.A. Waldrop. 2015. Clarifying the role of fire in the deciduous forests of eastern North America: reply to Matlack. Conservation Biology, in press.
  • Carroll, C., D.J. Rohlf, Y.-W. LI, B. Hartl, M.K. Phillips, and R.F. Noss. 2014. Connectivity conservation and endangered species recovery: a study in the challenge of defining conservation-reliant species. Conservation Letters. DOI: 10.1111/conl.12102
  • Berger, J., S. Cain, E. Cheng, P. Dratch, K. Ellison, J. Francis, B. Frost, S. Gende, C. Groves, W.A. Karesh, E. Leslie, G. Machlis, R.A. Medellin, R.F. Noss, K.H. Redford, M. Soukup, D. Wilcove, and S. Zack. 2014. Optimism and challenge for science-based conservation of migratory species in and out of U.S. national parks. Conservation Biology 28:4-12.
  • Reece, J.S., and R.F. Noss. 2014. Prioritizing species by conservation value and vulnerability: a new index applied to species threatened by sea-level rise and other risks in Florida. Natural Areas Journal 34:31-45.
  • Reece, J.S., R.F. Noss, J. Oetting, T. Hoctor, and M. Volk. 2013. A vulnerability assessment of 300 species in Florida: threats from sea level rise, land use, and climate change. PLOS One 8(11): e80658. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0080658.
  • Reece, J.S., M. Bilskie, L. Ehrhart, S. Hagen, A. Hays, C. Long, R.F. Noss, D. Passeri, C. Sanchez, M.V. Schwoerer, B. Von Holle, J. Weishampel, and S. Wolf. 2013. Sea level rise, land use, and climate change influence the distribution of loggerhead turtle nests at the largest USA rookery (Melbourne Beach, Florida). Marine Ecology Progress Series 493: 259–274.
  • Korosy, M.G., J.S. Reece, and R.F. Noss. 2013. Winter habitat associations of four grassland sparrows in Florida dry prairie. Wilson Journal of Ornithology 125:502-512.
  • Benscoter, A.M., J.S. Reece, R.F. Noss, L.A. Brandt, F.J. Mazzotti, S.S. Romañach, and J.I. Watling. 2013. Threatened and endangered subspecies with vulnerable ecological traits also have high susceptibility to sea level rise and habitat fragmentation. PLOS One 8 (8):10.1371/journal.pone.0070647.
  • Noss, R.F. 2013. Forgotten Grasslands of the South: Natural History and Conservation. Island Press, Washington, D.C.
  • Olson, D., D.A. DellaSala, R.F. Noss, J.R. Strittholt, J. Kass, M.E. Koopman, and T. Allnutt. 2012. Climate change refugia for biodiversity in the Klamath-Siskiyou ecoregion. Natural Areas Journal 32:65-74.
  • Noss, R.F., A. P. Dobson, R. Baldwin, P. Beier, C.R. Davis, D.A. DellaSala, J. Francis, H. Locke, K. Nowak, R.R. Lopez, C. Reining, S. Trombulak, and G. Tabor. 2012. Bolder thinking for conservation. Conservation Biology 26:1-4.
  • Noss, R.F. 2011. Between the devil and the deep blue sea: Florida’s unenviable position with respect to sea level rise. Climatic Change 107:1-16.
  • Eisenberg, D., R.F. Noss, J. Waterman, and M.B. Main. 2011. Distribution and habitat use of the Big Cypress fox squirrel (Sciurus niger avicennia). Southeastern Naturalist 10:75-84.
  • Lewandowski, A., R.F. Noss, and D. Parsons. 2010. Biodiversity surrogate taxa using hotspot and complementarity approaches. Conservation Biology 24:1367-1377.
  • Müller, J., R.F. Noss, H. Bussler, and R. Brandl. 2010. Learning from a “benign neglect strategy” in a national park: Response of saproxylic beetles to dead wood accumulation. Biological Conservation 143:2559-2569.
  • Noss, R.F., E. Fleishman, D.A.DellaSala, J.M. Fitzgerald, M. Gross, M.B. Main, F. Nagle, S. O’Malley, J. Rosales. 2009. Priorities for improving the scientific foundation of conservation policy in North America. Conservation Biology 23:825-833.
  • Noss, R.F. 2009. The heavy burden of conservation. Conservation Biology 23:1354-1355.
  • Prather, J., R.F. Noss, and T.D. Sisk. 2008. Real vs. perceived conflicts between restoration of ponderosa pine forests and conservation of the Mexican Spotted Owl. Forest Policy and Economics 10:140-150.
  • Lindenmayer, D., R. Hobbs, R. Montague-Drake, J. Alexandra, A. Bennett, M. Burgman, P. Cale, A. Calhoun, V. Cramer, P. Cullen, D. Driscoll, L. Fahrig, J. Fischer, J. Franklin, Y. Haila, M. Hunter, P. Gibbons, S. Lake, G. Luck, C. MacGregor, S. McIntyre, R. Mac Nally, A. Manning, J. Miller, H. Mooney, R. Noss, H. Possingham, D. Saunders, F. Schmiegelow, M. Scott, D. Simberloff, T. Sisk, G. Tabor, B. Walker, J. Wiens, J. Woinarski, and E. Zavaleta. 2008. A checklist for ecological management of landscapes for conservation. Ecology Letters 11:78-91.
  • Noss, R.F. 2007. Values are a good thing in conservation biology. Conservation Biology 21:18-20
  • Fazey, I., J. A. Fazey, J. Fischer, K. Sherren, J. Warren, R.F. Noss, and S.R. Dovers. 2007. Adaptive capacity and learning to learn as leverage for social-ecological resilience. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 5:375-380.
  • Meretsky, V.J., D. Ashe, R.L. Fischman, J.R. Karr, J.M. Scott, R.F. Noss, and R. Schroeder. 2006. Biological diversity, integrity, and environmental health: conservation under the National Wildlife Improvement Act of 1997. BioScience 56:135-143.
  • Noss, R.F., P. Beier, W.W. Covington, R.E. Grumbine, D.B. Lindenmayer, J.W. Prather, F. Schmiegelow, T.D. Sisk, and D.J. Vosick. 2006. Integrating restoration ecology and conservation biology: a case study from ponderosa pine forests of the southwestern USA. Restoration Ecology 14:4-10.
  • Fleishman, E., R.F. Noss, and B.R. Noon. 2006. The utility and limitations of species richness metrics in conservation. Ecological Indicators 6:543-553.
  • Meine, C., M. Soulé, and R.F. Noss. 2006. “A mission-driven discipline”: the growth of conservation biology. Conservation Biology 20:631-651.
  • Noss, R.F., and D.B. Lindenmayer. 2006. Introduction: The ecological effects of salvage logging after natural disturbance. Conservation Biology 20:946-948
  • Noss, R.F., J.F. Franklin, W.L. Baker, T. Schoennagel, and P.B. Moyle. 2006. Managing fire-prone forests in the western United States. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4:481-487.
  • Czech, B., D. L. Trauger, J. Farley, R. Costanza, H. E. Daly, C. A. S. Hall, R. F. Noss, L. Krall, and P. R. Krausman. 2005. Establishing indicators for biodiversity. Science 308:791-792.
  • Svancara, L.K., R. Brannon, J.M. Scott, C.R. Groves, R.F. Noss, and R.L. Pressey. 2005. Policy-driven vs. evidence-based conservation: a review of political targets and biological needs. BioScience 55:989-995.
  • Lindenmayer, D.B., D.R. Foster, J.F. Franklin, M.L. Hunter, R.F. Noss, F.A. Schmiegelow, and D. Perry. 2004. Saving forests or saving fiber? Salvage harvesting policies after natural disturbance impairs ecosystem and species recovery. Science 303:1303.
  • Carroll, C., R.F. Noss, P.C. Paquet, and N.H. Schumaker. 2004. Extinction debt of protected areas in developing landscapes. Conservation Biology 18:1110-1120.
  • Carroll, C., R.F. Noss, P.C. Paquet, and N.H. Schumaker. 2003. Integrating population viability analysis and reserve selection algorithms into regional conservation plans. Ecological Applications 13:1773-1789.
  • Noss, R.F., C. Carroll, K. Vance-Borland, and G. Wuerthner. 2002. A multicriteria assessment of the irreplaceability and vulnerability of sites in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Conservation Biology 16:895-908.
  • Noss, R.F. 2001. Beyond Kyoto: Forest management in a time of rapid climate change. Conservation Biology 15:578-590.


October 2014:

Professor Noss was the Keiser Distinguished Lecturer, Ohio Northern University.

April 2014:

Dr. Noss was appointed Pegasus Professor, the highest award for faculty at the University of Central Florida.

October 2012:

Professor. Noss received the Benton H. Box Award of the George B. Hartzog, Jr. Environmental Awards Program, Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism Management, Clemson University

July 2011:

Professor Noss received a grant for $700,000 from the Kresge Foundation to study the impacts of sea-level rise on Florida species and natural communities of high conservation concern, and to develop options for adaptation and public education strategies.

March 2011:

The University of Florida, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, presented Professor Reed Noss its Outstanding Alumnus Award.

August 2010:

Wilburforce Foundation honored Professor Reed Noss for his exceptional leadership in conservation. The Wilburforce Conservation Leadership Award includes a cash award of US$10,000 to the individual, plus an accompanying US$5,000 to a non-profit organization of the recipient’s choice.

April 2005:

Professor Noss received a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the amount of $615,594 for research on the endangered Florida Grasshopper Sparrow.

January 2001:

Professor Noss became an Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS)


  • Ecological Society of America
  • American Association for the Advancement of Science
  • Society for Conservation Biology
  • The Natural Areas Association
  • American Institute of Biological Sciences
  • American Ornithologists’ Union
  • Cooper Ornithological Society
  • Wilson Ornithological Society
  • Florida Native Plant Society


  • Ph.D Wildlife & Range Sciences, 1988 – University of Florida
  • M.S. Ecology, 1979 – University of Tennessee, Knoxville
  • B.S Education, 1975 – University of Dayton, Ohio


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