Dr. Catherine Pringle

Distinguished Research Professor
Telephone: (706) 542-1120
Fax: (706) 542-3344

Odum School of Ecology
The University of Georgia
140 E. Green Street
Athens, GA 30602-2202

Short Bio:


Dr. Catherine Pringle is a Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Odum School of Ecology, where she specializes in the study of aquatic ecosystems and conservation ecology. She joined the Odum School of Ecology in 1993.

Professor Pringle is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a past-President of the Society for Freshwater Science. She received UGA’s Creative Research Medal in recognition of an experimental research technique (underwater electric exclosure device) that she developed, which is widely used among stream ecologists to assess the top-down effects of consumers in streams.

An over-arching goal of Dr. Pringle’s lab is to link research on stream ecosystems with conservation – through resource management applications, environmental outreach, or synthesis activities. Dr. Pringle is the Chair of the Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development (CESD) Graduate M.S. Program in the Odum School of Ecology, which recently celebrated its 20th anniversary. More recently, she helped develop UGA’s Integrative Conservation (ICON) Ph.D. Program which involves four academic units (Ecology, Anthropology, Forest Resources, and Geography).

Dr. Pringle received a B.S. (1976), M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1986) from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, followed by post-doctoral positions at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara (1986-90), and Cornell University (1991-92).

Dr. Pringle’s research examines species-community-ecosystem linkages, with a focus on effects of disturbance and species loss on freshwater ecosystems, particularly streams. Research areas include: ecosystem ecology, hydrologic connectivity, landscape ecology, and eco-evo dynamics. A more recent research focus is effects of climate change on Neotropical streams – given trends in climate-driven stream acidification which emerged from long-term (25+ years) data collected in lowland streams of Costa Rica at the Organization for Tropical Studies’ La Selva Biological Station.

Dr. Pringle’s research contributions include >160 refereed journal articles, >50 book chapters & symposium proceedings, and 3 co-edited books. Funding has been provided primarily from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other federal agencies such as the US-EPA, USDA Forest Service, and the Natural Resources Conservation Service – but also including the Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Food and Health Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the Rainforest Alliance.

Dr. Pringle is the lead investigator on a long-term (1985-present) stream research project in Costa Rica (NSF-LTREB) and an investigator on two NSF-funded long-term ecological research (LTER) projects: the Coweeta Project in North Carolina and the Luquillo Project in Puerto Rico. She served as a co-PI on the TADS (Tropical Amphibian Declines) Project in Panama, which focuses on the response of tropical stream ecosystems to frog (tadpole) extirpation. She also served as a co-PI on a collaborative NSF-FIBR Project in Trinidad that examines how ecological and evolutionary processes interact in nature. While most of Pringle’s tropical research has been in the Caribbean, she and her graduate students have also conducted studies in Madagascar and Kosrae, Micronesia.

Professor Pringle has served on advisory panels for the National Academy of Sciences, the National Science Foundation, and the Organization for Tropical Studies. She also served as: Chair of the Ecological Society of America’s (ESA) Sustainable Biosphere Initiative Steering Committee; Chair of the ESA’s Awards Committee; member of the National Center for Ecological Synthesis (NCEAS) Science Advisory Board; and member of the DIVERSITAS International Task Force on Freshwater Biodiversity. She also served as an elected representative for the International Society of Limnology and Oceanography for four consecutive three-year terms.