Dr. Catherine PringleDistinguished 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
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 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 innovative experimental research technique (underwater electric exclosure device) that she developed which is widely used among stream ecologists to assess effects of consumers in the natural stream environment.
Professor Pringle has effectively linked research on stream ecosystems with conservation – through resource management applications, environmental outreach, and synthesis activities. She is Chair of the Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development Graduate Program in the Odum School of Ecology and teaches courses on conservation biology from a watershed perspective. She co-developed and co-teaches a tropical stream ecology course in Costa Rica that is offered every other year through the Organization for Tropical Studies (OTS). She is also a faculty member in UGA’s Integrative Conservation (ICON) Program which involves four academic units (Ecology, Anthropology, Forest Resources & Geography).
She received a B.S. (1976), M.S. (1979) and Ph.D. (1986) from the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, followed by postdoctoral positions at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara (1986-90), and Cornell University (1991-92). She joined UGA’s Odum School of Ecology in 1993.
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 through her long-term research project in lowland Costa Rica.
Dr. Pringle’s research contributions include over 200 publications, with 150 refereed journal articles, over 50 book chapters and symposium proceedings, and three 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.
Pringle is the lead investigator on a long-term (1985-present) stream research program in Costa Rica (NSF-LTREB) and is also a co-PI and a member of the Advisory/Executive Committees for two NSF-funded long term ecological research (LTER) projects in North Carolina (Coweeta) and Puerto Rico (Luquillo). She served as a co-PI on the recent TADS (Tropical Amphibian Declines) Project in Panama, which focused on the response of tropical stream ecosystems to frog (tadpole) extirpation. She also served as a co-PI on a larger 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. Pringle has served on advisory panels for the National Academy of Sciences, NSF (Ecosystem Studies and Ecology), and the Organization for Tropical Studies. She served as Chair of the ESA’s 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.