John R. Poulsen

John R. Poulsen

Assistant Professor of Tropical Ecology

ESC Program Co-chair

John Poulsen is an ecologist with broad interests in the maintenance and regeneration of tropical forests and conservation of biodiversity. His research has focused on the effects of anthropogenic disturbance, such as logging and hunting, on forest structure and diversity, abundance of tropical animals, and ecological processes. He has conducted most of his research in Central Africa, where he has also worked as a conservation manager, directing projects to sustainably manage natural resources in and around parks and reserves, and as the coordinator of government programs to develop low emissions strategies and quantify and monitor forest carbon.

In The News


Slik, JWF, Franklin, J, Arroyo-Rodríguez, V, Field, R, Aguilar, S, Aguirre, N, Ahumada, J, Aiba, S-I, Alves, LF, K, A, Avella, A, Mora, F, Aymard C, GA, Báez, S, Balvanera, P, Bastian, ML, Bastin, J-F, Bellingham, PJ, van den Berg, E, da Conceição Bispo, P, Boeckx, P, Boehning-Gaese, K, Bongers, F, Boyle, B, Brambach, F, Brearley, FQ, Brown, S, Chai, S-L, Chazdon, RL, Chen, S, Chhang, P, Chuyong, G, Ewango, C, Coronado, IM, Cristóbal-Azkarate, J, Culmsee, H, Damas, K, Dattaraja, HS, and Davidar, P et al. "Phylogenetic classification of the world's tropical forests." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 115, no. 8 (February 5, 2018): 1837-1842.
Poulsen, JR, Rosin, C, Meier, A, Mills, E, Nunez, C, Koerner, SE, Blanchard, E, Callejas, J, Moore, S, and Sowers, M. "The ecological consequences of forest elephant declines for Afrotropical forests." Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology (October 27, 2017).
Rosin, C, Poulsen, JR, Swamy, V, and Granados, A. "A pantropical assessment of vertebrate physical damage to forest seedlings and the effects of defaunation." Global Ecology and Conservation 11 (July 2017): 188-195.
Koerner, SE, Poulsen, JR, Blanchard, EJ, Okouyi, J, and Clark, CJ. "Vertebrate community composition and diversity declines along a defaunation gradient radiating from rural villages in Gabon." Edited by S Cheyne. Journal of Applied Ecology 54, no. 3 (June 2017): 805-814.
Upstill-Goddard, RC, Salter, ME, Mann, PJ, Barnes, J, Poulsen, J, Dinga, B, Fiske, GJ, and Holmes, RM. "The riverine source of CH4 and N2O from the Republic of Congo, western Congo Basin." Biogeosciences 14, no. 9 (May 5, 2017): 2267-2281.

Recent Grants


ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects (ENERGY 795: Connections in Energy: Interdisciplinary Team Projects)
ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
BIOLOGY 561: Tropical Ecology (BIOLOGY 561: Tropical Ecology)
ENVIRON 590: Special Topics (ENVIRON 590: Special Topics)
ENVIRON 517: Tropical Ecology (ENVIRON 517: Tropical Ecology)

Video: Poaching drives decline in forest elephants in Africa

Contact Information

PO Box 90328, Lscr A317
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., University of Florida (2009)