Dean L. Urban

Dean L. Urban

Professor of Landscape Ecology

Senior Associate Dean, Academic Initiatives | ESC Program Co-chair

My interest in landscape ecology focuses on the agents and implications of pattern in forested landscapes. Increasingly, my research is in what has been termed "theoretical applied ecology," developing new analytic approaches to applications of immediate practical concern such as conservation planning. A hallmark of my Lab is the integration of field studies, spatial analysis, and simulation modeling in extrapolating our fine-scale empirical understanding of environmental issues to the larger space and time scales of management and policy.

In The News


Olander, LP, Johnston, RJ, Tallis, H, Kagan, J, Maguire, LA, Polasky, S, Urban, D, Boyd, J, Wainger, L, and Palmer, M. "Benefit relevant indicators: Ecosystem services measures that link ecological and social outcomes." Ecological Indicators 85 (February 1, 2018): 1262-1272.
Hakkenberg, CR, Peet, RK, Urban, DL, and Song, C. "Modeling plant composition as community continua in a forest landscape with LiDAR and hyperspectral remote sensing." Ecological applications : a publication of the Ecological Society of America 28, no. 1 (January 2018): 177-190.
Belote, RT, Dietz, MS, McKinley, PS, Carlson, AA, Carroll, C, Jenkins, CN, Urban, DL, Fullman, TJ, Leppi, JC, and Aplet, GH. "Mapping Conservation Strategies under a Changing Climate." Bioscience 67, no. 6 (June 2017): 494-497.
Austin, KG, Lee, ME, Clark, C, Forester, BR, Urban, DL, White, L, Kasibhatla, PS, and Poulsen, JR. "An assessment of high carbon stock and high conservation value approaches to sustainable oil palm cultivation in Gabon." Environmental Research Letters 12, no. 1 (January 5, 2017): 014005-014005.
Schwartz, NB, Urban, DL, White, PS, Moody, A, and Klein, RN. "Vegetation dynamics vary across topographic and fire severity gradients following prescribed burning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park." Forest Ecology and Management 365 (April 2016): 1-11.

Recent Grants


ENVIRON 724: Landscape Analysis & Management (ENVIRON 724: Landscape Analysis & Management)
ENVIRON 714: Landscape Ecology (ENVIRON 714: Landscape Ecology)

Contact Information

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
A320 Lev Sci Res Ctr
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., University of Tennessee at Knoxville (1986)
M.A., Southern Illinois University (1981)
B.A., Southern Illinois University (1978)