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Christina M. Kennedy

Senior Scientist, Global Protect, Oceans, Lands and Waters

Fort Collins, Colorado

Headshot of Christina Kennedy.

Christina Kennedy Christina M. Kennedy, Senior Scientist. © Christina M. Kennedy


Conservation biology, Landscape ecology, Ornithology, Working lands conservation, Land use policy


Global Media Relations
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Christina Kennedy is a Senior Scientist on The Nature Conservancy’s Global Protect Oceans, Lands and Waters Science Team. She leads science initiatives aimed at reconciling human land use with nature conservation. She works to integrate the best science and tools on spatial planning, landscape ecology, agroecology, and impact mitigation to promote sustainable landscapes.

Christina’s research examines the effects of land use, landscape pattern, and habitat fragmentation on species, ecosystems, and the services they provide. Her projects span local to global scales and integrate field studies, spatial modeling, and data synthesis to improve land use practice and policy. Examples of her work include forecasting cumulative development threats on landscapes globally; modeling land use trade-offs to balance agricultural production, nature conservation, and environmental compliance in Brazil; advancing landscape planning to improve impact mitigation for both nature and people; linking field surveys with spatial analysis to understand habitat fragmentation effects on tropical systems; and synthesizing global datasets to elucidate how farming systems and landscape context impact farmland biodiversity and their services. Christina has published over 70 articles, book chapters or policy reports; and examples of her work have been published in Ecology Letters, Ecological Monographs, Ecology, Global Change Biology, Biological Conservation, and Science Advances.

Prior to joining TNC, Christina was a lead Postdoctoral Associate on a National Science Foundation project that involved over 25 scientists across 15 countries and modeled the effects of farming practices and landscape diversification on global (bee) pollinators. She was also a Researcher at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, where she spearheaded field work in Jamaica on the effects of forest fragmentation and landscape matrix on Neotropical birds. Previously at the Environmental Law Institute in D.C., she conducted research and outreach on laws and policies related to land use, wetlands protection and biodiversity conservation. She also served as a field biologist for various state and federal agencies in Hawaii, and investigated the status, habitat requirements, and recovery needs of endangered species.

Christina earned her B.S. degree from Cornell University, master’s degree from Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment and Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland’s Biology, Ecology, Evolution and Systematics Program. Christina holds adjunct faculty appointments at Colorado State University and Washington State University; she serves as an Associate Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems.

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