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Development by Design: Christina M. Kennedy


Christina M. Kennedy

Senior Scientist, Global Conservation Lands

Christina Kennedy is a Senior Scientist for The Nature Conservancy’s Global Conservation Lands Program. Christina supports the Development by Design strategy and leads science initiatives to balance the trade-offs between human land use and nature conservation. She works with governments, corporations, civil society groups and research institutions to integrate the best science and tools on conservation planning, landscape ecology, agroecology and impact mitigation to inform the design of more sustainable landscapes.

Christina’s research examines land use impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services at local to global scales by integrating field studies, landscape modeling, and data synthesis to inform land use practice and policy. She is particularly interested in advancing our understanding of the interplay between biodiversity and ecosystem services and the opportunities for co-benefits in working landscapes. Her projects range from forecasting cumulative development threats on landscapes globally; modeling land use trade-offs to balance agricultural profit and nature conservation and improve environmental compliance in Brazil; linking field surveys with spatial analysis to assess the impacts of habitat fragmentation on tropical systems; and synthesizing global datasets to elucidate how agricultural practices and landscape context affect farmland biodiversity. Her work has been published in leading scientific journals including Ecology Letters, Ecological Monographs, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Science Advances.

Christina’s training is in conservation biology and landscape ecology, with a B.S. degree from Cornell University, master’s degree from Duke University, and Ph.D. degree from University of Maryland. Christina holds adjunct faculty appointments at Colorado State University and Washington State University.

Read Christina M. Kennedy's Full Biography

Studies and Media

Nature.org: Sparks of hope in 2016: 12 signs of progress in a challenging year around the world.

Global Food For Thought: Agricultural growth and habitat preservation can coexist, and Latin America is going to show us how.

Cool Green Science: Scaling-up agricultural planning for conservation in the Brazilian Cerrado

Conservation Gateway: TNC-Dow Collaboration: Brazil pilot site research

Washington State University News: Weighing benefits, risks of wild birds on organic farms

The Fiji Times: The 'lungs of the world'

Ensia: New study finds 20 percent of natural habitats at risk from future development

The Nature Conservancy Video: Twenty percent of the Earth's remaining natural land under threat

The Nature Conservancy Video: How development will impact the future of our lands

The Nature Conservancy Global Solutions: A world at risk: Aggregating future development trends to forecast global habitat conversion

Cool Green Science: Putting conservation on the map: A blueprint for a healthy planet

Huffington Post: Wild pollinators are critical in keeping our picnic baskets full
(Also featured in Cool Green Science)

The Nature Conservancy Magazine – World View
: The farm’s best friend

Nature.org
: Our secret life with bees

Landscapes for People, Food and Nature Initiative: Pollinator diversity matters

Smithsonian Magazine: Could disappearing wild insects trigger a global crop crisis?

Science Daily: Loss of wild insects hurts crops around the world

Science News: Native pollinators boost crop yields worldwide

Cool Green Science: Seeing the trees – Without losing sight of the forest

Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center: Effects of forest fragmentation on bird communities in Jamaica

NSF’s National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science: Does the matrix matter? Testing the influence of matrix type on bird responses to forest fragmentation

Publications

2016

Kennedy, C.M., E.F Zipkin, and P.P. Marra. 2016. Differential matrix use by Neotropical birds based on species traits and landscape condition. Ecological Applications, doi: 10.1002/eap.1470. 

Kennedy, C.M., Hawthorne, P.L., Miteva, D.A., Baumgarten, L., Sochi, K., Matsumoto, M., Evans, J.S., Polasky, S., Hamel, P., Monteiro Viera, E., Ferreira Develey, P., Sekercioğlu, C.H., Davidson, A.D., Uhlhorn, E.M., Kiesecker, J., 2016. Optimizing land use decision-making to sustain Brazilian agricultural profits, biodiversity, and ecosystem services. Biological Conservation, 204, Part B, 221-230.

Kennedy, C.M.*, Miteva, D.A.*, Baumgarten, L., Hawthorne, P.L., Sochi, K., Polasky, S., Oakleaf, J.R., Uhlhorn, E.M. & Kiesecker, J. (2016). Bigger is better: improved nature conservation and economic returns from landscape-level mitigation. Science Advances, 2, e1501021.
* Co-lead authors contributed equally

Tallis, H., Kennedy, C.M., Ruckelshaus, M., Goldstein, J. & Kiesecker, J.M. (2016). Mitigation for the people: an ecosystem services framework. In: Handbook on biodiversity and ecosystem services in impact assessment (ed. Geneletti, D.). Edward Elgar Publishing, Cheltenham, UK, pp. 397–427.

2015

Oakleaf, J.R., Kennedy, C.M., Baruch-Mordo, S., West, P.C., Gerber, J.S., Jarvis, L. & Kiesecker, J. (2015). A world at risk: aggregating development trends to forecast global habitat conversion. PLoS ONE, 10, e0138334.

Tallis, H.*, Kennedy, C.M.*, Ruckelshaus, M., Goldstein, J. & Kiesecker, J.M. (2015). Mitigation for one & all: an integrated framework for mitigation of development impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem services. Environmental Impact Assessment Review, 55, 21–34.
* Co-lead authors contributed equally

2014

Boyle, S.A., Kennedy, C.M., Torres, J., Colman, K., Pérez-Estigarribia, P.E. & Sancha, N.U. de la. (2014). High-resolution satellite imagery is an important yet underutilized resource in conservation biology. PLoS ONE, 9, e86908.

2013

Garibaldi, L.A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Winfree, R., Aizen, M.A., Bommarco, R., Cunningham, S.A., Kremen, C., Carvalheiro, L.G., Harder, L.D., Afik, O., Bartomeus, I., Benjamin, F., Boreux, V., Cariveau, D., Chacoff, N.P., Dudenhöffer, J.H., Freitas, B.M., Ghazoul, J., Greenleaf, S., Hipólito, J., Holzschuh, A., Howlett, B., Isaacs, R., Javorek, S.K., Kennedy, C.M., Krewenka, K.M., Krishnan, S., Mandelik, Y., Mayfield, M.M., Motzke, I., Munyuli, T., Nault, B.A., Otieno, M., Petersen, J., Pisanty, G., Potts, S.G., Rader, R., Ricketts, T.H., Rundlöf, M., Seymour, C.L., Schüepp, C., Szentgyörgyi, H., Taki, H., Tscharntke, T., Vergara, C.H., Viana, B.F., Wanger, T.C., Westphal, C., Williams, N. & Klein, A.M. (2013). Wild pollinators enhance fruit set of crops regardless of honey bee abundance. Science, 339, 1608–1611.

Kennedy, C.M., Lonsdorf, E., Neel, M.C., Williams, N.M., Ricketts, T.H., Winfree, R., Bommarco, R., Brittain, C., Burley, A.L., Cariveau, D., Carvalheiro, L.G., Chacoff, N.P., Cunningham, S.A., Danforth, B.N., Dudenhöffer, J.-H., Elle, E., Gaines, H.R., Garibaldi, L.A., Gratton, C., Holzschuh, A., Isaacs, R., Javorek, S.K., Jha, S., Klein, A.M., Krewenka, K., Mandelik, Y., Mayfield, M.M., Morandin, L., Neame, L.A., Otieno, M., Park, M., Potts, S.G., Rundlöf, M., Saez, A., Steffan-Dewenter, I., Taki, H., Viana, B.F., Westphal, C., Wilson, J.K., Greenleaf, S.S. & Kremen, C. (2013). A global quantitative synthesis of local and landscape effects on wild bee pollinators in agroecosystems. Ecology Letters, 16, 584–599.

Oakleaf, J.R., Kennedy, C.M., Boucher, T. & Kiesecker, J. (2013). Tailoring global data to guide corporate investments in biodiversity, environmental assessments and sustainability. Sustainability, 5, 4444–4460.

2011

Kennedy, C.M., Grant, E.H.C., Neel, M.C., Fagan, W.F. & Marra, P.P. (2011). Landscape matrix mediates occupancy dynamics of Neotropical avian insectivores. Ecological Applications, 21, 1837–1850.

2010

Kennedy, C.M. & Marra, P.P. (2010). Matrix mediates avian movements in tropical forested landscapes: Inference from experimental translocations. Biological Conservation, 143, 2136–2145.

Kennedy, C.M., Marra, P.P., Fagan, W.F. & Neel, M.C. (2010). Landscape matrix and species traits mediate responses of Neotropical resident birds to forest fragmentation in Jamaica. Ecological Monographs, 80, 651–669.

2005

Fagan, W.F., Aumann, C., Kennedy, C.M. & Unmack, P.J. (2005). Rarity, fragmentation, and the scale dependence of extinction risk in desert fishes. Ecology, 86, 34–41.

Fagan, W.F., Kennedy, C.M. & Unmack, P.J. (2005). Quantifying rarity, losses, and risks for native fishes of the Lower Colorado River Basin: implications for conservation listing. Conservation Biology, 19, 1872–1882.

2003

Kennedy, C.M., Wilkinson, J. & Balch, J. (2003). Conservation thresholds for land use planners. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C.

Wilkinson, J., & Kennedy, C.M. (2003). Planning with nature: biodiversity information in action. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C.

2002

Filbey, M., Kennedy, C.M., Wilkinson, J. & Balch, J. (2002). Halting the invasion: state tools for invasive species management. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C.

Wilkinson, J., Kennedy, C.M., Mott, K., Filbey, M. & King, S. (2002). Banks and fees mitigation study reveals an industry transformed. National Wetlands Newsletter, 24, 5–6, 16.

Wilkinson, J., Kennedy, C.M., Mott, K., Filbey, M., King, S. & McElfish, J. (2002). Banks and fees: the status of off-site wetland mitigation in the United States. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C.

2001

Wilkinson, J., Kennedy, C.M., Mott, K. & McElfish, J. (2001). Status of the states: innovative state strategies for biodiversity conservation. Environmental Law Institute, Washington, D.C.

Christina M. Kennedy

Senior Scientist, Global Conservation Lands

Read Christina M. Kennedy's Full Biography

Christina Kennedy is a Senior Scientist with The Nature Conservancy’s Global Conservation Lands Program. She supports the Development by Design (DbD) strategy and leads science initiatives and applies new tools, methods, and modeling techniques to mitigate and reconcile the impacts of land conversion and human development on biodiversity and ecosystem services to promote the design of more sustainable landscapes.

Christina’s research focuses on the effects of human land use on species communities; fragmentation of natural systems; and the role of farming practices and landscape patterns on biodiversity. Her projects span local to global scales. She is currently involved in a collaborative effort with the Global Lands team and international experts to forecast globally at-risk areas from cumulative development threats with the aim of catalyzing proactive land use planning, impact mitigation and conservation investments in the face of anticipated development expansion. With an inter-disciplinary research team, she is investigating the ecological role of wild birds on mixed vegetable farms in the United States in relation to their beneficial effects for pest control and potential risks as pathogens/parasites vectors; a project led by Washington State University in conjunction with TNC, Cornell Lab of Ornithology and University of California-Riverside. Within the TNC-Dow Chemical Company Collaboration, she led analyses to guide business decision-making about agricultural expansion and habitat restoration and protection under the Forest Code to balance the benefits of agricultural profit with biodiversity and ecosystem services in the Brazilian Cerrado. Christina also spearheaded field research on the impacts of agriculture, urbanization, and mining on bird communities in the Caribbean; investigated the effects of land cover classification and imagery resolution on detecting fragmentation effects in the Atlantic Forest; and conducted synthetic modeling of farming practices and landscape effects on pollinators globally to safeguard the delivery of pollination services. Her work has been published in leading scientific journals including Ecology Letters, Ecological Monographs, Ecology, Conservation Biology, and Science Advances.

Prior to joining TNC, Christina served as a Postdoctoral Associate on a National Science Foundation project and modeled the effects of landscape patterns on global (bee) pollinators with investigators at the Lincoln Park Zoo, University of Maryland, and the University of California at Berkeley and Davis. She also served as a Research Associate at the Smithsonian Migratory Bird Center, where she directed field research in Jamaica on the effects of forest fragmentation and landscape matrix on Neotropical bird communities. Previously, she worked at the Environmental Law Institute in D.C., where she conducted research and outreach on federal, state, and local 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.

Contact

Christina Kennedy
E-mail: ckennedy@tnc.org

Areas of Expertise

  • Agriculture
  • Development by Design
  • Ecosystem Services
  • Landscape Ecology and Modeling
  • Protected Areas

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