Truman Young

Truman Young

Position Title
Professor and Restoration Ecologist

  • Faculty
2234 PES
University of California, Dept. Plant Sciences, Davis CA 95616


  • Ph.D., University of Pennsylvania; Biology, 1981
  • B.A., University of Chicago; Biology, 1975

Research interests and expertise:

I have broad interests in plant population and community ecology, including 40 years of research in Africa. For the last 25 years, I have been involved with more applied research at the community and landscape scales in California and Kenya. My current research projects are related to the ecology, management, restoration, and conservation of human-dominated landscapes. In the United States, my lab group's restoration research program has been a balance of conceptual research centered on the theme of the effects of contingency in restoration ecology, and applied research emphasizing stakeholder issues, in ecosystems ranging from California grasslands, forests, and chaparral to biomes in Washington, Oregon, Utah, Mexico, Haiti, Brazil, France, and Peru. In Africa, our Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE) uniquely examines the separate and combined effects of livestock and wildlife on a rangeland ecosystem in East Africa.

Current projects: 

Current teaching: 

  • Plant Communities of California; PLS 147 (spring quarter)
  • Plant Communities of California field course; PLS 147L (spring quarter)
  • Foundations of Restoration Ecology; ECL 290 (alternate spring quarters)
  • Restoration Practicum (Instructor of record); PLS 164 (fall, winter, spring quarters)

Outreach and Extension:

  • Maintain the restecol listserv (over 350 subscribers), a local and regional clearinghouse for restoration meetings, jobs, and volunteer and internship opportunities, with hundreds of postings each year.

External activities that contribute to scholarship:

  • Associate Editor, Ecology and Ecological Monographs
  • Scientific Advisory Board, Mpala Research Centre, Laikipia, Kenya
  • Coordinating Committee, Prairie Fork Conservation Area, Missouri

Prizes, Awards, Honors:

  • Distinguished Teaching Award for Graduate and Professional Teaching at UC Davis, 2015

Google Scholar



  • Plant population ecology
  • Community ecology
  • Restoration ecology
  • Conservation biology
  • Human-dominated landscapes
  • Savanna
  • Grassland
  • Rangeland
  • Forest
  • Plant-animal interactions