Steward T. A. Pickett, Urban Studies and Planning

A diversity of people and perspectives plays just as important a role in advancing sustainability as biological diversity does in sustaining an ecosystem.

STEWARD T. A. PICKETT - Plant ecologist and Distinguished Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Visiting Professor 2009-2010
Hosted by Prof. Anne Whiston Spirn, Department of Urban Studies Program (DUSP)

Steward Pickett is a plant ecologist and Distinguished Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. His research relates to the role of spatial heterogeneity in community and landscape structure and dynamics. Specific projects include research on urban ecosystems, function of landscape boundaries, and plant community succession.

2009-2010 Scholars

Current Projects with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Post-agricultural plant community succession is being studied in permanent plots in central New Jersey.

The Cary Institute has taken a lead role in developing a program aimed at understanding urban ecosystems, one of Earth's fastest growing environments.

Steward Pickett is a plant ecologist and Distinguished Senior Scientist at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. His research relates to the role of spatial heterogeneity in community and landscape structure and dynamics. Specific projects include research on urban ecosystems, function of landscape boundaries, and plant community succession.

Dr. Pickett earned a Ph.D in Botany at the University of Illinois (1977) and his BS with Honors in Botany at the University of Kentucky (1972). He is an exemplary scholar and practitioner in the fields of landscape and urban ecology, continually striving to connect his work with broader questions of urban design and social science.

Prof. Anne Whiston Spirn served as his principal and coordinating faculty host in the Department of Urban Studies Program (DUSP). As an MLK Visiting Professor Dr. Pickett participated in the activities of the MIT Faculty Environmental Network, DUSP’s “MIT-USGS Science Impact Collaborative” (MUSIC) program and “Green Hub” Initiative, as well as did work with the Community Innovator’s Lab.

2009 - 2014





J. M. GroveS. T. A. PickettA. Whitmer, and M. L. Cadenasso, “Building an Urban LTSER: The Case of the Baltimore Ecosystem Study and the D.C. / B.C. ULTRA-Ex Project”, in S.J. Singh, H. Haberl, M. Chertow, M. Mirtl, and M. Schmid (eds.), Studies in Society: Nature Interactions Across Spatial and Temporal Scales, 2013, p. 369-408.

S. T. A. Pickett, et al., “Ecological science and transformation to the sustainable city”, Cities, 2013.

N. F. Sayre, et al., “Invitation to Earth Stewardship”, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 11, no. 7, p. 339 - 339, 2013.

S. T. A. PickettM. L. Cadenasso, and B. McGrathResilience in Urban Ecology and Urban Design: Linking Theory and Practice for Sustainable Cities. 2013, p. 650.

G. W. Hager, et al., “Socioecological revitalization of an urban watershed”, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, vol. 11, no. 1, p. 28 - 36, 2013.

S. T. A. Pickett, “Urban Ecology”, in Encyclopaedia Brittanica, 2013.

S. T. A. Pickett and M. L. Cadenasso, “Urban Ecology”, in Meyers R. (Ed.) Encyclopedia of Sustainability Science and Technology, Berlin/Heidelberg: , 2013.

S. T. A. PickettM. L. Cadenasso, and S. J. Meiners, “Vegetation Dynamics”, in E. van der Maarel and J. Franklin (eds.), Vegetation Ecology, New York: , 2013, p. 107-140.

S. T. A. PickettC. G. Boone, and M. L. Cadenasso, “Ecology and Environmental Justice: Understanding Disturbance Using Ecological Theory”, in C. Boone and M. Fragkias (eds.), Linking Urban Ecology, Environmental Justice and Global Environmental Change: A Framework For Urban Sustainability, Dordrecht: , 2012, p. 27 - 47.

S. T. A. Pickett, “Ecology of the City: A Perspective from Science”, in B.P. McGrath (ed.), Urban Design Ecologies, 2012, p. 162-171.

S. T. A. Pickett and M. L. Cadenasso, “Ecosystems in a Heterogeneous World”, in K. C. Weathers, D. L. Strayer and G. E. Likens (eds.). Fundamentals of Ecosystem Science, 2012, p. 191-213.

M. J. McDonnellA. K. Hahs, and S. T. A. Pickett, “Exposing an urban ecology straw man: critique of Ramalho and Hobbs”, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, vol. 27, p. 255-256, 2012.

R. O. BustamanteE. I. Badano, and S. T. A. Pickett, “Impacts of land use change on seed removal patterns of native and exotic species in a forest landscape”, Community Ecology, vol. 13, no. 2, p. 171 - 177, 2012.

S. T. A. PickettM. L. CadenassoP. M. Groffman, and J. M. Grove, “Importance of integrated approaches and perspectives”, in D. N. Laband, B. G. Lockaby, and W. Zipperer, eds. Urban-rural interfaces: linking people and nature, 2012.

K. SchwarzS. T. A. PickettR. G. LathropK. C. WeathersR. V. Pouyat, and M. L. Cadenasso, “The effects of the urban built environment on the spatial distribution of lead in residential soils”,Environ. Poll., vol. 163, p. 32-39, 2012.

S. T. A. Pickett, et al., “Understanding and Working with Urban Biodiversity: The Baltimore Ecosystem Study”, CityGreen, vol. 4, p. 68-77, 2012.

M. L. Cadenasso and S. T. A. Pickett, “Urban Ecology”, in A. Hastings and L. Gross (eds.), Encyclopedia of Theoretical Ecology, 2012, p. 765-770.

W. C. Zipperer and S. T. A. Pickett, “Urban Ecology: Patterns of Population Growth and Ecological Effects”, in Encyclopedia of Life Sciences, Chichester, UK: , 2012.

W. ZhouG. HuangS. T. A. Pickett, and M. L. Cadenasso, “90 years of forest cover change in an urbanizing watershed: spatial and temporal dynamics”, Landscape Ecol., vol. 26, p. 645-659, 2011.

S. M. Raciti, et al., “Accumulation of Carbon and Nitrogen in Residential Soils with Different Land-Use Histories”, Ecosystems, vol. 14, p. 287-297, 2011.

C. M. SwanS. T. A. PickettK. SlaveczP. S. Warren, and K. T. Willey, “Biodiversity and community composition in urban ecosystems: coupled human, spatial and metacommunity processes”, in J. Niemela (Ed.), Handbook of Urban Ecology, 2011, p. 179-186.

K. SzlaveczP. S. Warren, and S. T. A. Pickett, “Biodiversity on the urban landscape”, in R. P. Cincotta and L. J. Gorenflo. Human Population: Its Influences on Biological Diversity, Ecological Studies 214., 2011, p. 75-101.

D. P. C. Peters, et al., “Cross-system comparisons elucidate disturbance complexities and generalities”, Ecosphere, vol. 2, no. 7, p. art81, 2011.

S. J. MeinersM. L. Cadenasso, and S. T. A. Pickett, “Domain and Propositions of Succession Theory”, in S. Scheiner and M. Willig (Eds.), Theory of Ecology, 2011, p. 185-216 .

M. A. Davis and S. T. A. Pickett, “Don't judge species on their origins”, Nature, vol. 474, p. 153-154, 2011.

F. S. Chapin, IIIS. T. A. PickettM. E. PowerR. B. JacksonD. M. Carter, and C. Duke, “Earth stewardship: A strategy for social-ecological transformation to reverse planetary degradation”,Journal of Environmental Studies and Science, vol. 1, p. 44-53, 2011.

F. S. Chapin, III, et al., “Earth Stewardship: science for action to sustain the human-earth system”,Ecosphere, vol. 2, no. 8, p. art89, 2011.

S. T. A. Pickett, “Ecology of the City: A Perspective from Science”, in B.P. McGrath (Ed.), Urban Design Ecologies, 2011.

L. C. FoxcroftS. T. A. Pickett, and M. L. Cadenasso, “Expanding the conceptual frameworks of plant invasion ecology”, Persp. Plant Ecol. Evol. Syst., vol. 13, p. 89-100, 2011.

S. M. Raciti, et al., “Nitrate production and availability in residential soils”, Ecol. Appl., vol. 21, p. 2357-2366, 2011.

S. T. A. PickettG. L. BuckleyS. S. Kaushal, and Y. Williams, “Social-Ecological Science in the Humane Metropolis”, Urban Ecosyst., vol. 14, p. 319-339, 2011.

S. J. Meiners and S. T. A. Pickett, “Succession”, in D. Simberloff and M. Rejmanek (Eds.), Encyclopedia of Biological Invasions, 2011, p. 651-657.

B. McGrath and S. T. A. Pickett, “The Metacity: A Conceptual Framework for Integrating Ecology and Urban Design”, Challenges, vol. 2, no. 4, p. 55 - 72, 2011.

S. T. A. Pickett, et al., “Urban Ecological Systems: Foundations and a Decade of Progress”, J. Environ. Manage, vol. 92, p. 331-362, 2011.

S. T. A. Pickett, “Urban Ecosystem”, in Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011.

A. Whitmer, et al., “The engaged university: providing a platform for research that transforms society”, Front. Ecol. Environ., vol. 8, p. 314-321, 2010.

S. T. A. Pickett, “The Wild and the City”, in State of the Wild: A Global Portrait, 2010, p. 153-159.

S. R. Carpenter and S. T. A. Pickett, “Accelerate Synthesis in Ecology and Environmental Sciences”,BioScience, vol. 59, p. 699-701, 2009.

S. T. A. Pickett and M. L. Cadenasso, “Altered resources, disturbance, and heterogeneity: A framework for comparing urban and non-urban soils”, Urban Ecosystems, vol. 12, p. 23-44, 2009.

S. J. MeinersM. L. Cadenasso, and S. T. A. Pickett, “Ever since Clements: from succession to vegetation dynamics and understanding to intervention”, Appl. Veg. Sci., vol. 12, p. 9-21, 2009.

S. T. A. PickettM. L. CadenassoM. J. McDonnell, and W. R. Burch, “Frameworks for urban ecosystem studies: Gradients, patch dynamics, and the human ecosystem”, in M. J. McDonnell, A. K. Hahs, and J. Breuste (eds.). Ecology of Cities and Towns: A Comparative Approach, 2009, p. 25-50.

M. L. CadenassoS. J. Meiners, and S. T. A. Pickett, “The success of succession: a symposium commemorating the 50th anniversary of the Buell-Small Succession Study”, Appl. Veg. Sci., vol. 12, p. 3-8, 2009.

S. T. A. Pickett and J. M. Grove, “What would Tansley do?”, Urban Ecosystems, vol. 12, p. 1-8, 2009.


TOP