Catherine Pringle is a Distinguished Research Professor at the University of Georgia’s (UGA) Odum School of Ecology, where she specializes in the study of aquatic ecosystems and conservation ecology. She joined the Odum School of Ecology 22 years ago. She received her undergraduate degree in Botany and MS and PhD in Aquatic Ecology from the University of Michigan, followed by post-doctoral positions at the University of California at Berkeley and Santa Barbara. She has served as the major advisor for 18 PhD and 20 MS students who have graduated from the University of Georgia.
Dr. Pringle is the Chair of the Conservation Ecology & Sustainable Development Graduate M.S. Program in the Odum School of Ecology, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. More recently, she helped develop UGA’s Integrative Conservation Ph.D Program which involves four academic units (Ecology, Anthropology, Forest Resources & Geography).
Professor Pringle is an elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a past-President of the Society for Freshwater Science. Given the increasing loss of ecosystem services provided by freshwater ecosystems, a major research theme of her lab is stream ecosystems are altered by different types of disturbance, ranging from dams to disease to changes in land-use and climate. An overarching goal is to link research on aquatic ecosystems with conservation – through resource management applications, environmental outreach, or synthesis activities.
Other research areas include: hydrologic connectivity, landscape ecology, and ecological-evolutionary (eco-evo) dynamics. A more recent focus is effects of climate change on Neotropical streams – given trends in climate-driven stream acidification which emerged from long-term (25+ years) data collected in lowland streams of Costa Rica at the Organization for Tropical Studies’ La Selva Biological Station.
Dr. Pringle’s research contributions include more than160 refereed journal articles, over 50 book chapters & symposium proceedings, and 3 co-edited books. Funding has been provided primarily from the National Science Foundation (NSF) and other federal agencies such as the US-EPA, USDA Forest Service, the Natural Resources Conservation Service and the US Army Corps of Engineers – but also including the Nature Conservancy, the Conservation Food and Health Foundation, the National Geographic Society, and the Rainforest Alliance.