Maile Neel


Maile received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Humboldt State University and a Master of Arts in Biology from University of California, Santa Barbara. Professional experience includes work as a naturalist with the National Park Service and as a Botanist with the USDA Forest Service where she worked on conservation and restoration of rare plant species and the ecosystems they comprise. As a Botanist she conducted environmental impact analyses, designed and implemented population and habitat monitoring programs, wrote and implemented habitat management and developed a native plant restoration program. In her current work Maile is particularly interested in narrowing gaps that exist between academic research and applications to conservation management so that the most current and accurate science is brought to bear on slowing and reversing loss of biodiversity. Her research is divided between investigations of conservation relevance for particular species and examination of general questions that evaluate the consequences of making conservation decisions with incomplete information. Her doctoral research at University of California, Riverside focused on describing patterns of biological diversity and the implications of those patterns for selecting reserves and reserve networks. In continuing efforts in that system she is examining how well reserves designed to conserve diversity at one hierarchical level (e.g., representing vegetation diversity) actually conserve diversity at other levels (e.g., representing species diversity and genetic diversity within species). These ongoing investigations have been supported in part by the David H Smith Conservation Research Fellowship Program. Other current research includes linking landscape pattern with ecological process by examining the effects of habitat fragmentation on pollination, mating patterns, and gene flow; evaluating the evolutionary distinctiveness of the endangered plant species sand plains Gerardia; and improving methods of developing scientifically defensible recovery goals for federally listed endangered and threatened species. For more information see her lab Website lab Website

Fellow at a Glance

Fellowship Year:
Academic Background:
University of California Riverside, Ph.D.
Current Position:
Associate Professor
University of Maryland, Department of Natural Resource Science and Landscape Architecture
Conservation Science & Biology
2116 Plant Sciences Building
College Park, MD 20742

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