About Dr. Kelly Heber Dunning

Screen Shot 2015-10-20 at 4.15.14 PM

Mangrove fieldwork in Tuban, Indonesia

I am Kelly Heber Dunning, an Assistant Professor at Auburn University School of Forestry and Wildlife Science (War Eagle!). I am an expert in natural resource management with a PhD in Natural Resources and Environmental Policy from MIT, my MSc in environmental policy from Oxford University Center for the Environment, and a BA in political science focused on environmental policy from the University of Florida (Let’s go Gators!). This is my personal website. My lab studies the human dimensions of natural resources. I am interested in how fishermen, hunters, and other sportsmen enact environmental policy change; how sportsmen engage in collective behavior to conserve public lands; how communities adapt to ecological changes both human and man-made; and how ecosystem services, or the benefits to human well-being created by nature, are impacted by environmental change.

Prior to Auburn, I directed the Coastal Training Program at the University of Texas at Austin Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) and the Mission Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve. While simultaneously serving as a research scientist at UT Austin, I published my first book, Managing Coral Reefs: an Ecological and Institutional Analysis of Ecosystem Services in Southeast Asia in summer of 2018. This book discusses how communities manage their natural resources, and how fishermen’s groups are major sources of environmental stewardship.

I have ten years of environmental policy and conservation experience all over the world, including in Sub-Saharan Africa, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Islands, as well as the U.S. and E.U. I have worked with government decision-makers, multilateral development institutions, civil society, the private sector, and local stakeholders. I have broad expertise in environmental policy, specializing in coastal ecosystem management, mangrove ecosystems, tropical biodiversity conservation, fisheries regulation, community-based ecosystem management, the Convention on Biological Diversity, marine protected areas, marine spatial planning, and ecosystem based management. My contact information is at the bottom of the page.

I teach courses on environmental policy, natural resource management, and America’s National Parks system. I have a chocolate lab named Murphy, who is better at hunting ducks than I am.


Stakeholder outreach with IRDA in Kampung Sinaran Bahru, Malaysia Agro-tourism venture


Seagrass surveys in the Florida Keys


55 feet below on the Aquarius Reef Base saturation dive off Islamorada, Florida

Contact me:

email: kellyhdunning@utexas.edu




Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s