Jonathan Coop

Jonathan Coop

Professor of Environment and Sustainability, MS in Ecology and Master in Environmental Management


Ph.D., University of Wisconsin‚ at Madison, Botany, 2005
B.A., University of California‚ Santa Cruz, Biology, 1995


View Dr. Coop’s Curriculum Vitae

Teaching and Research Interests

My teaching and research interests revolve around the ecology, dynamics, conservation, and restoration of plant communities and landscapes in the southern Rocky Mountains. I teach introductory and advanced courses in biology and environmental studies and lead many field trips to wild places near and far. I work with undergraduates in Biology and ENVS, and graduate students in the Ecology Master of Science and Master Environmental Management programs, to explore how disturbance regimes, climate, and spatially-structured abiotic gradients interact to shape diversity, community composition, and landscape dynamics; human influences on ecological systems; and management for a future of certain change but of a less than certain direction and magnitude.

Recent research topics include:

  • Landscape-scale forest management for ecological resilience
  • Wildfire and climate-driven conversions of forests to alternate and non-forested states.
  • The role of forest residuals and refugia in maintaining species and promoting forest resilience to changing climate and disturbance regimes
  • Prescribed fire as a tool for increasing forest persistence through subsequent wildfire.

Beyond these topics, graduate students working with me also have the opportunity to develop research and applied projects that reflect their own interests and professional aspirations.

Courses Taught

Applied Sustainability, Ecology, Ecology Lab, Environmental Biology, Environmental Biology Lab, Environmental Monitoring, Forest Ecology, Natural History of the Gunnison Basin, Rocky Mountain Flora, Science of Sustainability and Resilience, Watersheds of the World, and senior seminars in Biogeography, Ethnobotany, Fire Ecology, Forest Dynamics, and Landscape Ecology.

Select Recent Publications

Coop, J. D., Parks, S. A., Stevens-Rumann, C. S., Crausbay, S. D., Higuera, P. E., Hurteau, M. D., … & Davis, K. T. (2020). Wildfire-driven forest conversion in Western North American landscapes. BioScience, 70(8), 659-673.

Krawchuk, M. A., Meigs, G. W., Cartwright, J. M., Coop, J. D., Davis, R., Holz, A., … & Meddens, A. J. (2020). Disturbance refugia within mosaics of forest fire, drought, and insect outbreaks. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 18(5), 235-244.

Coop, J. D., DeLory, T. J., Downing, W. M., Haire, S. L., Krawchuk, M. A., Miller, C., … & Walker, R. B. (2019). Contributions of fire refugia to resilient ponderosa pine and dry mixed‐conifer forest landscapes. Ecosphere, 10(7), e02809.

Walker, R. B., Coop, J. D., Parks, S. A., & Trader, L. (2018). Fire regimes approaching historic norms reduce wildfire‐facilitated conversion from forest to non‐forest. Ecosphere, 9(4), e02182.


Western Colorado University