Department Head
IdEx Chair, Université de Toulouse
Director, Sustainable Human Ecosystems Laboratory

Contact Info


Appointed IdEx Attractivity Chair at the Université de Toulouse - Jean Jaurès (UT2J), France, for AY2015-2019 to engage in collaborative long-term human-environmental research. I am attached to the TRACES Laboratory (UMR 5608), Travaux et Recherches Archéologiques sur les Cultures, les Espaces et les Sociétés, and work closely with the GEODE Laboratory (UMR 5602), Géographie de l'Environnement. Both are joint CNRS (French National Centre for Scientific Research) - UT2J research-training labs respectively with 94 and 37 permanent members from academia and various government agencies, and an international cohort of graduate students. Our trans-disciplinary team of investigators and graduate students is examining the millennial human occupation and transformation of mid-elevation landscapes of the Pyrenees Mountains and alluvial landscapes of the Garonne River basin from the onset of the Holocene through the present.


Ph.D. Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University 1989

Research Areas:
Research Interests:

I am the Lead Principal Investigator of the Coweeta Long Term Ecological Research Project based in Southern Appalachia and part of the US LTER Network. Southern Appalachian forests are highly productive ecosystems that are globally rich in biodiversity, yet vulnerable to the effects of global warming and human activities. Our research challenge is to understand key processes at a range of scales, and to identify interventions to advance management objectives while mitigating and adapting to the forces of change.

I also conduct research in the western Pyrenees of France on the co-evolution of agropastoralism and soils over the course of the Holocene. This research is carried out in the ethnically Basque commune of Larrau, where we are examining the structural legacies and biotic factors in soil evolution across millennia using multi-proxy evidence from geoarchives, archaeology, history and ethnography. We use a place-based approach to evaluate modal human behaviors and decision-making within a complex adaptive system to reveal how the present is connected to the past and how contemporary land systems can contribute to a sustainable future.

Other Topics of Interest

Human behavioral ecology
Historical ecology
Ecosystem ecology
Landscape ecology
Southern Europe
Southeastern US
South America
Airborne and ground-based remote sensing 
Qualitative, quantitative, and spatial analysis of numerical, narrative, documentary and geographic data

Selected Publications:


      Gragson, Ted L and Morgan Grove, eds. 2006. Society and Natural Resources, vol. 19, special issue on Social Science across the Long-Term Ecological Research Network.

      Gragson, Ted L and Ben G. Blount, eds. 1999. Ethnoecology: Knowledge, Resources and Rights. Athens: The University of Georgia Press.


      Gragson, Ted L. 2015. An Anthropologist Joins the LTER Network. In Long-Term Ecological Research: Changing the Nature of Scientists, Michael R. Willig and Lawrence R. Walker, eds. Pp. 00-00. New York: Oxford University Press.

      Gragson, Ted L. 2013. The Contribution of Anthropology to Concepts Guiding LTSER Research. In Long term socio-ecological research: Studies in society-nature interactions across spatial and temporal scales, S. J. Singh, H. Haberl, M. Chertow, M. Mirtl, and M. Schmid, eds. Pp. 189-214. Berlin: Springer.

      Gragson, Ted L, Paul V. Bolstad, and Meredith Welch-Devine. 2008. Agricultural Transformation of Southern Appalachia. In Agrarian Landscapes in Transition. Charles Redman and David Foster, eds. Pp. 89-121. New York: Oxford University Press.

      Gragson, Ted L & Andrew Keeler. 2009. Aesthetics and Practice of Maintaining the Ideal Lawn in Peachtree City, GA. Turfgrass: Pesticide Exposure Assessment & Predictive Modeling Tools. Joseph Massey and Pamela Rice, eds. Pp. 11-22. Washington, DC: ACS Books/Oxford University Press.

      Boone, Christopher T., Ted L Gragson, and J. Morgan Grove. 2013. Long-term trends in human demography and economy across sites. In: Long-term trends in ecological systems: a basis for understanding responses to global change, D. P. C. Peters, C. M. Laney, A. E. Lugo, S. L. Collins, C. T. Driscoll, P. M. Groffman, J. M. Grove, A. K. Knapp, T. K. Kratz, M. D. Ohman, R. B. Waide, and J. Yao, Eds. Pp. 54-57. USDA Agricultural Research Service Technical Bulletin No. 1931. Washington, D.C.

      Webster, J.R., E.F. Benfield, K. Cecala, J.F. Chamblee, C. Dehring, T. Gragson, J. Hepinstall, C.R. Jackson, J. Knoepp, D. Leigh, J. Maerz, C. Pringle, and H.M. Valett. 2012. Water quality and exurbanization in southern Appalachian streams. In River Conservation and Management, Philip J. Boon and Paul J. Raven, Eds. Pp. 91-106. Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell.


      Gragson, Ted L and Paul V. Bolstad. 2007. A local analysis of early 18th century Cherokee settlement. Social Science History 31(3): 435-468.

      Gragson, Ted L and Paul Bolstad. 2006. Land use legacies and the future of Southern Appalachia. Society and Natural Resources 19: 175-190.

      Gragson, Ted L and Morgan Grove. 2006. Social science in the context of the Long Term Ecological Research Program. Society and Natural Resources 19: 93-100.

      Bolstad, Paul V. Ted L Gragson. 2008. Resource abundance as constraints on early post-contact Cherokee populations. Journal of Archaeological Science 35: 563-576.

      Burke, Brian J., Meredith Welch-Devine, Seth Gustafson, Nik Heynen, Jennifer L. Rice, Ted L Gragson, Sakura Evans, and Donald R. Nelson. 2015. Can science writing collectives overcome barriers to more democratic communication and collaboration? Lessons from environmental communication praxis in southern Appalachia.Environmental Communication. doi: 10.1080/17524032.2014.999695

      Collins, Scott L., Stephen R. Carpenter, Scott M. Swinton, Daniel E. Orenstein, Daniel L. Childers, Ted L Gragson, Nancy B. Grimm, J. Morgan Grove, Sharon L. Harlan, Jason P. Kaye, Alan K. Knapp, Gary P. Kofinas, John J. Magnuson, William H. McDowell, John M. Melack, Laura A. Ogden, G. Phillip Robertson, Melinda D. Smith, Alison C. Whitmer. 2011. An integrated conceptual framework for long-term socioecological research. Frontiers in Ecology & the Environment. 9(6): 351-357. doi:10.1890/100068

      Leigh, David S., Theodore L Gragson and Michael R. Coughlan. 2015. Chronology and pedogenic effects of mid- to late-Holocene conversion of forests to pastures in the French western Pyrenees. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie vol 59(2): 225-245.

      McDonald, Robert I., Chris Yuan-Farrell, Charles Fievet, Matthias Moeller, Peter Kareiva, David Foster, Ted Gragson, Ann Kinzig, Lauren Kuby, and Charles Redman. 2007. How effective are protected lands at preventing nearby development and spawning more conservation? Conservation Biology 21(6): 1526-1536.

      Robertson, P., N. Brokaw, S. Collins, H. Ducklow, D. Foster, T. Gragson, C. Gries, S. Hamilton, D. McGuire, J. Moore, E. Stanley, R. Waide, M. Williams. 2012. Long Term Ecological Research in a Human Dominated World. BioScience 62(4): 342-353. doi: 10.1525/bio.2012.62.4.6

      Gustafson, S., N. Heynen, J. Rice, T. L Gragson, J. M. Shepherd. 2014. Megapolitan political ecology and urban metabolism in southern Appalachia. Professional Geographer66(4): 664-675. doi: 10.1080/00330124.2014.905158


National Science Foundation (DEB and SBE)
National Geographic Society
USDA Forest Service
US Environmental Protection Agency
J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholar Program
FACE/Partner University Fund
Ecological Society of America
World Bank Global Environmental Fund
W.K. Kellogg Foundation
The Nature Conservancy
Ford Foundation
Leakey Foundation
IDEX Program