Eleanor Sterling

Professor Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology Columbia University Chief Conservation Scientist Center for Biodiversity Conservation American Museum of Natural History


B.A. 1983, Yale University M.A. 1989, Yale University Ph.D. 1993, Yale University



Website: www.columbia.edu/cu/e3b/faculty/sterling.html

Tel: (212) 769-5266

Fax: (212) 769-5266

Overview of Research

Dr. Sterling’s current research topics include biodiversity conservation and the history of land use change in Vietnam , and documenting biodiversity on Palmyra Atoll in the Pacific Ocean. She is especially interested in determining population densities and habitat use by sea turtles on the atoll to better plan for the conservation of turtle habitats and the overall management of the island. She also studies the evolution and distribution of both linguistic and biological diversity, and the connections between their conservation. In 2000, Dr. Sterling spearheaded the establishment of the CBC’s Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners, which works to create and implement educational materials and teaching resources for biodiversity conservation at undergraduate, graduate, and professional levels around the world (ncep.amnh.org).


Gibbs, J.P., M.L. Hunter, and E.J. Sterling. 2008 (second edition). Problem Solving in Conservation Biology and Wildlife Management: Exercises for Class, Field, and Laboratory. Malden, MA: Blackwell Science, Inc.

Gibbs, J.P., C. Marquez and E.J. Sterling. 2007. The role of endangered species reintroduction in ecosystem restoration: Tortoise-cactus interactions on Española Island, Galápagos. Restoration Ecology 16(1): 88-93.

Mendez, M., A. Gomez, N. Bynum, R. Medellin, A.L. Porzecanski, and E.J. Sterling. 2007. Availability of formal academic programs in conservation biology in Latin America. Conservation Biology 21(6): 1399-1403.

Sterling, E.J. 2007. Blue Planet Blues. Natural History (November 2007) pp. 29-31. Sterling, E.J., and M. Camhi. 2007. Sold Down the River. Natural History (November

2007) pp. 40-45. McCreless, E.M. and E.J. Sterling. 2006. Die Rolle von naturhistorischen Museen bei der

Erhaltung der Biodiversität [The role of natural history museums in biodiversity

conservation]. Bioskop (Austria; August 2006): 27-30. Sterling E.J., N. Bynum, J.P. Gibbs and A.L. Porzecanski. 2006.

Construyendo␣capacidades para la consevración de la biodiversidad en países tropicales:␣la Red de Educadores y Profesionales de la Conservación (REPC). Ambiente y␣Desarrollo (Chile) 11(2): 40-46.

Sterling, E.J., M.M. Hurley, and Le Duc Minh. Vietnam: A Natural History. 2006. New Haven, CT: Yale University Press.

Sterling, E.J. and E.M. McCreless. 2006. Adaptations in the Aye-aye: A Review. In: Lemurs: Ecology and Adaptation. Edited by L. Gould and M.L. Sauther. pp. 159- 184. Springer.

Johnson, E. A. and M. W. Klemens, eds. 2005. Nature in Fragments: The Legacy of Sprawl. Sterling, E.J., Series Editor. Columbia University Press, New York.

Sterling, E.J. and M.M. Hurley. 2005. Conserving biodiversity in Vietnam: applying biogeography to conservation research. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 56, Supplement I (9)90-105.

Turner, W., S. Spector, N. Gardiner, M. Fladeland, E.J. Sterling, and M. Steininger. 2003. Remote sensing for biodiversity science and conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 18(6):306-314.

Sterling, E.J., M.M. Hurley, and R. Bain. 2003. Vietnam's secret life. Natural History 112(2):50-59.

Turner, W. and E.J. Sterling, eds. 2001. Special Section: Contributions of Remote Sensing to Biodiversity Conservation: A NASA Approach. Conservation Biology 15:832-953.

Turner, W., E.J. Sterling, and A.C. Janetos. 2001. Introduction: Contributions of Remote Sensing to Biodiversity Conservation: A NASA Approach. Conservation Biology 15:832-834.

Brumbaugh, D.R. and E.J. Sterling 2001. Finally, a new toolbox for conservation biology? Ecology 82 (5):1495-1496.