Directory Profiles

Dr. Eric S. Higgs


Eric Higgs is a Professor in the School of Environmental Studies at the University of Victoria, and from 2002 to 2010 served as Director of the School. His research combines ecological and philosophical methods and insights to understand how we intervene responsibly in ecosystems experiencing rapid change. The change is not just environmental and ecological; it is cultural, too. For almost twenty years, he has directed the Mountain Legacy Project, a long-term study of changing Canadian mountain landscapes using the world’s largest systematic collection of historical survey photographs. His teaching encompasses courses in ecological restoration, changing natures, nature and technology and core courses in the graduate program. His writing spans several fields, is interdisciplinary and often collaborative. His books include Novel Ecosystems (Wiley; co-edited with Richard Hobbs and Carol Hall), Mapper of Mountains (University of Alberta Press; with Ian MacLaren and Gabrielle Zezulka-Mailloux), Nature By Design (MIT Press), and Technology and the Good Life (University of Chicago Press; co-edited with Andrew Light and David Strong).
His previous long-term appointment was at the University of Alberta (1990-2001), and he has held visiting and short-term appointments at the University of Western Australia, University of Waterloo, Oberlin College, MIT, and the University of British Columbia. From 2001-2003 he was Chair of the Society for Ecological Restoration.

Featured Research Summaries

New Technologies use Historical Photographs to Offer a Glimpse into the Past

Selected Publications

Novel and designed ecosystems
Higgs E
Restoration Ecology doi: 10.1111/rec.12410 (early view July 2016)

Extracting ecological information from oblique angle terrestrial landscape photographs: Performance evaluation of the WSL Monoplotting Tool
Stockdale CA, C Bozzini, SE Macdonald & E Higgs
Applied Geography 63:315–325 (Sep 2015)

Committing to ecological restoration
Suding K, E Higgs, M Palmer, JB Callicott, CB Anderson, M Baker, et al.
Science 348:638–640 (May 2015)

The changing role of history in restoration ecology
Higgs E, DA Falk, A Guerrini, M Hall, J Harris, RJ Hobbs, et al.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12:499–506 (Nov 2014)

Managing the whole landscape: historical, hybrid, and novel ecosystems
Hobbs RJ, E Higgs, CM Hall, P Bridgewater, FS Chapin III, EC Ellis, et al.
Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12:557–564 (Dec 2014)

Flexible and Adaptable Restoration: An Example from South Korea
Temperton VM, E Higgs, YD Choi, E Allen, D Lamb, C-S Lee, et al.
Restoration Ecology 22:271–278 (May 2014)

Novel ecosystems: implications for conservation and restoration
Hobbs R, E Higgs & J Harris
Trends in Ecology & Evolution 24:599–605 (Nov 2009)