Teton Research Institute

Formerly the Conservation Research Center

Corinna Riginos, Ph.D.

Corinna Riginos
Research Ecologist, Teton Research Institute
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Department of Zoology and Physiology, University of Wyoming
Adjunct Assistant Professor, Haub School of Environment and Natural Resources, University of Wyoming


E-mail: corinna.riginos@tetonscience.org
Phone: 307-734-3741

Google Scholar profile

CV (PDF Format)

I am a community ecologist with a broad background in the ecology and conservation of terrestrial ecosystems. I take an empirical approach to my research, using experimentation and statistical modeling to answer both applied and theoretical questions about the dynamics and management of large herbivore-dominated systems. I am very lucky to have had the chance to work in some of the world’s most spectacular landscapes and am passionate about conserving wildlife in a world increasingly impacted by people.

As a newcomer to the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem, I am working to develop a variety of research projects with the common theme of understanding how changes in land use (particularly, increased development) and climate may be impacting native biodiversity. Ultimately, I aim to increase our understanding of complex human-nature systems and how to better mitigate anthropogenic impacts on the functioning and diversity of one of the most intact ecosystems in the world.

I am also continuing some of my research on livestock-wildlife co-existence in the private conservation lands of Laikipia, Kenya, where I have been working since 2004. I am a co-PI on the NSF-funded Kenya Long-term Exclusion Experiment, a 17-year experimental manipulation of cattle and wild ungulates, in which I am asking questions about the long-term impacts of cattle and native herbivores on savanna dynamics and functioning. Other areas of my research include restoration of degraded grazing lands and understanding how an invasive ant species may have catastrophic ecosystem consequences by disrupting a native acacia-ant mutualism.

In addition to research, I am also committed to outreach and education. In 2010 I led a team of scientists, pastoralist land managers, and NGO workers to produce a guidebook  and set of tools for quick and easy monitoring of East African rangelands. Since then I have held numerous training workshops and seen these monitoring methods adopted over large parts of sub-Saharan Africa. I have also taught a variety of more conventional field and classroom courses for undergraduates and graduate students, and mentored a diversity of students from the USA and Kenya. I thoroughly enjoy working with conservation practitioners and students and seeing scientific research guide management and create educational opportunities.






Peer-reviewed publications

Pringle, R.M., D. Kimuyu, R.L. Sensenig, T.M. Palmer, C. Riginos, K.E. Veblen, and T.P. Young. Synergistic indirect effects of elephants and fire in an African savanna. Ecology Letters. In review.

Cotterill-Oriol, A., M. Valeix, L.G. Frank, C. Riginos, and D.W. Macdonald. The landscape of coexistence: consequences of fear for large carnivores living in human-dominated areas. Oikos. In review.

Riginos, C., M.A. Karande, D.I. Rubenstein, and T.M. Palmer. Disruption of a protective ant-plant mutualism by an invasive ant increases elephant damage to savanna trees. Ecology. In revision.

Riginos, C. Climate and the landscape of fear in an African savanna. Journal of Animal Ecology. In press.

Kimuyu, D.K., R.L. Sensenig, C. Riginos, K.E. Veblen, and T.P. Young. 2014. Native and domestic browsers and grazers reduce fuels, fire temperatures, and acacia-ant mortality in an African savanna. Ecological Applications 24: 741-749.

Porensky, L.M., S.E. Wittman, C. Riginos, and T.P. Young. 2013. Herbivory and drought interact to enhance diversity and spatial patterning in a savanna understory. Oecologia 173: 591-602.

Donihue, C.M., L.M. Porensky, J. Foufopoulos, C. Riginos, and R.M. Pringle. 2013. Glade cascades: indirect legacy effects of pastoralism enhance the abundance and spatial structuring of arboreal fauna. Ecology 94: 827-837.

Riginos, C., L.M. Porensky, K.E. Veblen, W.O. Odadi, R.L. Sensenig, D. Kimuyu, F. Keesing, M.L. Wilkerson, and T.P. Young. 2012. Lessons on the relationship between pastoralism and biodiversity from the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment (KLEE). Pastoralism 2:10.

Herrick, J.E., S. Andrews, G. Baldi, B.T. Bestelmeyer, J. Brown, J. Davies, M. Duniway, K.M. Havstad, D. Peters, J. Quinton, C. Riginos, P. Shaver, D. Steinaker, and S. Twomlow. 2012. Revolutionary land use change in the 21st century: is (rangeland) science relevant? Rangeland Ecology and Management 65: 590-598.

Riginos, C., J.E. Herrick, S.R. Sundaresan, C. Farley, and J. Belnap. 2011. A simple graphical approach to quantitative monitoring of rangelands. Rangelands 133: 6-13.

Sundaresan, S.R., C. Riginos, and E.S. Abelson. 2011. Management and analysis of camera trap data: alternative approaches (response to Harris et al., 2010). Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America. April 2011.

Augustine, D.J., K.E. Veblen, J.R. Goheen, C. Riginos & T.P. Young. 2011. Pathways for positive cattle-wildlife interactions in semi-arid rangelands. In Conserving Wildlife in African Landscapes: KenyaÂ’s Ewaso Ecosystem (N.J. Georgiadis, ed.). Smithsonian Contributions to Zoology Number 632: 55-72.

Riginos, C. and J.H. Herrick. 2010. Monitoring Rangeland Health: A Guide for Pastoralist Communities and Other Land Managers in Eastern Africa, Version II. Nairobi, Kenya: ELMT-USAID/East Africa.

Treydte, A.C., C. Riginos, and F. Jeltsch. 2010. Enhanced use of beneath-canopy vegetation by grazing ungulates in African savannahs. Journal of Arid Environments 74: 1597-1603.

Sundaresan, S., and C. Riginos. 2010. Lessons learned from biodiversity conservation in the private lands of Laikipia, Kenya. Great Plains Research 20: 2-10.

Goheen, J.R., T. M. Palmer, F. Keesing, C. Riginos, and T.P. Young. 2010. Large herbivores facilitate savanna tree establishment via diverse and indirect pathways. Journal of Animal Ecology 79: 372-382.

Riginos, C., J.H. Herrick, J. Belnap, S.R. Sundaresan, J.S. Worden, and M.F. Kinnaird. 2009. Monitoring Rangeland Health: A Guide for Facilitators and Pastoralist Communities, Version I. Nairobi, Kenya: ELMT-USAID/East Africa.

Riginos, C., J.B. Grace, D.J. Augustine, and T.P. Young. 2009. Local versus landscape-scale effects of savanna trees on grasses. Journal of Ecology, 97: 1337-1345.

Riginos, C. 2009. Grass competition suppresses savanna tree growth across multiple demographic stages. Ecology 90: 335-340.

Riginos, C., and J.B. Grace. 2008. Tree density, wild ungulate habitat use and the herbaceous community in a Kenyan savanna: Top-down versus bottom-up effects. Ecology 89: 2228-2238.

Okello, B.D., T.P. Young, C. Riginos, D. Kelly and T. OÂ’Connor. 2008. Short-term survival and long-term mortality of Acacia drepanolobium after a controlled burn. African Journal of Ecology 46:395-401.

Riginos, C., M.S. Heschel, and J. Schmitt. 2007. Maternal effects of drought stress and inbreeding in Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae). American Journal of Botany 94: 1984-1991.

Riginos, C. and T.P. Young. 2007. Positive and negative effects of grasses and wild and domestic herbivores on Acacia saplings in an East African savanna. Oecologia 153: 985-995.

Riginos, C., S.J. Milton, and T. Wiegand. 2005. Context-dependent interactions between adult shrubs and seedlings in a semi-arid shrubland. Journal of Vegetation Science 16: 331-340.

Heschel, M.S. and C. Riginos. 2005. Mechanisms of selection for drought stress tolerance and avoidance in Impatiens capensis (Balsaminaceae). American Journal of Botany 92: 37-44.

Riginos, C. and M.T. Hoffman. 2003. Changes in population biology of two succulent shrubs along a grazing gradient. Journal of Applied Ecology 40: 615-625.

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