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Jianguo Liu - Michigan State University. East Lansing, MI, US

Jianguo Liu Jianguo Liu

University Distinguished Professor in Fisheries and Wildlife | Michigan State University


An expert in conservation ecology and the human impact on the environment and on endangered species






MSU Professor Jack Liu discusses Green Behavior in China's big cities.



A human-environment scientist and sustainability scholar, Jianguo "Jack" Liu holds the Rachel Carson Chair in Sustainability, is University Distinguished Professor of fisheries and wildlife at Michigan State University and serves as director of the Center for Systems Integration and Sustainability.

Liu takes a holistic approach to addressing complex human-environmental challenges through systems integration, which means he integrates multiple disciplines such as ecology and social sciences. He is particularly keen to connect seemingly unconnected issues, for example divorce and environmental sustainability. His work has been published in journals such as Nature and Science and has been widely covered by the international news media.

Liu has served on various international and national committees and panels. He is a member of the Board of Reviewing Editors for Science and is a coordinating lead author of the global assessment of biodiversity and ecosystem services organized by the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.

Liu also is the founder of the International Network of Research on Coupled Human and Natural Systems (CHANS-Net.org) and is a past president of the U.S. Regional Association of the International Association for Landscape Ecology.

Industry Expertise (4)

Agriculture and Farming Education/Learning Research Fishery and Aquaculture

Areas of Expertise (3)

Sustainability Fisheries and Wildlife Biodiversity

News (1)

Jianguo Liu Participates in UN Environment Expert Workshop on Chemicals Management

Boston University  online

'Jianguo Liu, an Associate Professor at Peking University in China and a Visiting Scholar at the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future, recently participated in an Asia-Pacific regional expert workshop on chemicals management held in Bangkok, Thailand. The workshop, titled “Perspectives on Sustainable Chemistry Innovation and the Global Chemicals Outlook II: Understanding Trends, Risks and Opportunities in Asia,” was a meeting of the UN Environment Programme’s Global Chemicals Outlook-II Committee, of which Prof. Liu is a member...'

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Journal Articles (3)

Systems integration for global sustainability Science

Jianguo Liu, Harold Mooney, Vanessa Hull, Steven Joseph Davis, Joanne Gaskell, Thomas Hertel, Jane Lubchenco, Karen C Seto, Peter H. Gleick, Claire Kremen, Shuxin Li


Global sustainability challenges, from maintaining biodiversity to providing clean air and water, are closely interconnected yet often separately studied and managed. Systems integration—holistic approaches to integrating various components of coupled human and natural systems—is critical to understand socioeconomic and environmental interconnections and to create sustainability solutions. Recent advances include the development and quantification of integrated frameworks that incorporate ecosystem services, environmental footprints, planetary boundaries, human-nature nexuses, and telecoupling. Although systems integration has led to fundamental discoveries and practical applications, further efforts are needed to incorporate more human and natural components simultaneously, quantify spillover systems and feedbacks, integrate multiple spatial and temporal scales, develop new tools, and translate findings into policy and practice. Such efforts can help address important knowledge gaps, link seemingly unconnected challenges, and inform policy and management decisions. Copyright © 2015, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

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Effects of household dynamics on resource consumption and biodiversity Nature

Jianguo Liu, Gretchen C Daily, Paul R Ehrlich, Gary W. Luck


Human population size and growth rate are often considered important drivers of biodiversity loss, whereas household dynamics are usually neglected. Aggregate demographic statistics may mask substantial changes in the size and number of households, and their effects on biodiversity. Household dynamics influence per capita consumption and thus biodiversity through, for example, consumption of wood for fuel, habitat alteration for home building and associated activities, and greenhouse gas emissions. Here we report that growth in household numbers globally, and particularly in countries with biodiversity hotspots (areas rich in endemic species and threatened by human activities), was more rapid than aggregate population growth between 1985 and 2000. Even when population size declined, the number of households increased substantially. Had the average household size (that is, the number of occupants) remained static, there would have been 155 million fewer households in hotspot countries in 2000. Reduction in average household size alone will add a projected 233 million additional households to hotspot countries during the period 2000-15. Rapid increase in household numbers, often manifested as urban sprawl, and resultant higher per capita resource consumption in smaller households pose serious challenges to biodiversity conservation.

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Complexity of Coupled Human and Natural Systems Science

Jianguo Liu, Thomas Dietz, Stephen R. Carpenter, Marina Alberti, Carl Folke, Emilio Moran, Alice N Pell, Peter Deadman, Timothy K Kratz, Jane Lubchenco, Elinor Ostrom, Zhiyun Ouyang, William Provencher, Charles L Redman, Stephen H Schneider, William W. Taylor


Integrated studies of coupled human and natural systems reveal new and complex patterns and processes not evident when studied by social or natural scientists separately. Synthesis of six case studies from around the world shows that couplings between human and natural systems vary across space, time, and organizational units. They also exhibit nonlinear dynamics with thresholds, reciprocal feedback loops, time lags, resilience, heterogeneity, and surprises. Furthermore, past couplings have legacy effects on present conditions and future possibilities.

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