Michael Coughlan, Post-Doctoral Associate

Michael Coughlan

Research Emphasis:

I am an ecological anthropologist who specializes in historical ecology. My research focuses on human-fire-landscape dynamics and co-evolution of land use practices, social institutions, and landscape. I am concerned with answering questions of how and why some complex socioecological systems follow pathways toward landscape degradation while others manage to improve landscape resilience. I employ an empirical, long term, place-based, and multi-proxy research program that seeks to integrate theory and methods from social and natural sciences toward the goal of understanding the dynamics of past human-environment interactions situated in specific landscapes. My work in the Soule river basin (Western Pyrenees, France) forms a component of an on-going comparative research collaboration between Coweeta LTER and the ITEM laboratory (Identites Territoires, Expressions, Mobilites) based at the Universite de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour (UPPA). This research seeks to understand cause-effect relationships of patterns and process in montane temperate forest systems through a comparison of long term observations and experiments between research sites.

Contact Information:

Primary Organization:  University of Georgia

E-Mail:  coughlan@uga.edu

CWT Publications and Presentations: (custom bibliography)

Journal Articles

Coughlan, Michael R. and T.L. Gragson. 2016. An Event History Analysis of Parcel Extensification and Household Abandonment in Pays Basque, French Pyrenees, 1830–1958 AD. Human Ecology. DOI:10.1007/s10745-016-9808-y.

Coughlan, Michael. R. 2016. Wildland Arson as Clandestine Resource Management: A Space-Time Permutation Analysis and Classification of Informal Fire Management Regimes in Georgia, USA. Environmental Management. DOI:10.1007/s00267-016-0669-3.

Leigh, D.S., Gragson, T. and Coughlan, M. 2015. Pedogenic effects of mid- to late-Holocene conversion of forests to pastures in the French western Pyrenees. Zeitschrift für Geomorphologie. 59:225-245.

Leigh, David S., Theodore L. Gragson, Michael R. Coughlan. 2015. Colluvial legacies of millennial landscape change on individual hillsides, place-based investigation in the western Pyrenees Mountains, Quaternary International. DOI:10.1016/j.quaint.2015.08.031

Coughlan, Michael R. 2013. Errakina: Pastoral Fire Use and Landscape Memory in the Basque Region of the French Western Pyrenees. Journal of Ethnobiology 33(1): 86-104.

Coughlan, Michael R. 2013. Farmers, flames, and forests: Historical ecology of pastoral fire use and landscape change in the French Western Pyrenees, 1830-2011. Forest Ecology and Management.

Coughlan, Michael R. 2013. Unauthorized Firesetting as Socioecological Disturbance: A Spatiotemporal Analysis of Incendiary Wildfires in Georgia, USA, 1987-2010. Fire Ecology 9(3): 45-63.

Theses and Dissertations

Coughlan, Michael R. 2013. Fire Use, Landscape Transition, and the Socioecological Strategies of Households in the French Western Pyrenees. PhD Dissertation. University of Georgia.

Conference Proceedings (Published Papers and Abstracts)

Coughlan, M.R., Leigh, D.S., Gragson, T.L., Le Couédic, M., 2017. Holocene anthropization of mid-elevation landscapes around Pic d’Orhy, Western Pyrenees. Paper presented a the 10th Institute for European and Mediterranean Archaeology (IEMA) Visiting Scholar Conference on Archaeology of Mountain Landscapes: Interdisciplinary Research Strategies of Agro-Pastoralism in Upland Regions, April 8-9, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, NY.

Gragson, T.L., Coughlan, M.G., Leigh, D.S., 2017. Contingency & Agency in the Holocene Anthropization of Mountain Landscapes of the Western Pyrenees. Paper presented at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly, Vienna, Austria