Jonathan Gilligan


Professor of Earth & Environmental Sciences

Professor of Civil & Environmental Engineering

Director, Vanderbilt Climate and Society Grand Challenge Initiative

Contact Information

Department of Earth & Environmental Sciences
Vanderbilt University
2301 Vanderbilt PL, PMB 351805
Nashville, TN 37235-1805

Research Interests

I work primarily at the intersection of natural science, social science, and public policy with a focus on coupled human-natural systems and on the ways in which scientific knowledge and uncertainty affect policy decisions about the environment.

My current work makes extensive use of agent-based models to simulate the ways that small changes in behavior at the individual level can add up to large-scale shifts at the level of the whole population, giving what is often referred to as “emergent phenomena.” These models have the potential to help us identify vulnerabilities to environmental stress and opportunities to promote sustainable adaptations.

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