Sala de Graus II. Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
08193 Barcelona Barcelona
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Direct link to Elise Gornish's CREAFTalk

CREATalk with Elise Gornish: "Making aridland restoration better: Learning from (many) mistakes"

Wednesday, October 11, 2023- From 12 to 1 pm

TITLE: "Making aridland restoration better: Learning from (many) mistakes"

DATE: Wednesday 11th October, 2023.

TIME & FORMAT: form 12 to 1pm CET - In-person and online.

Seminars will combine in-person and online formats (CREAF, Sala Graus II, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, Spain) but in all cases, talks will be always streamed (not recorded), so they can be followed online.

HOW TO CONNECT: direct link to Elise Gornish's conference.


Ecological restoration of aridlands is hard. Many of us fail when attempting to identify effective strategies for rehabilitating plant and soil communities in degraded areas. Our perceived inability to share our mistakes can strongly restrict our ability to do a better job restoring areas and limit knowledge sharing among researchers and practitioners. In this talk, I will highlight mistakes I have made in my own research in aridland restoration and describe what these miscalculations have taught me in an effort to reduce stigmas around discussing errors and initiate open discussion about what we can learn from one another.


Dr. Elise Gornish is a Cooperative Extension Specialist in Ecological Restoration at the University of Arizona. Originally from New York, Dr. Gornish received her MS and PhD from Florida State University in 2013. She then completed two years of a post doc at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Gornish's work largely focuses on vegetation management in arid systems with a focus on ecological restoration, weed management and soil management. She has published over 80 articles, given hundreds of talks and was recently selected as an ESA Early Career Fellow. She is particularly interested in trait based restoration approaches, restoration for multiple ecosystem services, the use of restoration in weed management, and spatially patterned seeding. On 2013 she got her PhD on Ecology at the Florida State University.

Her current research foci includes addressing restoration and weed management strategies that mitigate effects of climate change (particularly warming & decreasing precipitation). She is also passionate about designing financially and logistically feasible restoration strategies. Dr. Gornish employs a variety of strategies to facilitate knowledge exchange, including organization of workshops and field days, development of online information portals and best management guidelines, public presentations and a strong social media presence.

In addition to vegetation management, Dr. Gornish is passionate about STEM inclusion and is also the Director of GALS (Girls on outdoor Adventure for Leadership and Science), that focuses on providing science learning and leadership opportunities to traditionally underserved female high school students through backcountry programming.