Nyeema Harris

Nyeema Harris PhD

Protecting natural places remains a primary conservation strategy, with much research focused on identifying gaps in protected area coverage. Yet protected areas are in a constant state of flux: some are downsized, others are abolished and new protected areas are established. We need to track these dynamics, and their consequences to inform the conservation community’s efforts to sustain biodiversity and human livelihoods.

The Dynamics of the Conservation Estate research project, led by Luc Hoffmann Institute Fellow Nyeema Harris (PhD), aims to evaluate the coverage, effectiveness and connectivity of state, private and community managed protected areas in the Miombo Woodlands ecoregion of southern Africa – one of WWF’s priority places.

“The fellowship is a unique opportunity to work directly with diverse groups such as WWF offices across Africa, the UNEP-World Conservation Monitoring Centre and Microsoft Research to determine the performance of protected areas in the Miombo ecoregion,” says Nyeema. “The project will improve our understanding for evaluating the effectiveness of protected areas in delivering conservation outcomes with the conservation managers and practitioners.”

Results from this project will contribute to WWF’s biodiversity goals with an in-depth evaluation of the conservation estate globally.


2011-2013 Postdoctoral Fellow, National Science Foundation and University of California Chancellor’s Program, Environmental Policy, Science and Management, University of California, Berkeley
2010 PhD, Wildlife, Fisheries and Conservation Biology, North Carolina State University
2007 MS, Wildlife Biology, University of Montana
2004 BS, Wildlife Science, Virginia Tech


  • Harris, N.C., R. A. Garshong , M.Gray. in prep. Investigating the interaction between protected areas and environmental conditions on small mammal communities. J Applied Ecology
  • Cizauskas, C.A., C.J. Carlson, K.R. Burgio, C.F.Clements, N.C.Harris, E.R.Dougherty, and A.J.Phillps. Conservation’s biggest blind spot:mainstreaming parasites into global change biology. Nature Climate Change in review
  • Harris, N.C., T.M. Livieri, and R.R. Dunn. 2014. Ectoparasites in black-footed ferrets (Mustela nigripes) from the largest reintroduced population of the Conata Basin, South Dakota. Journal of Wildlife Diseases 50(2): 340-343.
  • Carlson, C.J., C.A. Cizauskas, K.R. Burgio, C. F. Clements, and N.C. Harris*. 2013. The more parasites, the better? Science 342:1041 *corresponding author
    Harris, N.C., and R.R. Dunn. 2013. Species loss on spatial patterns and composition of zoonotic parasites.Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 280 (1771): 1847
  • Harris, N.C., T.J. Coonan, J.L. King, and R.R. Dunn. 2013. Endemism in host-parasite interactions identify host populations in an endangered species. Diversity and Distributions 19:377-385
  • Colwell, R.K., R.R. Dunn and N.C. Harris*. 2012. Coextinction and persistence of dependent species in a changing world. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 43:183-203 (invited) *equal author contribution
  • Griffin, K.A. et al. (18 co-authors). 2011. Neonatal mortality of elk driven by climate, predator phenology and predator community composition. Journal of Animal Ecology 80:1246-1257
  • Harris, N.C., and R.R. Dunn. 2010. Using host associations to predict spatial patterns in the species richness of the parasites of North American carnivores. Ecology Letters 13:1411-1418
  • Dunn, R.R., J. Davies, N.C. Harris, and M. C. Gavin. 2010. Global drivers of human pathogen richness and prevalence. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 277:2587-2595
  • Dunn, R.R., N.C. Harris, R.K. Colwell, L. P. Koh, and N.S. Sodhi. 2009. The Sixth Mass (co) Extinction-Are Most Endangered Species Parasites and Mutualists? Proceedings of the Royal Society of London B 276:3037-3045
  • Harris, N.C., M. J. Kauffman, and L. S. Mills. 2008. Inferences about ungulate population dynamics derived from age ratios. Journal of Wildlife Management 72:1143-1151
Luc Hoffmann InstituteNyeema Harris