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Clarence L. Lehman

Professor, Special Advisor to the Dean


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Graduate Faculty Memberships

Ecology, Evolution and Behavior; Conservation Biology

Research Interests

Theoretical ecology and computation in biology; biodiversity and ecosystem functioning; long-term database storage; automated methods for education; ethics, science, and society.


A guiding principle is to do my part in learning to manage the earth's combined physical-biological-social dynamics for long-term habitability, both by humans and our fellow creatures. A major physical-biological concern is the earth's stability, and I conduct bioenergy research aimed at parts of that. A major biological-soical concern is infectious disease, and parts of my modelling efforts are aimed at that.

More generally, I am fascinated by computer applications to biology where computation is not only the tool, but the very paradigm for understanding the biological system. That includes application of artificial neural networks to problems of animal behavior, application of computer state-space searching concepts to complex fitness landscapes, and other interesting things.

My earlier life was in the computer industry, designing computer software and hardware. That earlier background now applies directly to questions in ecology, epidemiology, economics, and other branches of science, and has provided a diverse and fascinating range of applications. The abstract methods of mathematical and computer modelling are quite general — equations, eigenvalues, and algorithms are similar regardless of whether the object of inquiry is a whole ecosystem, a population of animals, an infection of viruses, or even the rise and fall of a nation's economy or the advance and retreat of the planet's ice caps. Computer science and biology have proved to be a useful symbiotic combination.

I also conduct several well-replicated field experiments that are part of an adaptive management strategy for my own native prairie and savanna restorations.

Selected Publications

Clarence Lehman, Shelby Loberg, Adam Clark, Daniel Schmitter, 2017. Reformulating the basic models of ecology to be more complete and easier to teach, Pending submission. Manuscript available upon request.  

Clarence Lehman, and Todd Lehman, 2016. Computers as Tutors: Tools for Next Steps in Education.  International Conference on E-learning, E-business, Enterprise Information Systems, and E-government. Proceedings Addendum EEE16:A1-A8.

Clarence Lehman, Adrienne Keen, 2014. Periodic, Aperiodic, and Partly Periodic Clocks in Scientific Simulations, International Conference on Scientific Computing, Proceedings Addendum CSC14:A1-A8.

Richard Barnes, Clarence Lehman, 2013. Modeling of bovine spongiform encephalopathy in a two-species feedback loop. Epidemics 5:85-91.

Eville Gorham, Clarence Lehman, Arthur Dyke, Richard Clymo, Joannes Janssens, 2012. Long-term carbon sequestration in North American peatlands. Quaternary Science Reviews 58:77–82.

Richard McGehee, Clarence Lehman, 2012. A paleoclimate model of ice-albedo feedback forced by variations in Earth's orbit. SIAM Journal on Applied Dynamical Systems, 11:684-707.

Holly MacCormick, Daniel MacNulty, Annie Bosacker, Clarence Lehman, Andrea Bailey, Anton Collins, and Craig Packer, 2012. Male and Female Aggression: Lessons from sex, rank, age, and injury in olive baboons. Behavioral Ecology 23:684-691, doi:10.1093/beheco/ars021.

Clarence Lehman, Shelby Williams, Adrienne Keen, 2012. The Centinel data format: Reliably communicating through time and place. International Conference on Information and Knowledge Engineering, IKE 12:47-53, Proceedings.

Shelby Williams, Jacob Jungers, Kevin Johnson, Colleen Satyshur, Milissa DonCarlos, Robert Dunlap, Troy Mielke, Joeseph Schaffer, David Tilman, Donald Wyse, Rodger Moon, Todd Arnold, Clarence Lehman. 2012. Bioenergy from reserve prairies in Minnesota: Measuring harvest and monitoring wildlife. Sun Grant National Conference: Science for Biomass Feedstock Production and Utilization, Proceedings 2:5-9.

Rebecca Rudicell, James Holland Jones, Emily Wroblewski, Gerald Learn, Yingying Li, Joel Robertson, Elizabeth Greengrass, Falk Grossmann, Shadrack Kamenya, Lilian Pintea, Deus Mjungu, Elizabeth Lonsdorf, Anna Mosser, Clarence Lehman, Anthony Collins, Brandon Keele, Jane Goodall, Beatrice Hahn, Anne Pusey, Michael Wilson, 2011. Impact of Simian Immunodeficiency Virus Infection on Chimpanzee Population Dynamics. PLoS Pathogens, 6:e1001116.

Joseph Fargione, Clarence Lehman, Stephen Polasky, 2011. Entrepreneurs, Chance, and the Deterministic Concentration of Wealth. PLoS ONE, 6:e20728.

Jacob Jungers, Jared Trost, Clarence Lehman, David Tilman, 2011. Energy and conservation benefits from managed prairie biomass. Aspects of Applied Biology: Biomass and Energy Crops IV 112:147-151.

Clarence Lehman, 2008. Biofuels—The next great source of energy? Encyclopaedia Britannica Special Report 2008:106.

Dawn Tanner, Clarence Lehman, James Perry, 2007. On the road to nowhere: Galapagos lava lizard populations. Bulletin of the Chicago Herpetological Society 42:125-132.

David Tilman, Jason Hill, Clarence Lehman, 2006. Carbon-negative biofuels from low-input high-diversity grassland biomass. Science 314:1598-1600.

David Tilman, Stephen Polasky, Clarence Lehman, 2005. Diversity, productivity and temporal stability in the economies of humans and nature. Journal of Environmental Economics and Management 49:405-426.

Clarence Lehman, 2001. The concept of stability. Encyclopedia of Biodiversity, S. Levin, ed. in chief. Academic Press, San Diego. Vol. 5, pp. 467-479.

Clarence Lehman, David Tilman, 2000. Biodiversity, stability, and productivity in competitive communities. The American Naturalist, 156:534-532.

Clarence Lehman, David Tilman, 1997. Competition in spatial habitats. In Spatial Ecology:The Role of Space in Population Dynamics and Interspecific Interactions

David Tilman, Robert May, Clarence Lehman, Martin Nowak, 1994. Habitat destruction and the extinction debt. Nature 371:65-66.

Academic Background, University of Minnesota

2000-2005: Associate Director, Cedar Creek Natural History Area

2010-2016: Associate Dean, Research, Graduate Education, College of Biological Sciences

2017-present: Special Advisor to the Dean, College of Biological Sciences

2000-present: Adjunct Faculty, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Additional Links

Google Scholar page

Lab website

Interviewing Eville Gorham

Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve


612-625-5734 Fax: 612-624-6777

516 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108