Institute of Behavioral Science Room 274
University of Colorado Boulder
483 UCB
Boulder, CO 80309-0483


IBS Associations

Director, Institute of Behavioral Science

Affiliate, Environment and Society Program

Affiliate, Population Program

Affiliate, CU Population Center

Affiliate, Center for Collaborative Synthesis in Archaeology

Research Interests

Within all environmental contexts, sociodemographic, economic, and biophysical factors interact to yield important environmental changes. Of course, environmental changes also shape social processes. As an example of the interactions between these factors, regional economic shifts can bring population redistribution, which, in turn, impacts biodiversity through attendant land-use changes. Also, climate change shapes the viability of rural agricultural livelihoods and may impact human migration and, therefore, urbanization. A key part of Lori’s current research agenda explores natural resources and rural livelihoods in sub-Saharan Africa. The Agincourt Health and Demographic Surveillance Site in rural South Africa has served as the primary study setting for this work. Topical foci thus far have included migration as a response to environmental change, natural resources as coping strategies for HIV/AIDS-impacted households, and the role of wild foods in food security. In the past several years, Lori has also collaborated with Geography colleagues Fernando Riosmena and Stefan Leyk to undertake research on migration from rural Mexico as related to environmental change. Human-environment relations are also greatly affected by the ways in which individuals perceive their environmental context. Within this area, Lori’s research has contributed to the body of literature examining social variation in environmental perception.