Ecology Faculty

022_Sterling2011Farley Brown ’85

Email: fbrown@sterlingcollege.edu

Phone: 802-586-7711 x156

Farley has had a connection to the land since she was young, through her family business, the Farley Lumber Company, and exploring the woods in the suburbs of New Jersey. “I have always questioned how we make land use decisions and who gets to make those decisions. Most importantly, how can we become the best stewards of the land?” Read more


  • A.A. Natural Resource Management, Sterling College
  • B.A. Liberal Arts, Sarah Lawrence College
  • M.S. Natural Resource Planning, University of Vermont

David GilliganDavid Gilligan

Email: dgilligan@sterlingcollege.edu

Phone: 802-586-7711 x133

David Gilligan grew up on the Eastern Seaboard but came of age in the American West. After beginning his studies in Philosophy and Religion at Flagler College in Northeastern Florida, he left the academy for a few years to travel the continent and see what life and landscapes were all about. He resumed his studies at Prescott College in Arizona, where he studied Natural History and Ecology as both an undergraduate and a graduate student. Read more


  • Residency, The Center for Northern Studies, 2005-2006
  • M.A. Natural History and Ecology, Prescott College, 1999
  • B.A. Natural History and Ecology; Philosophy, Prescott College, 1995

Laura Spence

Email: lspence@sterlingcollege.edu

Phone: (802) 586-7711 x116

Laura Spence is a plant ecologist whose research interests are focused on the interaction between plant communities and aspects of global change such as climate change and invasive species.  Her Ph.D. research took her to the mountain beech forests of the Southern Alps, New Zealand, and where she investigated the roles of forest dynamics, natural disturbances and mycorrhizal fungi on the invasive spread of an exotic understorey herbaceous weed.  Following this, she joined the PIRE Mongolia project that investigated the ecological consequences of climate change and grazing pressures by nomadic pastoralism in northern Mongolia. Read more


  • Postdoctoral Researcher (2011-2013) PIRE Mongolia Project, University of Pennsylvania
  • Field team leader (2009-2010) Landcare Research, Lincoln, New Zealand
  • Ph.D. Plant Ecology, University of Cambridge, UK, Supervisor: Dr. David A. Coomes (2009)
  • B.A. Natural Sciences, University of Cambridge, UK, 2004