Elise Gornish

Elise Gornish

Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist

Department of Plant Sciences

Office Phone: 530-752-6314


Gornish, an assistant Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences, specializes in restoration ecology. Gornish completed her Ph.D. in ecology at Florida State University. She was a postdoctoral scholar at UC Davis before joining the faculty in 2015.

Research interests:

Restoration ecology, invasive species management, grassland ecology, population ecology, climate change, natural and working landscapes, hedgerows, grazing, prescribed fire.

Brief overview:

Grasslands in California provide enormous environmental, economic, and social value. However, grassland ecosystems are some of the most degraded in the state. I focus on using integrated approaches to develop and deploy effective restoration and land management strategies in grassland systems.

This broadly involves: 1) investigating the value of different weed management techniques for achieving restoration goals on natural and working landscapes, and 2) testing various restoration strategies for reestablishing plant communities that allow stakeholders to achieve multiple management goals.

Current projects:

  • Identifying bottlenecks to bunchgrass restoration in rangeland systems
  • Using demographic approaches to control invasive annual grasses in California
  • Understanding plant community trajectories after catastrophic wildfire
  • Identifying context dependencies in restoration pretreatment techniques
  • Using functional trait approaches to identify effective restoration candidates
  • Testing restoration strategies to improve forage production after wildfires


Updated June 2015


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