September 6-9, 2011
University of California, Los Angeles

MEDECOS XII was hosted by the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, the UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science, and the UCLA Stunt Ranch Santa Monica Mountains Reserve. The MEDECOS conferences bring together ecologists and resource managers from all five Mediterranean-climate regions of the world, each designated as a biodiversity hotspot. MEDECOS XII was the 40th anniversary of this long-standing event that rotates among participating countries. This year’s conference theme, Linking Science to Resource Management, reflects one of the core missions of the La Kretz Center and is critical to achieving conservation and sustainability goals in all five regions. There were 300 participants at MEDECOS XII, with over 60 international representatives from 13 countries, over 180 oral presentations and over 40 posters.


Local Organizing Team

  • Phil Rundel, UCLA – Chair
  • Felicia Federico, UCLA – Co-Chair
  • Carol Felixson, UCLA – Logistics Coordinator
  • Eileen Sir, Joan Koyama, and Shahara Vasquez, UCLA – Financial Managers
  • Mina Trujillo, Chraft PR – Conference Planners

Technical Program Committee

  • Ray Sauvajot – National Park Service, Pacific West Region
  • Michael O’Connell – Irvine Ranch Conservancy
  • Jon Keeley – US Geological Survey
  • Christy Brigham – National Park Service, Santa Monica Mountains
  • Hugh Safford – US Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Region
  • Deborah Glaser – Council for Watershed Health
  • Sophie Parker – The Nature Conservancy

Keynote speakers

  • Dr. Harold Mooney – Paul S. Achilles Professor of Environmental Biology and a Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Relations, Stanford University
  • Dr. Ray Sauvajot (photo at right)- Natural Resource Program Chief for the Pacific West Region, National Park Service
  • Dr. Richard Cowling – Professor of Botany at Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa, and an international member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences
  • Dr. Pablo Marquet – Professor of Ecology and Center for Advanced Studies in Ecology and Biodiversity at the Pontificia Universidad Catolica de Chile.
  • Malcolm Margolin – Founder and executive director of Heyday, an independent nonprofit publisher of books on California history, culture, and natural history since 1974.


  • Oaks in Mediterranean Systems
  • Fire as an Evolutionary Pressure Shaping Plant Traits
  • Natural and Unnatural Forces Shaping Mediterranean Watersheds
  • Wildlife Management at the Wildland-Urban Interface
  • Ecophysiology and Environmental Change
  • A Landscape-Scale Linkage of Critical Conservation Concern: Science and Strategy in the Tehachapi Region
  • Restoration in Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems: Linking Science and Management in an Era of Global Change
  • Citizen Science and Community Engagement
  • Ecology of the City
  • Restoring and Managing Shrubland Communities
  • Fire Management at the Wildland-Urban Interface
  • Conserving Mediterranean Island Ecosystems
  • Global Change and Fire
  • Topics in Ecosystem Management in the Mexican Mediterranean Zone
  • Rivers and Streams in Med Climate Regions: (A)Biotic Influences and Responses
  • Conservation of Species and Genetic Diversity
  • Managing Invasive Species
  • California: A Case Study for Conservation Management
  • Conservation of Mediterranean-Type Ecosystems – Opportunities for Global Lessons Learned

Poster presentations and a wine tasting were held during an evening reception, including a short discussion of “green” vineyard and winery practices by Jeff Pipes, the owner and winemaker of Pipestone Vineyards in Paso Robles, CA. The following evening, a field trip and banquet was held at Paramount Ranch, a renowned park site in the Santa Monica Mountains. Woody Smeck, Superintendent of the SMM NRA, greeted attendees, National Park Service rangers gave a guided tour of the Western Town, and participants were entertained by Dustbowl Revival, a California-based band.

MEDECOS XII participants reaffirmed their commitment to work toward the conservation and informed management of the five mediterranean-climate regions of the world. We believe this conference greatly facilitated both technical exchanges and personal connections to strengthen these linkages.

MEDECOS XII Local Organizing Committee Members and Partners

Thank you to this year’s additional MEDECOS XII Sponsors