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Denise Lello

Lecturer in Environmental Science and Policy

Denise Lello


Sabin-Reed Hall 352


Denise Lello’s teaching and research reflect her mosaic educational and professional background. After receiving her bachelor’s degree in geography from the University of Chicago, during which she focused on human use of space in response to characteristics of the built environment, Lello worked in local government planning in the Pacific Northwest, including demographic data management and administration of the Washington State Coastal Zone Management Program in Snohomish County. She undertook graduate studies to pursue ecological and demographic questions relating to long-term habitat management, including minimum viable population size. This led to evolutionary and genetic questions, specifically the interactions of inbreeding depression and environmental variability in plant mating system evolution.

Current teaching includes engaging students in research projects that include long-term monitoring of forest plots at the MacLeish Field Station to assess forest responses to climate change, demographic patterns in shrub mangrove lagoons on Ambergris Caye in Belize, and the dynamics of federal, state and local-level regulation of resource extraction, particularly unconventional oil and gas development. She also collaborates on a project modeling transition zones in phyllotactic spirals. Lello also co-leads the Coral Reef Ed-Ventures program in Belize.

In her free time, Lello enjoys hiking, bird watching, gardening and generally being outdoors.


Ph.D., University of Washington, Seattle
B.A., University of Chicago