John Quinn

John Quinn

Associate Professor, Biology; Director, Environmental Studies

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At Furman, John Quinn leads the CHESS Lab, an interdisciplinary collaboration of faculty and students from across the university. His research considers landscapes and soundscapes as coupled human-natural systems with the objective of providing evidence-based solutions for decision-makers across spatial and temporal scales. He has over 15 years of experience in the sustainable management of diverse landscape types, with a particular focus on agricultural ecosystems. He has consulted with non-profits, government agencies, and large corporations, providing clients with unique data-driven solutions to complex land management choices. He uses state-of-the-art quantitative tools and techniques for developing insights into the sustainability of environmental resources. He teaches classes at the interface of biology, sustainability, and data analytics.


  • Ph.D., University of Nebraska-Lincoln
  • M.S., University of Louisiana
  • B.A., Drake University
  • B.S., Drake University

Honors and Awards

  • Senior Research Award in 2021 from Association of Southeastern Biologist for Quinn et
    al. 2021. Patterns of vertebrate richness across global anthromes. ;
  • Furman Standard 2020-2022.;
  • Senior Research Award in 2018 from Association of Southeastern Biologists for Brown and
    Quinn 2018. Zoning does not improve ecosystem services;


Dr. John Quinn's research addresses the conservation of biodiversity in managed and novel ecosystems, avian ecology, behavioral ecology, and creation of tools for improving decision-making related to biological diversity in working landscapes. His immediate and long-term research questions consider restoration and conservation of biodiversity in agricultural and urban ecosystems, documenting the resulting benefits and costs to society, and an improved understanding of the linkages and feedback between environmental and social system. Dr. Quinn's research employs experimental, observational, and statistical techniques to evaluate theory for both basic and applied research questions. The tools he uses include fieldwork, GIS applications, and spatial and statistical modeling. While ecology provides the foundation to his work, Dr. Quinn greatly enjoys and benefits from interaction with peers beyond his discipline. He anticipates that his future research will follow the path of biology and sustainability science to understand complex relationships in coupled human natural systems.

Research Interests

  • Conservation Biology
  • Landscape Ecology; Soundscape Ecology
  • Governance and Values; Avian Ecology
  • Global Change Biology


*Denotes undergraduate coauthor

  • Quinn, J.E. L. Blake, S. K. Schaffer, E. Hyland, A.R. Schindler. 2021. Loss of Winter Wonderland: Proximity to different road types has variable effects on winter soundscapes. Landscape Ecology. 37:381–391.
  • Quinn, J.E., Cook, E., Gauthier, N. 2021. Patterns of vertebrate richness across global anthromes: prioritizing conservation beyond biomes and ecoregions. Global Ecology and Conservation.
  • Ordway et al. 2021. Leveraging the NEON Airborne Observation Platform for socio-environmental systems research. Ecosphere.
  • Holt, E., Q. Lombard, N. Best, S. Smiley-Smith, and J.E. Quinn. 2019. Active vs. passive green-space use and measures of well-being among university students. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health. 16(3), 424 /ijerph16030424
  • Cohen, M., Quinn, J.E. Marshall, D., and Sharp, T. 2019. Sustainability assessment of a community open space vision. Sustainability Science. 14(6): 1565-1580.
  • Allen, K. Quinn, C., English, C., and Quinn J.E. 2018. Relational values in agroecosystem governance. Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 35:108-115
  • Brown, M. and Quinn, J.E. 2018. Zoning does not improve the availability of ecosystem services in urban watersheds. A case study from the Upstate of South Carolina USA. Ecosystem Services. Volume 34(B):254-265 ASB Senior Research Award 2018
  • Quinn, J.E. A.J. Markey, D. Howard, S, Crummett, and A. Schindler. 2018. Intersections of soundscapes and conservation: Ecologies of sound in naturecultures. MUSICultures. 45(1)
  • Hager. S.B. et al. 2017. Continent-wide analysis of how urbanization affects bird-window collision mortality in North America. Biological Conservation. 212(A):209–215.
  • Oden, A., J. Brandle, M. Burbach, M.B. Brown, and J.E. Quinn. 2015. Variation in avian vocalizations during the non-breeding season in response to traffic noise. Ethology. 121(5):472-479.
  • Quinn, J.E., J. Brandle, and R. Johnson. 2014. Identifying opportunities for conservation embedded in cropland anthromes. Landscape Ecology. 29(10):1811-1819.
  • Martin, L.J. J.E. Quinn, E.C. Ellis, M.R. Shaw, M. Dorning, C.E. Kraft, L. Hallett, N.E. Heller, R.J. Hobbs, E. Law, N. Michel, M. Perring, P.D. Shirey, and R. Wiederholt. 2014. Conservation opportunities across the world’s anthromes. Diversity and Distributions. 20(7):45-755.
  • Quinn, J.E. 2013. Sharing a vision for biodiversity conservation and agriculture. Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems. 28(1):93-96.
  • Quinn, J.E., J. Brandle, and R. Johnson. 2012. The effects of land sparing and wildlife-friendly practices on grassland bird abundance within organic farmlands. Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment. 161:10-16.

Additional Professional Activity

Audible Anthropocene Project: