Sarah Lovell, PhD


School of Natural Resources

Director, Center for Agroforestry

Center for Agroforestry

Contact Information

Phone 573-882-9423
Address 302C ABNR
Websites MU Center for Agroforestry
Google Scholar


  • PhD 2000, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • MS 1995, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
  • BS 1992, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign


Landscape agroecology, agroforestry, urban agriculture, multifunctional landscapes

Research Summary

Lovell’s research focuses broadly on the analysis and design of multifunctional landscapes, with emphasis on agroforestry and urban agriculture. The agroforestry work includes the integration of productive woody trees and shrubs into agricultural landscapes, to improve the environmental health and cultural significance of the agroecosystem. The work in urban agriculture assesses the benefits of food production systems including plant biodiversity, pollination services, and cultural functions, as well as the impact on food security of the participating households. Recent grants provide support for Lovell’s lab to study woody polyculture systems that could offer fruit and nut products, through a diverse mix of species that are also suitable for conservation.

Selected Publications

  • Stanek, E., Lovell, S.T., Reisner, A. 2019. Designing multifunctional woody polycultures according to landowner preferences.  Agroforestry Systems:
  • Revord, R.S., Lovell, S.T., Capik, J., Mehlenbacher, S.A., Molnar, T.J. 2019. Eastern filbert blight resistance in American and interspecific hybrid hazelnuts (Corylus americana x C. avellana). Journal of the American Society for Horticulture Science: in press.
  • Lovell, S.T., Dupraz, C., Gold, M., Jose, S., Revord, R., Stanek, E., Wolz, K. 2018. Temperate agroforestry research – Considering multifunctional woody polycultures and the design of long-term field trials. Agroforestry Systems 92(5):1397-1415.
  • Wolz, K.J., Lovell, S.T., Branham, B., Eddy, W., Revord, R.S., Wander, M., Yang, W., DeLucia, E.H.  2018.  Frontiers in alley cropping: transformative solutions for temperate agriculture. Global Change Biology 24:883-894.
  • Mattia, C.M., Lovell, S.T., Fraterrigo, J.M. 2018.  Identifying marginal land for multifunctional perennial cropping systems in the Upper Sangamon River Watershed, Illinois.  Journal of Soil and Water Conservation 73(6):669-681.
  • Ferguson, R.S., Lovell, S.T.  2017. Livelihood diversity on US permaculture farms.  Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems 41(6):588-613.
  • Taylor, J.R., Lovell, S.T., Wortman, S.E., Chan, M., 2017.  Ecosystem services and tradeoffs in the home food gardens of African American, Chinese-origin, and Mexican-origin households in Chicago, IL.  Renewable Agriculture & Food Systems 32(1):69-86.
  • Ferguson, R.S. and S.T. Lovell. 2015. Grassroots engagement with transition to sustainability: diversity and modes of participation in the international permaculture movement. Ecology & Society 20(4):39.
  • Lovell, S.T. and J.R. Taylor. 2013. Supplying urban ecosystem services through multifunctional green infrastructure.  Landscape Ecology 28:1447-1463.
  • Wortman, S.E. and S.T. Lovell. 2013.  Environmental challenges threatening the growth of urban agriculture in the United States. Journal of Environmental Quality 42:1283-1294.
  • Taylor, J.R. and S.T. Lovell.  2012. Mapping public and private spaces of urban agriculture in Chicago through the analysis of high-resolution aerial images in Google Earth.  Landscape & Urban Planning 108:57-70.
  • Lovell, S.T., S. DeSantis, C.A. Nathan, M.B.Olson, V.E. Mendez,  H.C. Kominami, D.L. Erickson, K.S. Morris, W.B. Morris, W.B. 2010. Integrating agroecology and landscape multifunctionality in Vermont: An evolving framework to evaluate the design of agroecosystems.  Agricultural Systems 103:327-341
  • Lovell, S.T. and D.M. Johnston. 2009.  Creating multifunctional landscapes – How can the field of ecology inform the design of the landscape? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 7:212-220.