Department of Geography and the Environment

Retired Faculty

Robin Doughty

Professor Emeritus - Ph.D., University of California at Berkeley


Cultural Geography; Environmental Resource Management; Landscape Ecology and Biogeography


Robin Doughty attended colleges in Italy, England, and the United States. He received a doctorate in Geography from the University of California at Berkeley, and has been a faculty member in the Department of Geography and the Environment at the University of Texas since 1971.

Robin has published ten books and scores of articles on a range of environmentally-related topics, including the nineteenth century feather trade; the recovery of the endangered whooping crane that state nests only in North America; the mockingbird as the State bird, and the armadillo, a relatively newcomer for the US South. 

Robin has written about man-induced changes in landscapes from the US to Australia, and has recently turned his attention to the oceans. In 2011, Robin authored his tenth book.  Published by the University of Texas Press and with a Forward by HRH Charles, Prince of Wales, The Albatross and the Fish, examines international efforts to save these very special seabirds threatened by predatory animals in their nest colonies and by industrial fishers while feeding at sea.

Robin has traveled extensively to conduct his research on man-made changes in the landscape and efforts to conserve and manage wild animal resources, in such places as China (Yangtze Valley), South America (Chile, Uruguay, Brazil), Central America (Panama, Costa Rica, and Honduras), the Caribbean (Trinidad and Tobago) and, Mexico.  Originally from the United Kingdom, he has also traveled widely in Western Europe, and has made extended visits to Africa (Kenya, Egypt and Morocco). Importantly, Robin is a popular lecturer, and has discussed his research among university audiences (US and Egypt), at meetings of regional specialists (Canada, Australia and New Zealand), and for annual conventions of colleagues and the interested public.

Robin founded and directed for twenty years an annual summer school to Jesus College, Oxford, England, where he introduced American undergraduates to the British landscape.  The University of Texas at Austin facilitated this summer program, which has provided a wealth of teaching and administrative experience and touched the lives of more than 400 students. He has also drawn upon his fluency in Italian to teach the Semester Program in Tuscany, where he lectured on the Geography of Italy and Religion in the Landscape.

In January 2012, Robin was an invited to join the Semester at Sea Program, sponsored by the University of Virginia. He taught shipboard courses in World Regional Geography and the Geography of Endangered Species. Robin taught again in Semester at Sea Program in Fall 2014. 

In July 2013, Robin lectured on the physical geography and cultural history of Scotland, and Seabirds of the Atlantic Ocean, including puffins and albatrosses, while aboard “The World,” a privately owned vessel that constantly circles the globe. His presentations on his 17-day voyage were designed for the route taken from Bergen, Norway, around Scotland’s Orkneys, Inner and Outer Hebrides, and then to the Republic of Ireland. Robin also guided bird watching excursions in several ports.

He is frequently invited to draw upon his research and travels in talks to Audubon Society groups, Master Naturalists, and Bird Festivals (Hummingbirds, Purple Martins and Whooping Cranes). Robin is also interested in how we have idealized as well as used birds, and has made presentations about birds as icons to the Blanton Museum in Austin.  In January 2016, Robin presented 6 lectures about the role of “birds in art and literature,” with the Austin Museum of Modern Art. Laguna Gloria. In March 2016, he gave a talk about urban birds in the Elizabeth Ney Museum, Austin.

He also writes and published poetry about the landscape and its wildlife.  Robin Doughty is teaching seminars on wild animal-related topics in both the Sage and Quest programs for Senior Citizens at the University of Texas in Austin.  In fall 2015, he co-sponsored and lectured about current research trends in the discipline of Geography for the Quest program.

Currently, Robin is revising the earlier book on the Purple Martin, and is working with Matt Turner on a forthcoming book about Invasive Species.

Selected Publications

(With Rob Fergus) The Purple Martin. Austin: University of Texas Press, 2002, 93 p.  Find it on WorldCat

The Eucalyptus: A Natural and Commercial History of the Gum Tree. Baltimore: The Johns Hopkins University Press, 2000, 237 p. Find it on WorldCat

(With Barbara M. Parmenter) Endangered Species: Disappearing Animals and Plants in the Lone Star State: Austin: Texas Monthly Press, 1989, 155 p. Find it on WorldCat

The Return of the Whooping Crane. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1989. 182 p. Find it on WorldCat

The Mockingbird. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1988, 80 p. Find it on WorldCat

At Home in Texas: Early Views of the Land. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1987, 164 p. (Texas State Historical Association, Coral H. Tullis Award for best book in Texas history published in 1987/1988; and Summerfield G. Roberts Award for 1988). Find it on WorldCat

(With Larry L. Smith), The Amazing Armadillo: Geography of a Folk Critter. Austin: University of Texas Press, 1984, 134 p. Find it on WorldCat

Wildlife and Man in Texas: Environmental Change and Conservation. College Station: Texas A&M University Press, 1983, 246 p. Find it on WorldCat

Feather Fashions and Bird Preservation: A Study in Nature Protection. Berkeley, Los Angeles, and London: University of California Press, 1975, 184 p. Find it on WorldCat

Francisco L. Pérez

Professor Emeritus - Ph.D., University of California-Berkeley

Professor Emeritus, Soils Lab Director Emeritus


Mountain Geoecology, Geomorphology, Vegetation Ecology, Soils


Professor Francisco L. Pérez received his Ph.D. in 1985 from the University of California at Berkeley, and joined the UT faculty in 1986. His research interests include Mountain Geoecology, Vegetation Ecology, Soils, Alpine Geomorphology, and Biogeomorphology.

Pérez started hiking on mountains when he was 13 years old, and he still enjoys it more than any other field activity. He has worked extensively at high elevations (2500-4600 meters) throughout the South American Andes, the Western USA Sierra Nevada and Cascade Mountains, the Hawaiian volcanoes of Haleakala and Mauna Kea, Teide volcano in Tenerife (Canary Islands), the Pyrenees, and in various smaller mountains of Texas, Spain, Venezuela, and Italy. Specific recent research interests include the ecology and geomorphology of microbiotic soil crusts and of vagrant cryptogamic organisms, the biogeomorphology of tropical alpine rosette plants, the effects of stone pavements and boulders on soil ecology, the process of evaporation of soil moisture, and the evolution of microrelief and of gnamma soils on granitic domes.

Professor Pérez's research interests dovetail neatly with his classroom activities, and he regularly teaches courses in Physical Geography,  Mountain Geoecology, Process Geomorphology, Vegetation Ecology, and Soils. Dr. Pérez has authored nearly 70 publications, which have appeared in various scientific journals of 20 countries of Europe, North America, and South America.

Selected Publications:

Pérez, F.L. 2009: Phytogeomorphic influence of stone covers and boulders on plant distribution and slope processes in high-mountain areas. Geography Compass 3 (2009): 1-30, 10.1111/j. 1749-8198.2009.00263.x.

Pérez, F.L.
2009: The role of tephra covers on soil moisture conservation at Haleakala’s crater (Maui, Hawai’i). Catena, 76: 191-205.

Pérez, F.L. 2008: Costras microbióticas en el volcán Haleakala. Investigación y Ciencia. [Spanish edition of Scientific American, Barcelona, Spain], 385 (October 2008): 10-11.

Pérez, F.L. 2007: Biogeomorphological influence of the Hawaiian Silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense DC.) on soil erosion in Haleakala (Maui, Hawai’i). Catena, 71 (1): 41-55.

Pérez, F.L. 2003: Influence of substrate on the distribution of the Hawaiian silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense DC.) in Haleakala (Maui, HI). Geomorphology 55: 173-202. (Also in: Butler, D.R., Walsh, S.J., Malanson, G.P. (eds.), Mountain Geomorphology. Integrating Earth Systems, pp. 173-202. Elsevier, Amsterdam.

Pérez, F.L. 2002: Geobotanical relationship of Draba chionophila (Brassicaceae) rosettes and miniature frost-sorted stripes in the high equatorial Andes. Flora: Morphology, Geobotany, Ecophysiology, 197: 24-36.

Pérez, F.L. 2001: Geoecological alteration of surface soils by the Hawaiian silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense) in Haleakala’s crater, Maui. Plant Ecology, 157 (2): 215-233.

Pérez, F.L. 2001: Matrix granulometry of catastrophic debris flows (December 1999) in central coastal Venezuela. Catena, 45: 163-183.

Pérez, F.L. 2000: The influence of surface volcaniclastic layers from Haleakala (Maui, Hawaii) on soil water conservation. Catena, 38: 301-332.

Pérez, F.L. 1998. Talus morphology, clast fabric, and botanical indicators of slope processes on the Chaos Crags (California Cascades). Géographie physique et Quaternaire, 52: 47-68.

Pérez, F.L.
1997. Microbiotic crusts in the high Equatorial Andes, and their influence on paramo soils. Catena, 31: 173-198.

Leo E. Zonn

Professor (Retired) - Ph.D., University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee


Representation and Media, Especially Cinema, Geographies of Popular Culture

Leo Zonn holds a B.A. (1969, History) and M.A. (1972, Geography) from California State University, Northridge, and a PhD (1975, Geography) from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee (Harold Rose, adviser).

He was on the faculty of Geography at Arizona State University (1975-1986), East Carolina University (1986-1997), the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (1997-2004), and the University of Texas at Austin (2004-2016). He served 19 years as department chair, with eleven at ECU, five at UNC, and three at UT. Zonn was a Visiting Scholar at the Flinders University of South Australia (1983-1984) and was a Fulbright Scholar at the University of Zagreb (Croatia, 2010-2011) and at A. I. Cuza University (Iași, Romania, 2017). He retired in 2016.

Zonn regularly taught social-cultural geography at UT, with his primary courses being Frontiers in Geography (the senior capstone course), Cinematic Geographies, Contemporary Cultural Geography, and a first-year seminar, “Re-presenting Los Angeles in the Media." He won two major teaching awards while at UT: the Silver Spurs Centennial Teaching Fellowship #2 and the Raymond Dickson Centennial Endowed Teaching Fellowship Award (2008-2009). He was adviser to three PhD and three masters degrees while at UT and served on over one hundred graduate committees in his career.

Zonn has two primary areas of interest. First, he studies geographic representation as it occurs within a variety of venues, from landscapes to popular media, notably cinema. Here he is concerned with the complex network that integrates technology, production, audience, text, the site of exposition, and the place-based filmic experience. Second, he is interested in the everyday ways in which small-scale places are physically and socially constructed. Emphasis is upon individual practice as it is associated with objects that collectively help to define these places, and with underlying issues of memory and nostalgia. His overall research agenda has drawn from a varied set of mostly social-theoretical views, while even humanist influences can be found blended into the mix.

Selected Publications:

2020. Zonn, L. A Place Belongs Forever: Telling Stories for the Personal Place Project. GeoHumanities, 6(1), 155-70.

2017. Lah, J., and L. Zonn. Crossing to the Imaginary: Bildungsroman, Mobility, and Into the Wild. In The Errant Labor of the Humanities; Festschrift Presented to Stipe Grgas. Edited by Jelena Šesnić, et al. Zagreb, Croatia: FF Press, 65-78.

2015. Zonn, L. Remember the Alamo: A Place of Cinematic Experience. In Mediated Geographies/Geographies of Media—International Handbooks of Human Geography Series, edited by J. Cupples, C. Lukinbeal, and S. Mains. Springer: Dordrecht, 141-155.

2012. Winchell, D., and L. Zonn. Urban Spaces of American Indians in The Exiles. Geographical Review, Vol. 102(2), 149-165.

2008. Dixon, D., L. Zonn, and J. Bascom. Post-ing the Cinema: Reassessing Analytical Stances Toward a Geography of Film. In The Geography of Cinema: A Cinematic World, edited by C. Lukinbeal and S. Zimmermann. Stuttgart: Franz Steiner Verlag, 25-47.

2007. Zonn, L. Going to the Movies: The Filmic Site as Geographic Endeavor. Aether: The Journal of Media Geography, 1, 63-67.

2007, 2005. Dixon, D., and L. Zonn. Confronting the Geopolitical Aesthetic: Fredric Jameson, The Perfumed Nightmare and the Perilous Place of Third Cinema. Geopolitics, 10, 290-315. Reprinted in Cinema and Popular Geopolitics, edited by M. Power and A. Crampton. 2007. New York: Routledge, 95-120.

2004. Holmes, G., L. Zonn, and A. Cravey. Placing Man in the West: Masculinities of The Last Picture Show. GeoJournal, 59, 277-288.

2004. Lukinbeal, C., and L. Zonn, Guest Editors. Cinematic Geographies, GeoJournal, 59.

2004. Dixon, D., and L. Zonn. Film Networks and the Place(s) of Technology. In Geography and Technology, edited by S. Brunn, S. Cutter, and J.W. Harrington. Dordrecht, Boston, London: Kluwer Academic Publishers, 243-266.

2002. Zonn, L., and D. Winchell. Smoke Signals: Locating Sherman Alexie's Narratives of American Indian Identity. In Engaging Film: Geographies of Mobility and Identity, edited by T. Cresswell and D. Dixon. Lanham, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, 140-158.

1994. Aitken, S., and L. Zonn. Editors. Place, Power, Situation and Spectacle: A Geography of Film. Savage, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers.

1994. Zonn, L., and S. Aitken. Of Pelicans and Men: Symbolic Landscapes, Gender, and Australia's Storm Boy. In Place, Power, Situation, and Spectacle: A Geography of Film (see edited volume above), 137-159.

1994, Aitken, S., and L. Zonn. Re-Presenting the Place Pastiche. In Place, Power, Situation, and Spectacle (see edited volume above), 3-25.

1993. Aitken, S., and L. Zonn. Weir(d) Sex: Representation of Gender- Environment Relations in Peter Weir's Picnic at Hanging Rock and Gallipoli. Environment and Planning D: Society and Space, 11, 191-212.

1990. Zonn, L . Editor. Place Images in Media: Portrayal, Meaning, and Experience. Savage, Maryland: Rowman and Littlefield, Publishers.

  • Department of Geography and the Environment

    The University of Texas at Austin
    305 E. 23rd Street, A3100
    RLP 3.306
    Austin, TX 78712