Brett Milligan

Brett Milligan

Position Title
Assistant Professor

Human Ecology


Milligan, an assistant professor of landscape architecture in the Department of Human Ecology, specializes in landscape architecture, urban design, and sustainable environmental planning. Milligan completed his M.S. in landscape architecture at the University of New Mexico. He joined the UC Davis faculty in 2013 after working in private practice in Portland, Oregon, and as an independent design scholar at multiple universities

Research interests:

 Landscape architecture and urbanism, Water infrastructure, industrial ecology and regenerative landscape technologies, Climate change adaptation and design of the land - water interface, Dredging, beneficial reuse and design with sediments, Restoration, rewilding and land management practices, Landscape representation, modeling, geospatial mapping, California Bay-Delta

Brief overview:

America's infrastructure is aging, which negatively affects public health and safety, the environment, as well as the economy. Our research seeks to design and test new forms of sustainable infrastructure to replace or retrofit our aging industrial legacies from the past century.

We search for trans-disciplinary solutions that consider ecology, multi-functionality, aesthetics, and expanded forms of public engagement. We map and analyze the geography of regions, and examine the processes and forces of landscape change. We do scenario-based design and make prototypes of new infrastructures that can augment landscapes for humans and a broad spectrum of other species.

For example, as part of the Dredge Research Collaborative, we are exploring how to reuse the sediments dredged from waterways to build and restore wetlands and shorelines, which can serve as wildlife habitat and spaces for outdoor recreation. This research is being carried out across multiple regions of the United States and Canada, as well as in the California Bay Delta.

Current projects: