Leslie Roche

Leslie Roche

Position Title
Assistant Cooperative Extension Specialist

Plant Sciences


Roche is an assistant Cooperative Extension specialist in the Department of Plant Sciences. Her research and extension program is at the intersection of agricultural, environmental, economic, and social aspects of ranching and livestock production on California’s rangelands and pastures. She completed her Ph.D. in ecology at UC Davis and was a USDA-NIFA Postdoctoral Fellow in the Department of Plant Sciences before joining the faculty in 2015.

Research interests:

Rangeland and pasture management, ecology of grazing lands, grazing systems, drought and climate change adaptation, participatory research

Brief overview:

Rangelands are biologically diverse working landscapes that include complex ecosystems ranging from arid shrublands to mesic grasslands and woodlands. These working landscapes provide multiple ecosystem goods and services, including food and fiber production, water-resource protection, and biodiversity. California’s rangelands are at the nexus of wildland, agricultural, and urban landscapes and, as a result, are at the frontier of increasing social pressures to define sustainable rangeland management.

I work with a variety of stakeholders to integrate management expertise and applied research to address key challenges on grazing lands, including managing for multiple agricultural and ecological outcomes, as well as coping with and adapting to drought.

Current projects:

  • California ranch stewardship project: adaptive management for profit and rangeland health
  • On-ranch impacts, management, and planning horizons following severe drought
  • Wildfire and grazing management and planning