dJames Kay: Publications

Stuff I have written

James J. Kay

   New additions.

   Work in Progress.

   Published works.

   Grey literature.

   Presentations at conferences and workshops.

  Various work of my students (includes theses, projects and publications)

Please feel free to make single copies for your own use, but bear in mind that all the materials are copyrighted by James Kay or the appropriate publisher.

Comments are welcome to:

      Items added since March 2002. (See also "Work in Progress" for new material.)

Kay, J. "A Review of the Fundamental Measures of Information Theory and their Application in Ecology." (216K PDF file)

Kay, J. "The relationship between information theory and thermodynamics: the second law of thermodynamics revisited" (85K PDF file)

Kay, J. "The relationship between information theory and thermodynamics: the mathematical basis" (90K PDF file)

Work in Progress

Currently in the review process:

Luvall, J., Kay, J., Fraser, R., "Thermal Remote Sensing and the Thermodynamics of Ecosystem Development".

Kay, J., Boyle, M., "A hierarchical conceptual model for discussing the relationships between natural ecosystems and societal systems" for Drake, J.A., C.R. Zimmermann, S. Gavrilets, and T. Fukami (eds), Complexity Emerging: a paradigm for ecological thought. Columbia University Press.

Manuscripts in draft form

David Manuel-Navarrete, Dan Dolderman , James J. Kay. "Ecological Integrity: Linking Biology With Cultural Tranformation" (last update July 2002)

David Manuel-Navarrete , Dan Dolderman , James J. Kay. "People and their involvement in the ecological integrity dialogue" (last update October 2002)

Waltner-Toews, David, Kay, James, Lister, Nina-Marie, (eds.) (2003?) "The Ecosystem Approach: Complexity, Uncertainty, and Managing for Sustainability, (book in preparation)


In press:

Waltner-Toews, D., Kay, J.J., Neudoerffer, C., Gitau, T. 2003. "Perspective Changes Everything: managing ecosystems from the inside out" Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment

Waltner-Toews D., Kay, J., Murray, T., 2003. "Adaptive Methodology for Ecosystem Sustainability and Health (AMESH): An Introduction". In Gerald Midgley & Alejandro E. Ochoa-Arias (Eds.) Community Operational Research: Systems Thinking For Community Development, Plenum Press.
Revised version posted March 2002

Fraser, R., Kay, J.J., 2002. "Exergy Analysis of Eco-Systems: Establishing a Role for the Thermal Remote Sensing" in D. Quattrochi and J. Luvall (eds) Thermal Remote sensing in Land Surface Processes, Taylor & Francis Publishers (UPDATED 1 August 2001)

Foster, J., Kay, J., Roe, P., 2001. "Teaching Complexity and Systems Thinking to Engineers", 4th UICEE Annual Conference on Engineering Education, Bangkok, Thailand, 7-10 February 2001, UNESCO International Centre for Engineering Education, in press



W Murray, T., Kay, J., Waltner-Toews D., Raez-Luna, E.; 2002. "Linking Human and Ecosystem Health on the Amazon Frontier: An Adaptive Ecosystem Approach", Aguirre, A. A., R. S. Ostfeld, C. A. House, G. M. Tabor and M. C. Pearl (eds.), Conservation Medicine: Ecological Health in Practice Oxford University Press. (Chapter 23)

Waltner-Toews D., Kay, J., 2002. "An Ecosystem Approach to Health", LEISA, 18:1, March 2002.

Kay, J., 2002, "On Complexity Theory, Exergy and Industrial Ecology: Some Implications for Construction Ecology" in Kibert, C., Sendzimir, J. (eds), Guy, B., Construction Ecology: Nature as a Basis for Green Buildings, Spon Press, pp.72-107.


Boyle, M., Kay. J., and Pond, B., 2001. Monitoring in Support of Policy: an Adaptive Ecosystem Approach, in Munn, T., (editor in chief), Vol.4 Encylopedia of Global Environmental Change, London, John Wiley and Son. pp.116-137.

Regier, H.A., Kay, J.J., 2001. "Phase Shifts Or Flip-Flops In Complex Systems", in Munn, R., editor in chief. Vol. 5, Encyclopedia of global environmental change. London: Wiley; 2001; pp. 422-429.

Kay, J, 2001. "Ecosystems, Science and Sustainability", in in Ulgiati, S., Brown, M.T., Giampietro, M., Herendeen, R., Mayumi, K., (eds) Proceedings of the international workshop: Advances in Energy Studies: exploring supplies, constraints and strategies, Porto Venere, Italy, 23-27 May, 2000 pp. 319-328

Kay, J, Allen, T., Fraser, R., Luvall, J., Ulanowicz, R., 2001. "Can we use energy based indicators to characterize and measure the status of ecosystems, human, disturbed and natural?" in in Ulgiati, S., Brown, M.T., Giampietro, M., Herendeen, R., Mayumi, K., (eds) Proceedings of the international workshop: Advances in Energy Studies: exploring supplies, constraints and strategies, Porto Venere, Italy, 23-27 May, 2000 pp 121-133.


Kay. J., Regier, H., 2000. "Uncertainty, Complexity, And Ecological Integrity: Insights from an Ecosystem Approach", in P. Crabbe, A. Holland, L. Ryszkowski and L. Westra (eds), Implementing Ecological Integrity: Restoring Regional and Global Environmental and Human Health, Kluwer, NATO Science Series, Environmental Security pp. 121-156.

Kay. J. 2000. "Ecosystems as Self-organizing Holarchic Open Systems : Narratives and the Second Law of Thermodynamics" in Sven Erik Jorgensen, Felix Muller (eds), Handbook of Ecosystems Theories and Management, CRC Press - Lewis Publishers. pp 135-160

Waltner-Toews, D., Murray, T., Kay, J., Gitau, T., Raez-Luna, E., McDermot, J., 2000, "One Assumption, Two Observations, Some Guiding Questions and a Process for the Investigation and Practice of Agroecosystem Health", in Jabbar, M.A., Peden, D.G., Saleem, M., Li Pub, H. (eds), Agro-ecosystems, natural resources management and human health related research in East Africa: Proceedings of an IDRC-ILRI international workshop held at ILRI, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia, 11-15 May, 1998. Published by International Livestock Research Institute, Nairobi. pp.7-14


Lister, N., Kay, J.J., 1999, "Celebrating Diversity: Adaptive Planning and Biodiversity Conservation", in S. Bocking (ed), Biodiversity in Canada: An Introduction to Environmental Studies, Broadview Press. pp.189-218.

Kay. J., Regier, H., Boyle, M. and Francis, G. 1999. "An Ecosystem Approach for Sustainability: Addressing the Challenge of Complexity" Futures Vol 31, #7, Sept. 1999, pp.721-742.

Kay, J.J., Foster, J., 1999, "About Teaching Systems Thinking" in Savage, G., Roe, P. (eds), Proceedings of the HKK conference, 14-16 June, 1999, University of Waterloo, Onatrio, pp.165-172

Kay. J., Regier, H., 1999. "An Ecosystem Approach to Erie's Ecology" in M. Munawar, T.Edsall, I.F. Munawar, (eds), International Symposium. The State of Lake Erie (SOLE) - Past, Present and Future. A tribute to Drs. Joe Leach & Henry Regier, Backhuys Academic Publishers, Netherlands, pp.511-533


Regier, H.A., Kay, J.J., 1996 "An Heuristic Model of Transformations of the Aquatic Ecosystems of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin", Journal of Aquatic Ecosystem Health, Vol. 5: pp.3-21


Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1995, "Order from Disorder: The Thermodynamics of Complexity in Biology", in Michael P. Murphy, Luke A.J. O'Neill (ed), "What is Life: The Next Fifty Years. Reflections on the Future of Biology", Cambridge University Press, pp. 161-172


Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1994 "Complexity and Thermodynamics: Towards a New Ecology", Futures 24 (6) pp.626-647, August 1994

Kay, J, Schneider, E.D,. 1994, "Embracing Complexity, The Challenge of the Ecosystem Approach", Alternatives Vol 20 No.3 pp.32- 38

Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1994, "Life as a Manifestation of the Second Law of Thermodynamics", Mathematical and Computer Modelling, Vol 19, No. 6-8, pp.25-48. Also available in pdf format

Tobias, T., Kay, J.J., 1994, "The Bush Harvest in the Northern Village of Pinehouse" Arctic Vol 47, No. 3. pp.207-221.


Kay, J.J., 1993, "On the Nature of Ecological Integrity: Some Closing Comments" in S. Woodley, J. Kay, G. Francis (Eds.), 1993. Ecological Integrity and the Management of Ecosystems, St. Lucie Press, Delray,Florida, pp.201-212.

Schneider, E.D, Kay, J.J., 1993, "Exergy Degradation, Thermodynamics, and the Development of Ecosystems" in Tsatsaronis G., Szargut, J., Kolenda, Z.,Ziebik, Z.,(eds) Energy, Systems, and Ecology, Volume 1,Proceedings of ENSEC' 93, July 5-9 Cracow, Poland., pp. 33-42.


Kay, J.J., Schneider, E.D., 1992. "Thermodynamics and Measures of Ecosystem Integrity" in Ecological Indicators, Volume 1, D.H. McKenzie, D.E. Hyatt, V.J. Mc Donald (eds.), Proceedings of the International Symposium on Ecological Indicators, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Elsevier, pp.159-182.


Kay, J.J., 1991. "A Non-equilibrium Thermodynamic Framework for Discussing Ecosystem Integrity", Environmental Management, Vol 15, No.4, pp.483-495


Kay, J.J., L. Graham,R.E., Ulanowicz. 1989. "A Detailed Guide to Network Analysis" in Network Analysis in Marine Ecology: Methods and Applications, F. Wulff, J. Field, K. Mann (Eds.), pp.15-61, Springer-Verlag.


Material from the International Society for the Systems Sciences meeting in Toronto, July 2000, including the Network for Ecosystem Sustainability Health presentations. (updated 22 July, 2000)

About complexity and an ecosystem approach

A tutorial version of the talk "An Ecosystem Approach for Sustainability: Addressing the Challenge of Complexity"
Presented at:

The following are PDF files of different powerpoint versions of the above talk:
Other talks

"What is Industrial Ecology about? Some musings from Complex Systems Theory " presented at the bi-annual conference of the Canadian Society for Ecological Economics, Montreal, Quebec, 24 August, 2001

"About ecological integrity." presented at the course on Ecosystem theory-application in environmental management of aquatic systems, at The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2 June, 2000.

"About the thermodynamics of ecosystems and surface temperature." presented at the course on Ecosystem theory-application in environmental management of aquatic systems, at The Royal Danish School of Pharmacy, Copenhagen, Denmark, 2 June, 2000.

A short talk on thermodynamics of ecosystems March 2000

A talk on monitoring given at Next Generation Indicators workshop, State of the Lakes Ecosystem Conference, Buffalo, N.Y., 23 October, 1998


Boyle, M., Kay, J.J., Pond, B. 1996. "The State of the Landscape Reporting: The Development of Indicators for the Provincial Policy Statement Under the Land Use Planning and Protection Act". prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 81 pages.

(The material in this document and much more is covered in:
Boyle, M., "An Adaptive Ecosystem Approach to Monitoring: Developing Policy Performance Indicators for Ontario Ministry Of Natural Resources", Masters Thesis, Department of Environment and Resource Studies, University of Waterloo, 1998.)

Boyle, M., Kay, J.J., 1996. "State of the Landscape Reporting: A Background Literature Review and Database on Monitoring and Indicators" prepared for the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, 101 pages. PDF file (256k)

Kay, J.J., 1994, "The Ecosystem Approach, Ecosystems as Complex Systems and State of the Environment Reporting", prepared for North American Commission for Environmental Cooperation , State of the North American Ecosystem meeting, Montreal, Canada. 8-10 December, 1994, 42 pages.

Kay, J.J., 1994, "The Ecosystem Approach Applied to the Huron Natural Area", prepared for Environment Canada, State of the Environment Reporting, Ottawa, Canada. 12 pages

Simpson, M., Kay, J.J., 1989 "Availability, Exergy, the Second Law and all that......."

Documentation from the The Huron Natural Area ecosystem planning and management project

And the one that started it all:

Kay, J.J., 1984 Self-Organization in Living systems, Ph.D. Thesis, Systems Design Engineering, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, 458p. (Only chapter 1, 2,3, 6 and appendix 1 are currently available)

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Last updated 21 October, 2002