Michael Tobit “Toby” Gray
Michael Tobit “Toby” Gray

Michael Tobit “Toby” Gray

Assistant Research Professor

Mississippi State, MS 39762

Dr. Toby Gray is an Assistant Research Professor at Geosystems Research Institute (GRI), Mississippi State University. His research focuses on the development of decision support tools for large landscape management and planning. Recent projects include adapting existing shoreline management models for application on the Mississippi Gulf Coast, a data-driven method for identifying Conservation Opportunity Areas for the state of Arkansas, and development of a habitat condition index data layer to inform the mid-South portion of the Conservation Blueprint of the Southeastern Conservation Adaptation Strategy (SECAS). Dr. Gray is active in the Southeastern Plant Conservation Alliance and is coordinating a state-level Plant Conservation Alliance for Mississippi.


  • Ph.D., Earth and Atmospherics Sciences, Mississippi State University, 2015
  • M.S., Landscape Architecture, Mississippi State University, 2010
  • B.A. English, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, 1990


  • 2017 – Present, Assistant Research Professor, Geosystems Research Institute (GRI)
  • 2017 – 2018, Geomatics Coordinator, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC)
  • 2014 – 2017, Research Associate, Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GCPO LCC)
  • 2013 – 2014, Graduate Fellow, NSF INSPIRE-GK12 Program, Mississippi State University
  • 2007 – 2013, Research Assistant, Mississippi State University

Research Interests

Large Landscape Planning, Conservation Design, Landscape Ecology, Grasslands

Honors/Professional Activities

Coordinator, Mississippi Plant Conservation Alliance

Recent Publications

  • Greene, R.E., K. Evans, M.T. Gray, D.T. Jones-Farrand, G. Wathen. 2020. “Using a coproduction approach to map future forest retention likelihood in the Southeastern United States.” Journal of Forestry 118:1 28-43.
  • Gray, M.T. and T. Schauwecker. 2018. “The use of General Land Office survey notes to locate prairie patches in the Jackson Prairie Region.” In JoVonn Hill and John Barone (Eds.) Southeastern Grasslands. University of Alabama Press.
  • Gray, M.T., D.T. Jones-Farrand, K. Evans, Y. Allen, G. Wathen, G. Elliott. 2017. “The state of the Gulf Coastal Plains & Ozarks 2017.” Report (pp. 33). Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative. https://gcpolcc.org/resource/state-gulf-coastal-plains-ozarks-2017-report (Published).
  • Gray, M.T. and D.T. Jones-Farrand. 2020. “Developing & Assessing Conservation Opportunity Areas within Wildlife Action Plans” Final Report: US Fish and Wildlife Sponsor Award #F18AC00762. https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/5ccb1395e4b09b8c0b780680.
  • Gray, M.T. and D.T. Jones-Farrand. 2019. “Modeling habitat connectivity to support state wildlife action plans in the Mid-South” Final Report: US Fish and Wildlife Sponsor Award #F17AC01036. https://www.sciencebase.gov/catalog/item/5ccb0cfce4b09b8c0b780433.