Colorado Hub Director of Future Earth, Research Professor at the University of Colorado, and Senior Scholar, at Colorado State University
Future Earth, University of Colorado, Colorado State University
I was trained in landscape ecology, conservation, and evolutionary biology. In my 20+ years of research experience, much of my work has been focused on climate impacts on plants and animals at large landscape scales, and the feedbacks of those systems on people; the influence of fragmentation, connectivity, invasive species and mutualism loss on populations and communities; and the evolution and functional significance of chemical defenses in plants. More recently, I have been working on issues relating to the structure of sustainability science. Long before joining Future Earth as the Director of the Colorado Global Hub, I was a professor at the University of Washington. I started as an assistant professor in the Department of Biology in 2003. In 2007, I began working with the University of Washington leadership on the formation of a new College of the Environment. After a difficult 4 year process, the new college was successfully formed. At this point, I was made full professor, given the Maggie and Doug Walker Endowed Professorship in Natural History, and became the first faculty with a split appointment between the new College of the Environment and the Department of Biology, which remained in the College of Arts and Sciences. In 2012, I went on an extended leave from the University of Washington to launch the Luc Hoffmann Institute, a global research center integrated within the International Secretariat of the World Wide Fund for Nature in Geneva Switzerland. I served as the founding director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute, and as the chief voice for science within WWF, for three years, and while there, I started the Luc Hoffmann Fellows programme and launched over dozen research projects, including work on the Food-Energy-Water nexus in Southeast Asia, assessments of development corridors in East Africa, global mapping of threats to biodiversity and the development of regionally-appropriate low-carbon sustainability targets for urban areas. The work in WWF was an excellent springboard for my current role in Future Earth.