Science Advisory Board

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Thomas E. Lovejoy, Chair

Thomas E. Lovejoy is currently the Biodiversity Chair of The H. John Heinz III Center for Science, Economics and the Environment, a nonprofit institution dedicated to improving the scientific and economic foundation for environmental policy through multisectoral collaboration among industry, government, academia, and environmental organizations. In the past, he served as President of the Heinz Center since May 2002 and as Chief Biodiversity Advisor and Lead Specialist for the environment for the Latin American region at the World Bank. Dr. Lovejoy has also served as the Senior Advisor to the President of the United Nations Foundation, as the Assistant Secretary for Environmental and External Affairs for the Smithsonian Institution and as Executive Vice President of World Wildlife Fund-US. He retains his link with the Smithsonian as a research associate of the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

Lovejoy conceived the idea for the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems project, originated the concept of debt-for-nature swaps, and is the founder of the public television series Nature. He earned B.S. and Ph.D. (biology) degrees from Yale University, is past president of the American Institute of Biological Sciences, past chairman of the United States Man and Biosphere Program, and past president of the Society for Conservation Biology. In 1998, Brazil awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit. In April 2001, he received the John & Alice Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He serves on numerous scientific and conservation boards and advisory groups, including the American Museum of Natural History, the New York Botanical Garden, Institute for Ecosystem Studies, Wildlife Trust, Woods Hole Research Center, and the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies.

Sandy J. Andelman

Sandy Andelman is Chief Scientist and Senior Vice President for Conservation International (CI), where she is responsible for providing science vision, strategy and thought leadership for the organization and for helping to implement science- based conservation throughout the organization and for creating strategic alliances with partners. Sandy also serves as Executive Director of the Vital Signs monitoring system, which fills a critical unmet need for integrative, diagnostic data on agriculture, natural capital and human well being. She is a member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Council on Food Security.

Sandy joined CI in 2005 after serving for eight years as Deputy Director of the U.S. National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), one of the world’s top ecological research institutes. She led the design and implementation of the Tropical Ecology, Assessment and Monitoring (TEAM) Network, a global system to understand how climate change is affecting biodiversity in humid tropical forests worldwide.

Through her leadership of Vital Signs and the TEAM Network, Sandy has pioneered the creation of global monitoring and forecasting systems for climate change, environmental change and agricultural outcomes – early warning systems – to recognize and predict thresholds of environmental degradation in time to prevent them and to promote resilient human societies. Sandy wants to help create a new culture of environmental science that is relevant to our increasingly connected world. She envisions dynamic, diverse networks of scientists and policy makers that transcend organizational and national boundaries, collaborating across the globe. Using unified methods and innovative informatics and mobile technologies, she aims to create global public data resources and problem-solving tools to tackle important environmental problems.

Sandy’s scientific expertise includes tropical ecosystems, biodiversity, climate change and interactions between the environment and human wellbeing, as well as the design of monitoring systems and systematic conservation planning.

Sandy received her Ph.D. in behavioral ecology from the University of Washington.

Kamal Bawa

Kamal Bawa, a conservation biologist, earned his doctoral degree from Punjab University, India. He has held Bullard and Cabot Fellowships at Harvard University, and has also been named a Guggenheim Fellow as well as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment. Currently, a Distinguished Professor of Biology at the University of Massachusetts at Boston, Bawa has published more than one hundred sixty papers and edited eight books, monographs, and special issues of journals. He is the editor-in-chief of Conservation and Society, an interdisciplinary journal in conservation, and also serves on the editorial boards of several other journals. He has served on many national and international advisory panels. He has been the president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, and is a member of the board of several foundations. Bawa is the founder-president of the Ashoka Trust for Research in Ecology and the Environment (ATREE), a nongovernmental organization devoted to research, policy analysis, and education in India ( He is also a founder-trustee of the Center for Interdisciplinary studies in Environment and Development, Bangalore, India (

James Collins

James Collins earned his B.S. from Manhattan College in 1969 and his Ph.D. from The University of Michigan in 1975. He then moved to Arizona State University (ASU) as assistant professor in the Department of Zoology. Dr. Collins is currently Virginia M. Ullman Professor of Natural History and the Environment in the School of Life Sciences. From 1989 to 2002 he was chairman of the zoology, then biology department. In 1983, Dr. Collins was visiting professor at Duke University, and served as director of the Population Biology and Physiological Ecology program at the National Science Foundation (NSF) in 1985–86. In addition to maintaining his laboratory at ASU he is also currently serving as director of the NSF Directorate for Biological Sciences. Dr. Collins's research centers on understanding the origin, maintenance, and reorganization of morphological variation within species. Amphibians, especially salamanders, are used as model organisms for field and laboratory studies of the ecological and evolutionary forces shaping intraspecific variation and how this variation affects population dynamics. A special focus of the research is host-pathogen biology and its relationship to the global decline of amphibians. Collins heads an international team of twenty-six investigators studying this issue under two grants from NSF’s Integrated Research Challenges in Environmental Biology program. The intellectual and institutional factors that have shaped ecology's development as a science are also a focus of Dr. Collins’s research, as is ecological ethics. NSF, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S.D.A. Forest Service, Department of the Army, Arizona Game and Fish Department, National Geographic Society, and Dibner Institute for the History of Science and Technology have supported his research.

Dr. Collins teaches graduate and undergraduate courses in ecology, evolutionary biology, statistics, introductory biology, evolutionary ecology, and professional values in science and has directed thirty graduate students to completion of doctoral or masters degrees. Dr. Collins was founding director of ASU’s Undergraduate Biology Enrichment Program funded by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and served as co-director of ASU’s Undergraduate Mentoring in Environmental Biology and Minority Access to Research Careers programs funded by NSF and National Institutes of Health, respectively. He has delivered the Pettingill Lecture in Natural History at The University of Michigan Biological Station; the Thomas Hall Lecture at Washington University, St. Louis; the Irving S. Cooper Lecture at Mayo Clinic/Scottsdale; and was a Bonchek Fellow at Franklin and Marshall College. ASU’s College of Liberal Arts and Sciences awarded him the Distinguished Faculty Award in 2003 and the Gary Krahenbuhl Difference Maker award in 2005.

Dr. Collins is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and a member of AAAS, Ecological Society of America, Society for the Study of Evolution, American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, Scientific Research Society of North America (Sigma Xi), American Society of Naturalists, Association for Women in Science, American Institute of Biological Sciences, and the International Society for the History, Philosophy and Social Studies of Biology. He has served on the editorial board of Ecology and Ecological Monographs (1990–93) and Evolution (1995–98). Dr. Collins has been a member of numerous review panels for basic research and graduate training programs at NSF. He was a member and chair of the Advisory Committee to NSF’s assistant director for biological sciences and a member of the Advisory Committee for Environmental Research and Education, a cross-directorate committee reporting to NSF's assistant director for geological sciences.

Andrew Dobson

Andy Dobson is a professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. He also holds an adjunct position in the Woodrow Wilson School of Public Policy at Princeton. Dr. Dobson teaches two courses at Princeton: Ecology and Evolution of Parasites and Infectious Diseases, and Conservation Biology and Public Policy. In alternate years he teaches a graduate field course in tropical ecology. Dr. Dobson also serves as director of Undergraduate Studies; senior fellow at Butler College; and on the university committees on resources, and athletics and student life. He is an associate of the Royal College of Science, U.K.; a member of Common Room, Wolfson College, Oxford; a member of the British Ecological Society; the British Society for Parasitology; the American Ecological Society; the Society for Natural Resource Modelling; the Society for Conservation Biology; and the Wildlife Disease Association. Dr. Dobson was also a fellow in the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program. His research takes him to Scotland, where he works on a parasitic worm that lives in red grouse, a game bird that is central to the economy of the Scottish highlands. The work illustrates how the parasite causes cycles in grouse abundance and examines the implications of this for the ecology and economics of Scotland’s uplands.

In East Africa, he studies the rinderpest, the ancestral virus of measles, and a current major disease of cattle and wild antelopes. The virus plays a central role in determining the abundance and diversity of a variety of key species in the Serengeti. Both agriculture and tourism are dependent upon on its control. Dr. Dobson also studies elephants and the ivory trade with other colleagues examining a central issue of wildlife utilization, while also unraveling the influence of complex social organization on population dynamics. In Wyoming, he has been studying bison and brucellosis in Yellowstone National Park. All of this research attempts to blend new scientific insights with outreach problems that are important test cases for conflicts between humans and biodiversity.

Matthew Jones

Matthew Jones is the director of Informatics Research and Development at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis at the University of California, Santa Barbara. He maintains an active research program on the management, integration, analysis, and modeling of heterogeneous data. Recent projects have produced effective new techniques for information management and analysis, including metadata standards, data management software, and scientific workflow systems. Matthew's education was initially in tropical ecology through his work on plant-ant interactions in Panama, and then later evolved toward modeling, computer science, and informatics. He holds a B.A. degree in ecology from Dartmouth College, and an M.S. in Zoology from the University of Florida.

Shahid Naeem

Shahid Naeem is professor of ecology and chair of the Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology and director of science for the Center for Environmental Research and Conservation at Columbia University in the City of New York. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of California, Berkeley, in 1989, and then joined the Michigan Society of Fellows at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor the following year. From there he continued postdoctoral research at Imperial College of London in the United Kingdom and the University of Copenhagen, in Denmark. He returned to the United States in 1994, where he served on the faculty of the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities, and then joined the faculty of the University of Washington, Seattle, in 1998. He joined the faculty of Columbia University in 2003. A fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Aldo Leopold Leadership Program, his teaching, research, and publications focus on the importance of biodiversity in the functioning of ecosystems and his work includes studies of plants, animals, and microbes in tropical and temperate forests, grasslands, and ecological microcosms. He co-chaired the United Nations’ Millennium Assessment report on biodiversity in 2005 and was ranked by the Institute for Scientific Information in the top 0.5 percent of cited scientists. His current research includes local and global modeling of the environmental consequences of biodiversity loss, field work at Black Rock Forest in the Hudson Highlands, and research on biodiversity loss in Inner Mongolia, China.

Terry Root

What might be the possible ecological consequences to birds as the globe continues to warm? This is one question that Terry L. Root, a senior fellow at the Center for Environmental Science and Policy in the Institute for International Studies, is currently investigating. Research into just such questions resulted in President George Bush honoring her in 1990 with the prestigious Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. In 1992, she was chosen as one of only ten people around the world to be selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, and one of twenty people to be selected as an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 1999. These awards highlight not only the content of Dr. Root's basic research, but also her application of that effort to complex real-world problems, her inclination to work with interdisciplinary teams, and her outreach to decision-makers and the general public.

Dr. Root's work focuses on large-scale ecological questions; investigating factors shaping the ranges and abundances of animals, primarily birds. This research led to her book Atlas of Wintering North American Birds: An Analysis of Christmas Bird Count Data. This continent-wide examination helped reveal the importance of scale in ecological research, prompting further investigation of the integration of large- and small-scale studies. Her small-scale studies have focused on possible mechanisms, such as physiological constraints, that may be helping to generate the observed large-scale patterns. Her work demonstrated that climate and vegetation are important factors shaping the ranges and abundances of birds. In a meta-analysis of about one hundred fifty articles, Dr. Root and her coauthors found a strong global signal that both animals and plants are changing along with the increase in the global temperature. Species are shifting their ranges poleward and up in elevation, and they are changing the timing of spring events (e.g., migration, blooming) by five days per decade over the last thirty years. These findings will help forecast the possible consequences of global warming on animal communities. Additionally, Dr. Root has investigated gender-based differences in scientific communities by quantifying the opportunities and obstacles women and men face in science.

Dr. Root completed her bachelor’s degree in mathematics and statistics at the University of New Mexico, after which she worked as a scientific programmer at Bell Laboratory and on NASA’s Voyager project. Returning to school, she earned her master’s degree in biology at the University of Colorado in 1982, and her Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University in 1987. She was on the faculty as an assistant and associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at The University of Michigan from 1987 to 2001. She has served on the National Research Council Committee on Environmental Indicators. In 1989, she became an elective member of the American Ornithologists Union (AOU), the largest professional ornithology society in North America. She was elected to the Governing Council of the AOU in 1993 and became a fellow of AOU in 1995. She was a lead author of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Working Group 2 Third Assessment Report, with responsibility for the impacts of climate change on wildlife. Dr. Root has taught courses in conservation biology, wildlife biology, ecology, and ornithology.

Michael R. Willig

Michael Willig has an internationally renowned career in environmental sciences, working in Brazil, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico, and the United States, with an emphasis on application of quantitative and statistical techniques to understand the ecology and conservation of coupled human and natural systems. Recently funded projects have a focus on the ecology of infectious diseases, long-term ecological research on disturbance, and conservation and ecology of mammals. Dr. Willig has more than twenty-five years of experience as a research scientist, educator, and administrator at universities and federal agencies. Prior to arriving at the University of Connecticut, he was director of the Division of Environmental Biology (2004–06) and director of the Ecology Program (2000–02) at the National Science Foundation. As a university administrator, he was the director of the Institute for Environmental Studies (1994–96) and chairman of the Department of Biological Sciences (1995–97) at Texas Tech University.

Dr. Willig’s recent activities have focused on integrating research and education with respect to long-term and broad-scale environmental research, multidisciplinary investigation, cyberinfrastructure for the biological sciences, sustainable management of biodiversity, and environmental forecasting. Dr. Willig earned his B.S. (summa cum laude) in 1974 and his Ph.D. in 1981, both from the University of Pittsburgh in the major area of biology. He has published more than one hundred thirty-five scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, and is the author or editor of four books and monographs. He has received substantial grant support, most of it for multidisciplinary research from such agencies as the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, Department of Agriculture, Department of Defense, and Department of Energy.

Dr. Willig has received a number of fellowships for his research, including support from the Brazilian National Academy of Sciences, the Mellon Foundation, and Oak Ridge Associated Universities. In addition, he was a sabbatical fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. He received the Southeastern Biologists Faculty Research Award in 1983, the George Miksch Sutton Award in Conservation Research in 1995, and the Barnie E. Rushing, Jr. Faculty Distinguished Research Award in 1998. Dr. Willig has served on a number of national panels including those at the National Science Foundation, National Institutes of Health, Environmental Protection Agency, and Conservation International.

Dr. Willig has taught a variety of courses in ecology and biostatistics at the graduate and undergraduate level, and has been the major advisor of twenty-three M.S., eleven Ph.D., and thirteen postdoctoral fellows. In addition, he has considerable experience as an editor for a number of international journals such as Biotropica, Mastozoologia Neotropical, Journal of Mammalogy, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.