Peter M. Kareiva
The Nature Conservancy
Election Year: 2011
Primary Section: 63, Environmental Sciences and Ecology
Secondary Section: 27, Evolutionary Biology
Membership Type: Member
As an ecologist, I have studied how species and ecosystem dynamics play out across complex landscapes. My initial interests focused on the role of dispersal in modulating dynamics and maintaining species in fragmented habitats. I used both mathematical models and field experiments to document the importance of dispersal in insect population dynamics. As my interests switched to conservation I studied the interplay of habitat degradation, hatchery fish, and dams in limiting salmon productivity. When my conservation research moved increasingly to developing nations, I realized that it was critical to model and quantify the value of ecosystem services. Now in collaboration with scientists around the world, I seek to identify the tradeoffs between major public investments in energy, mining, and food production and the sustainability of our ecosystems. Because I want the science I produce to influence resource extraction and economic development policies, I also study how people make decisions, and how we can better use our understanding of ecosystems to promote smarter solutions to the challenges of water and energy scarcity and food security.