Gerardo Ceballos is an ecologist and conservationist very well-known for his theoretical and empirical work on animal ecology and conservation. He is particularly recognized by his influential work on global patterns of distribution of diversity, endemism, and extinction risk in vertebrates. Ceballos was the first scientist to publish the distribution of a complete group of organisms (mammals). He is also well known for his contribution to understanding the magnitude and impacts of the sixth mass extinction; he has shown that vertebrate species that became extinct in the last century would have taken more than 10 thousand years under the “normal” extinction rate. He was born in Toluca city, in the State of Mexico, in Mexico. He received a bachelor degree in biology at the Autonomous Metropolitan University in Mexico City in 1975. He received a Master degree in ecology from the University of Wales in 1981. And he got his Ph.D. degree in ecology and evolutionary ecology at the University of Arizona in 1989. He joined the faculty of the Institute of Ecology at the Universidad Nacional Autonoma de Mexico in 1989, where he is currently a professor. He has been the president of the Mexican Mammal Society, and is a member of both the National Academy of Sciences and the National Academy of Arts and Sciences.

Research Interests

Gerardo Ceballos' laboratory is interested in animal population and community ecology, extinction patterns and processes, and linking conservation and development. His lab has carried out the longest population and community ecology study of small mammals in the tropics of the World. A unique feature of his lab is the strong emphasis on applying ecological science for solving conservation problems. His lab has pioneering studies for designing protected areas, evaluating global patterns of species distribution and conservation, and evaluating current extinction rates. His lab has made an enormous contribution to conservation in Mexico managing to promote the creation of federal protected areas covering almost 2% of the territory of Mexico; and he promoted the first Mexican endangered species act.

Membership Type

International Member

Election Year


Primary Section

Section 63: Environmental Sciences and Ecology