Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology, Nicholas School of the Environment
Stuart Pimm became a conservation biologist watching species become extinct in Hawaii in the 1970s. That experience lead to his commitment to study the scientific issues behind the global loss of biological diversity. Pimm has written over 250 scientific papers including four review articles in Nature and Science and four books including The Balance of Nature? Ecological issues in the conservation of species and communities and his new global assessment of biodiversity's future: The World According to Pimm: a scientist audits the Earth. His research covers the reasons why species become extinct, how fast they do so, the global patterns of habitat loss and species extinction, the role of introduced species in causing extinction and, importantly, the management consequences of this research. His commitment to the interface between science and policy has lead to his testimony to both House and Senate Committees on the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act. Current work includes studies of endangered species and ecosystem restoration in the Florida Everglades, and setting priorities for protected areas in the Atlantic Coast forest of Brazil (one of the world's "hotspots" for threatened species. His awards include a Pew Scholarship for Conservation and the Environment (in 1993) and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellowship (in 1999). The Institute of Scientific Information recognized him in 2002 as being one of the world's most highly cited scientists. In 2004, Pimm was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and, in 2006 the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences awarded him the Dr. A. H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences.