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The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science 

Biodiversity Decline Scientists

Content Developer

Anne Pringle
Anne Pringle is an assistant professor of organismic and evolutionary biology at Harvard University and an associate member at the Broad Institute. Her research explores evolution as it happens in wild populations of fungi. Current work in her laboratory focuses on an introduced symbiont currently expanding its range on the West Coast of North America, cooperation between germinating spores of the genetic model Neurospora crassa, and immortality within filamentous fungi. Photo by Richard Harris


Featured Scientists

Jeremy B. C. Jackson
Jeremy Jackson is the William E. and Mary B. Ritter Professor of Oceanography at the Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California at San Diego, and a staff scientist at the Center for Tropical Paleoecology and Archaeology at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences as well as the American Association for the Advancement of Science and a member of the board of the World Wildlife Fund. Among the many awards he has received are the Secretary’s Gold Medal for Exceptional Service from the Smithsonian Institution in 1997 and the University of California Chancellor’s Award for Excellence in Science and Engineering in 2002. Discover magazine cited his research on overfishing as the outstanding discovery of 2002. He is the author of more than 100 scientific publications and five books. His current and recent past research interests center on paleoecology and macroevolution with particular interest in the environmental and biological consequences of the events leading up to the formation of the Isthmus of Panama over the past 15 million years. Jackson is perhaps best known for his ground breaking research documenting the historical consequences of humankind’s exploitation of ocean resources from its first appearance to the present time. // Read interview transcript


William F. Laurance
William Laurance is a senior scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama, and the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in Brazilian Amazonia. His research is focused on assessing the impacts of intensive land-uses, such as habitat fragmentation, logging, and wildfires on tropical ecosystems. He is also broadly interested in global-change phenomena, and in conservation policy. A leading voice for tropical forest conservation, Dr. Laurance firmly believes that scientists must engage policy makers and the general public, in addition to other scientists. He has received a number of professional awards and is a fellow of the American Association of the Advancement of Science and World Innovation Foundation. He is currently president of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, the world’s largest scientific organization devoted to the study and wise use of tropical ecosystems. // Read interview transcript

Series Directory

The Habitable Planet: A Systems Approach to Environmental Science 


Harvard Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in association with the Harvard University Center for the Environment. 2007.
  • ISBN: 1-57680-883-1