Dr. David Tilman is Regents Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology at the University of Minnesota as well as a professor at University of California, Santa Barbara’s Bren School of Environmental Science & Management.
His research focuses on the causes, consequences, and conservation of Earth’s biodiversity, and on how managed and natural ecosystems can sustainably meet human needs for food, energy, and ecosystem services. His work on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy has critically examined the full environmental, energetic, and economic costs and benefits of grain crops, of current food-based biofuels, and of biofuels made from diverse mixtures of prairie grasses and other native plants growing on already-degraded lands. He has also dedicated much of his career to communicating with the public, politicians, and the managers of Earth’s ecosystems in policy contexts.
Tilman is also director of the Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve long-term ecological research station. In 2014, he received the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology category. He has been a Guggenheim Fellow, is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and is a member of the National Academy of Science. In 2000 Tilman was designated the Most Highly Cited Environmental Scientist of the Decade by Essential Science Indicators.