David Ackerly (PI)


Department of Integrative Biology

I have been on the faculty at UC Berkeley since 2005. I started my career as a volunteer on the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project in the Central Amazon, and then did my PhD research on the ecophysiology of tropical pioneer trees, working in Mexico. As a post-doc, I combined molecular phylogenetics with comparative studies of canopy architecture in maples (Acer), working in Japan and the northeastern US. As a faculty member, my lab has tackled a variety of topics in plant ecology and evolution, including trait-based studies of plant strategies, integration of phylogenetics and community ecology, and comparative studies of trait evolution. In the last few years I have shifted my focus to the study of climate change impacts on biodiversity, focusing on the native flora of California, and implications for future challenges in conservation and land management. I co-direct the Terrestrial Biodiversity and Climate Change Collaborative (tbc3.org), a partnership with the Dwight Center for Conservation Science at Pepperwood Preserve, focused on climate change and resource management in the San Francisco Bay Area.

I am the PI and Director of an NSF NRT program: Environment and Society: Data Sciences for the 21st Century (DS421, 2015-2020). The program brings together Master’s and PhD students from a range of departments on the UC Berkeley campus to address interdisciplinary challenges related to global change. I also help lead the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology, which promotes integrative work addressing biotic impacts of global change.


  • Climate Change and the Future of California (L&S/ESPM c46, first offering, spring 2016)
  • Plant Ecology (IB 154, alternate odd fall semesters)
  • Ecology unit of Introductory Biology (Bio 1b, alternate even fall semesters)
  • Principles of Phylogenetics: Ecology and Evolution (IB 200, alternate even spring semesters)
  • Occasional freshman and graduate seminars


ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1847-7398

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