Plant Ecology and Global Change: Science Motivated by Conservation

David Ackerly


           I have been on the faculty at UC Berkeley since 2005. I started my academic 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 decade 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 (, a partnership with the Dwight Center for Conservation Science at Pepperwood Preserve, focused on climate change and resource management in central California.

I am a faculty member in the Departments of Integrative Biology (IB) and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management (ESPM). As of 2018, I have stepped into my role as the Dean of the Rausser College of Natural Resources.

See my [Google Scholar] page for my publications.

I enjoy hiking and photography. A few of my favorite pictures are in the link below:


  • Climate Change and the Future of California (L&S/ESPM c46)
  • Plant Ecology (IB 154)
  • Ecology unit of Introductory Biology (Bio 1b)
  • Principles of Phylogenetics: Ecology and Evolution (IB 200)
  • Occasional freshman and graduate seminars

ORCID ID: 0000-0002-1847-7398

Google Scholar page

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