Biodiversity Chair, Heinz Center
THOMAS LOVEJOY is an innovative conservation biologist who coined the term “biological diversity” (1980). He is the founder and president of the non-profit Amazon Biodiversity Center and the renowned Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project. In 2010 he was elected university professor in the department of Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University. He currently also is senior fellow at the United Nations Foundation based in Washington, DC. Spanning the political spectrum, Lovejoy has served on science and environmental councils under the Reagan, Bush, and Clinton administrations. At the core of these many influential positions are seminal ideas, which have formed and strengthened the field of conservation biology. In the 1980s, he brought international attention to the world’s tropical rainforests, and in particular, the Brazilian Amazon, where he has worked since 1965. With three co-edited books (1992, 2005, and 2019), he is credited as a founder of the field of climate change biology. He also founded the series Nature, the popular long-term series on public television. In 2001, Lovejoy was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. In 2009 he was the winner of BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the Ecology and Conservation Biology Category. In 2009 he was appointed conservation fellow by the National Geographic and explorer at large. In 2012 he was recognized by the Blue Planet Prize. Lovejoy holds BS and PhD (biology) degrees from Yale University.