Alan Townsend Named Fellow of Ecological Society of America

June 1, 2014

Tim Lucas, 919-613-8084,

DURHAM, N.C. – Alan Townsend, incoming dean of Duke University’s Nicholas School of the Environment, has been named a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).

Townsend, who will begin his new post as dean on July 1, was one of 12 scientists selected by the ESA for the honor this year. 

The Fellows program was established in 2012 to recognize scientists, administrators and educators who have made significant contributions to ecological science in academics, government service, non-profit organizations or other avenues. Appointment is for life.

Townsend currently is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research at the University of Colorado at Boulder. His research focuses on how ecosystems interact with a changing global environment, especially in tropical regions, and why this matters to human health and welfare. He is the author of more than 100 peer-reviewed publications and served as a lead author on the recently released U.S. National Climate Assessment

Five other Nicholas School faculty members previously have been named ESA Fellows. James S. Clark, Norman L. Christensen, Robert B. Jackson, William S. Schlesinger and John Terborgh were named to the inaugural class of ESA Fellows in 2012.

ESA is a nonpartisan, nonprofit organization of scientists founded in 1915 to promote ecological sciences and raise policymakers’ and the public’s awareness of the importance of ecology in everyday life. The society has more than 10,000 members.