Stuart L. Pimm

Stuart L. Pimm

Doris Duke Professor of Conservation Ecology

Stuart Pimm is a world leader in the study of present day extinctions and what can be done to prevent them. His research covers the reasons why species become extinct, how fast they do so, the global patterns of habitat loss and species extinction and, importantly, the management consequences of this research. Pimm received his BSc degree from Oxford University in 1971 and his Ph.D from New Mexico State University in 1974. Pimm is the author of over 270 scientific papers and four books. The Institute of Scientific Information has ranked him as one of the most highly cited environmental scientists for over a decade. Pimm wrote the highly acclaimed assessment of the human impact to the planet: The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth in 2001. His commitment to the interface between science and policy has lead to his testimony to both House and Senate Committees on the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act. He was worked and taught in Africa for nearly 20 years on elephants, most recently lions — through National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative — but always on topics that relate to the conservation of wildlife and the ecosystems on which they depend. Other research areas include the Everglades of Florida and tropical forests in South America, especially the Atlantic Coast forest of Brazil and the northern Andes — two of the world's "hotspots" for threatened species. His international honours include the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement(2010), the Dr. A.H. Heineken Prize for Environmental Sciences from the Royal Netherlands Academy of Arts and Sciences (2006), the Society for Conservation Biology’s Edward T. LaRoe III Memorial Award (2006), and the Marsh Award for Conservation Biology, from the Marsh Christian Trust (awarded by the Zoological Society of London in 2004). Sigma Xi, The Scientific Research Society, awarded him the William Proctor Prize for Scientific Achievement in 2007.

In The News


Shen, G, Pimm, SL, Feng, C, Ren, G, Liu, Y, Xu, W, Li, J, Si, X, and Xie, Z. "Climate change challenges the current conservation strategy for the giant panda." Biological Conservation 190 (October 2015): 43-50.
Jenkins, CN, Van Houtan, KS, Pimm, SL, and Sexton, JO. "Reply to Brown et al.: Species and places are the priorities for conservation, not economic efficiency." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, no. 32 (August 3, 2015): E4343-. (Letter)
Jenkins, CN, Van Houtan, KS, Pimm, SL, and Sexton, JO. "US protected lands mismatch biodiversity priorities." Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 112, no. 16 (April 6, 2015): 5081-5086.
De Vos, JM, Joppa, LN, Gittleman, JL, Stephens, PR, and Pimm, SL. "Estimating the normal background rate of species extinction." Conservation biology : the journal of the Society for Conservation Biology 29, no. 2 (April 2015): 452-462.
Pimm, SL, and Joppa, LN. "How Many Plant Species are There, Where are They, and at What Rate are They Going Extinct?." Annals of the Missouri Botanical Garden 100, no. 3 (March 16, 2015): 170-176.


ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 393-1: Research Independent Study (ENVIRON 393-1: Research Independent Study)
ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)
ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project (ENVIRON 999: Duke Environmental Leadership: Master's Project)

area(s) of expertise

Biodiversity Conservation

Contact Information

Box 90328
Durham, NC 27708-0328
Durham, NC 27708


Ph.D., New Mexico State University (1974)
B.A., University of Oxford (UK) (1971)