John W. Terborgh

John W. Terborgh

James B. Duke Professor of Environmental Science

John W. Terborgh is a James B. Duke Professor of Environmental Science and is Co-Director of the Center for Tropical Conservation at Duke University. He is a member of the National Academy of Science, and for the past thirty-five years, he has been actively involved in tropical ecology and conservation issues. An authority on avian and mammalian ecology in neotropical forests, Dr. Terborgh has published numerous articles and books on conservation themes. Since 1973 he has operated a field station in Peru's Manu National Park where he has overseen the research of more than 100 investigators. Dr. Terborgh earlier served on the faculties of the University of Maryland and Princeton University. In June 1992 he was awarded a John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Fellowship in recognition of his distinguished work in tropical ecology, and in April 1996 he was awarded the National Academy of Science Daniel Giraud Elliot medal for his research, and for his book Diversity and the Tropical Rainforest. He has served on several boards and advisory committees related to conservation, including the Wildlands Project, Cultural Survival, The Nature Conservancy, The World Wildlife Fund and both the Primate and Ecology Specialist Groups of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature.

In The News


Phillips, OL, and Brienen, RJW. "Carbon uptake by mature Amazon forests has mitigated Amazon nations’ carbon emissions (Published online)." Carbon Balance and Management 12, no. 1 (December 2017).
Levis, C, Costa, FRC, Bongers, F, Peña-Claros, M, Clement, CR, Junqueira, AB, Neves, EG, Tamanaha, EK, Figueiredo, FOG, Salomão, RP, Castilho, CV, Magnusson, WE, Phillips, OL, Guevara, JE, Sabatier, D, Molino, J-F, López, DC, Mendoza, AM, Pitman, NCA, Duque, A, Vargas, PN, Zartman, CE, Vasquez, R, Andrade, A, Camargo, JL, Feldpausch, TR, Laurance, SGW, Laurance, WF, Killeen, TJ, Nascimento, HEM, Montero, JC, Mostacedo, B, Amaral, IL, Guimarães Vieira, IC, Brienen, R, Castellanos, H, and Terborgh, J et al. "Persistent effects of pre-Columbian plant domestication on Amazonian forest composition." Science 355, no. 6328 (March 3, 2017): 925-931.
Sullivan, MJP, Talbot, J, Lewis, SL, Phillips, OL, Qie, L, Begne, SK, Chave, J, Cuni-Sanchez, A, Hubau, W, Lopez-Gonzalez, G, Miles, L, Monteagudo-Mendoza, A, Sonké, B, Sunderland, T, Ter Steege, H, White, LJT, Affum-Baffoe, K, Aiba, S-I, de Almeida, EC, de Oliveira, EA, Alvarez-Loayza, P, Dávila, EÁ, Andrade, A, Aragão, LEOC, Ashton, P, Aymard C, GA, Baker, TR, Balinga, M, Banin, LF, Baraloto, C, Bastin, J-F, Berry, N, Bogaert, J, Bonal, D, Bongers, F, Brienen, R, Camargo, JLC, and Cerón, C et al. "Diversity and carbon storage across the tropical forest biome." Scientific reports 7 (January 17, 2017): 39102-.
Johnson, MO, Galbraith, D, Gloor, M, De Deurwaerder, H, Guimberteau, M, Rammig, A, Thonicke, K, Verbeeck, H, von Randow, C, Monteagudo, A, Phillips, OL, Brienen, RJW, Feldpausch, TR, Lopez Gonzalez, G, Fauset, S, Quesada, CA, Christoffersen, B, Ciais, P, Sampaio, G, Kruijt, B, Meir, P, Moorcroft, P, Zhang, K, Alvarez-Davila, E, Alves de Oliveira, A, Amaral, I, Andrade, A, Aragao, LEOC, Araujo-Murakami, A, Arets, EJMM, Arroyo, L, Aymard, GA, Baraloto, C, Barroso, J, Bonal, D, Boot, R, and Camargo, J et al. "Variation in stem mortality rates determines patterns of above-ground biomass in Amazonian forests: implications for dynamic global vegetation models." Global Change Biology 22, no. 12 (December 2016): 3996-4013.
Paine, CET, Beck, H, and Terborgh, J. "How mammalian predation contributes to tropical tree community structure." Ecology 97, no. 12 (December 2016): 3326-3336.


ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)

Contact Information

3705C Erwin Rd
Durham, NC 27705-5015
Box 90381
Durham, NC 27708-0381


Ph.D., Harvard University (1963)
M.A., Harvard University (1960)
B.A., Harvard University (1958)