Peter Kareiva is the director of the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability at UCLA. Before coming to UCLA, Kareiva was the Chief Scientist and Vice President of The Nature Conservancy, where he was responsible for maintaining the quality of over 600 staff engaged in conservation science in 36 countries around the world. He is also the acting director of Science for Nature and People (SNAP), a new scientific collaboration among the Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis that is designed to rapidly respond to critical questions involving nature and human well-being.
Kareiva studied political science and zoology at Duke University for his bachelor’s degree and ecology and applied mathematics at Cornell University for his Ph.D. He is the author of more than 150 scientific publications and author or editor of eight books, including a textbook on conservation science. Kareiva is a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences and a member of The National Academy of Sciences. Prior to joining The Nature Conservancy, Kareiva was the Director of Conservation Biology at the NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center, and prior to that he was a Professor at the University of Washington and Brown University, with teaching or faculty stints at Stanford University, University of Virginia, Uppsala University, and Oxford University.
His current research concerns the connection between human activities and changes in ecosystem services, as part of the Natural Capital Project, which he co-founded with Gretchen Daily, Steve Polasky, and Taylor Ricketts. Kareiva is also studying the linkage between the sustainability initiatives of global corporations and their impacts on ecosystems, as well as their own corporate performance; the environmental impact and value of aquaculture for food production; and the value of nature for people in urban areas. In the past Kareiva has published on biotechnology, agriculture, risk assessment, climate change, invasive species, and the importance of getting our children into nature.