David S. Wilcove, Ph.D.

Professor of Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs
Woodrow Wilson School
Robertson Hall
City, State, Zip
Princeton University, Princeton, New Jersey 8544
Award Year


Project Details

Wilcove pursued four major conservation projects during his fellowship, all of which were undertaken at the Environmental Defense Fund. Firstly, he conducted research for the book The Condor's Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America which is an ecological history of American wildlife focusing on the ways in which the settlement and development of the United States have affected wildlife populations.

Secondly, he completed a citizen's guide to biodiversity issues affecting the millions of acres of lands managed by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM). The handbook, Defending the Desert: Conserving Biodiversity on BLM Lands in the Southwest, was designed to provide citizen-activists, BLM professionals, landowners and students with a concise overview of the major principles of conservation biology relevant to land management.

Wilcove's third project was a series of studies pertaining to various aspects of the Endangered Species Act. These have been published in several national scientific journals. His final effort was a 300-page report detailing the crisis facing the biodiversity of America's lakes and rivers. The Big Kill: Declining Biodiversity in America's Lakes and Rivers contains contributions from a dozen scientists, attorneys, engineers and economists, and was published by EDF in 1994.


David Wilcove searches for innovative ways to protect biodiversity by blending ecology, public policy and economics. His recent projects include a book on the conservation of migratory animals, studies of the impact of logging and oil-palm agriculture on biodiversity in Borneo, modeling the impacts of climate change on invasive plants in the American West, and an assessment of ongoing efforts to preserve the Florida scrub ecosystem. Prior to joining the Princeton faculty in 2001, he served as senior ecologist with Environmental Defense and The Wilderness Society.


Princeton University



Ph.D., Princeton University
1985: Biology, New Jersey, USA

Master of Arts, Princeton University
1982: Biology, New Jersey, USA

Bachelor of Science, Yale University
1980: Biology, Connecticut, USA


RARE Center for Tropical Conservation
1994-Present: Board of Directors

Conservation Biology
1989-Present: Board of Editors

Ecological Applications
1996-1997: Board of Editors

Society for Conservation Biology
1993-1996: Board of Governors

Natural Areas Association
1987-1992: Board of Directors

Interagency Spotted Owl Scientific Committee
1989-1990: Environmental Representative


Publication of the Year Award
1992: The Wildlife Society

Group Achievement Award for service on the Interagency Spotted Owl Scientific Committee
1991: The Wildlife Society

Marine Fellow
1990: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment


  • Wilcove, D.S. 1999. The Condor's Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America. W.H. Freeman, New York
  • Wilcove, D.S., D. Rothstein, J. Dubow, A. Phillips and E. Losos. 1998. Quantifying threats to imperiled species in the United States. BioScience 48:607-615
  • Dobson, A.P., J.P. Rodriguez, W.M. Roberts, and D.S. Wilcove. 1997. Geographic distribution of endangered species in the United States. Science 275:550-553
  • Wilcove, D.S.(editor). 1994. Report: The Big Kill: Declining Biodiversity in America's Lakes and Rivers. Environmental Defense Fund
  • Wilcove, D.S. 1990. Empty skies. The Nature Conservancy Magazine 40(1): 4-13
  • Wilcove, D.S. 1990. Of owls and ancient forests. In: Ancient Forests of the Pacific Northwest (E. Norse ed.). Island Press, Washington, DC
  • Wilcove, D.S. and S.K. Robinson. 1990. The impact of forest fragmentation on bird communities in eastern North America. In: Biogeography and Ecology of Forest Bird Communities (A.Keast ed.). SPB Academic Publishing, The Hague, Netherlands
  • Wilcove, D.S. 1989. Protecting biodiversity in multiple-use lands: Lessons from the U.S. Forest Service. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 4:385-388