Stuart L. Pimm, Ph.D.


Stuart L. Pimm, Ph.D.
Stuart Pimm
Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology
Duke University
Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences
City, State, ZIP
Room A301 LSRC Building Box 90328, Durham, North Carolina 27708
[email protected]
Award year


Project Details

Stuart Pimm's Pew Fellowship supported several initiatives. First, he conducted studies on the endangered Cape Sable sparrow. He also focused on restoration of Florida's Everglades, where his research and policy development efforts have changed the way water will be delivered.

In addition, Pimm's quantification of the global extent of species extinctions has attracted considerable national and international attention from the media. He notes that, although extinction is a naturally-occurring process, the Earth is now faced with a greatly increased extinction rate. Compared with background rates of extinction, as calculated from the fossil record, he estimates that over the last century extinction rates have increased by between 100 and 1000 times. "If current rates of habitat destruction continue, and evidence suggests they are in fact accelerating, then within 50 years nearly half of the planet's species would face extinction," says Pimm.


Stuart Pimm's practical and theoretical work on endangered species in the Pacific basin, in Everglades National Park, Florida, and in Europe has led to important new approaches to the management of such species. His research covers the reasons why species become extinct, how fast they do so, the global patterns of habitat loss and species extinction, the role of introduced species in causing extinction and, importantly, the management consequences of this research. Pimm's commitment to the interface between science and policy has lead to his testimony for U.S. House and Senate Committees on the re-authorization of the Endangered Species Act.

Pimm has written over 150 scientific papers, including three review articles in Nature and Science and four books, including The Balance of Nature? Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities and his 2001 global assessment of biodiversity's future: The World According to Pimm: A Scientist Audits the Earth. The Institute of Scientific Information recognized him in 2002 as being one of the world's most highly cited scientists.


Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences



Ph.D., New Mexico State University
1974: Biology, New Mexico, USA

Bachelor of Arts, Oxford University
1971: Zoology, England


Committee on the Environment, Congressional Testimony

Committee on Resources, Congressional Testimony

Stanford University Center for Conservation Biology
Scientific Advisory Board

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
Pacific Island Bird Recovery Coordinating Committee


1999: Aldo Leopold Leadership Program

Kempe Prize for Distinguished Ecologists

Marine Fellow
1993: Pew Fellows Program in Conservation and the Environment


  • George Sugihara, Louis-Félix Bersier, T. Richard E. Southwood, Stuart L. Pimm, and Robert M. May. 2003. Predicted correspondence between species abundances and dendrograms of niche similarities. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100:5246-5251
  • Gonçalo Ferraz, Gareth J. Russell, Philip C. Stouffer, Richard O. Bierregaard, Jr., Stuart L. Pimm, and Thomas E. Lovejoy. 2003. Rates of species loss from Amazonian forest fragments. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 100:14069-14073
  • Pimm, S.L. 2001. Cenozoic dramas. Science 292:1841
  • Pimm, S.L. 2001. The World According to Pimm: a Scientist Audits the Earth. McGraw Hill, New York. (304 pp)
  • Pimm, S.L. et al. 2001. Can we defy nature's end? Science 233:2207-2208
  • Pimm, S.L. and J.H. Lawton. 1998. Planning for biodiversity. Science 279:2068-2069
  • Brooks, T.M., S.L. Pimm and N. J. Collar. 1997. Deforestation predicts the number of threatened birds in insular southeast Asia. Conservation Biology 11:382-384
  • Pimm, S.L. 1997. The value of everything. Nature 387:231-232
  • Pimm, S.L. and R. Askins. 1995. Forest losses predict bird extinctions in eastern North America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 92:9343-9347
  • Pimm, S.L., G.J. Russell, J.L. Gittleman and T.M. Brooks. 1995. The future of biodiversity. Science 269:347-350
  • Pimm, S. L., J. Diamond, T. R. Reed, G. J. Russell and J. Verner. 1993. Times to extinction for small populations of large birds
  • Pimm, S.L. and J.L. Gittleman. 1992. Biodiversity: where is it? Science 255:940
  • Pimm, S.L. 1991. The Balance of Nature? Ecological Issues in the Conservation of Species and Communities. University of Chicago Press
  • Pimm, S.L., J.H. Lawton and J.E. Cohen. 1991. Food webs patterns and their consequences. Nature 350:669-674

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