Carpenter, Stephen

Carpenter, Stephen
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Stephen Russell (Steve) Carpenter is an ecosystem ecologist known for his leadership of large-scale experiments and adaptive ecosystem management. His work has addressed trophic cascades and their effects on production and nutrient cycling, contaminant cycles, freshwater fisheries, eutrophication, nonpoint pollution, ecological economics of freshwater, and resilience of social-ecological systems.

Carpenter serves as the director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is the Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor of Zoology. He is co-editor in chief of Ecosystems, and a member of governing boards for the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics, Resilience Alliance, and South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies.

Carpenter is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

He has received many awards for distinguished research. Among these are a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment, the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Robert H. MacArthur Award from the Ecological Society of America, the Excellence in Ecology Prize for Limnetic Ecology, the Naumann-Thienemann medal of the International Society for Limnology, many honors from the U.W., Madison campus, and election to the Ralf Yorque Society. The Institute for Scientific Information has recognized him as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers in Environmental Science.

Carpenter is a former president of the Ecological Society of America. From 2000-2005 he served as co-chair of the Scenarios Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He led the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research program at U.W.-Madison from 1999-2009. Carpenter has published five books and about 300 scientific papers, book chapters, reviewed reports and commentaries.

He received a B.A. from Amherst College (1974), M.S. from University of Wisconsin, Madison (1976), and Ph.D. from U.W., Madison (1979). From 1979-1989 he served as assistant and then associate professor at the University of Notre Dame. He joined the U.W., Madison faculty in 1989.

Research Interests: 
limnology, interaction of biogeochemistry and food web processes in lakes, prediction of lake characteristics from land-water interactions and food web processes