Woodruff, David

Woodruff, David
Duke University

David Woodruff is a senior research scientist at the Nichols School of the Environment, Duke University. He is a professor of biology emeritus and former director of the Sustainability Solutions Institute (SSI), at the University of California-San Diego.

Education: Melbourne (PhD, DSc); Harvard (Knox Fellow, Agassiz Lecturer on Biogeography). Founding chair of the Ecology and Evolution Department and former faculty director of international education at UCSD.

A Fellow of AAAS and the Linnean Society of London, he serves on several editorial boards and was a trustee of the San Diego Zoo. His research focus is on animal species and their conservation and he pioneered the use of non-invasive methods for studying DNA of endangered species like chimpanzees and elephants.

His interests in CHANS-Net stems from his teaching of a capstone course on conservation and the human predicament for graduating seniors from all backgrounds since 1990. This interdisciplinary course was based on the recognition that conservation biologist’s technical efforts were futile unless they also addressed the needs of local people.

His CHANS-type research has involved assessing the effects of hydropower dams on the Greater Mekong ecosystem and the effects of sea level rise on people and wildlife in Southeast Asia. SSI projects included contributing to the ecological management of the Venice lagoon and providing the secretariat of the Association of Pacific Rim Universities’ Sustainability and Climate Change Program and helping develop its linkage with the Kyoto Science and Technology for Society (STS) forum, a global gathering of academic, business and policy leaders.

Selected recent papers

Gibson, L., Lynam, A.J., Bradshaw, C.J.A., He, F.L., Bickford, D.P., Woodruff, D.S., Bumrungsri, S., Laurance, W.F. (2013). Near-complete extinction of native small mammal fauna 25 years after forest fragmentation. Science, 341: 1508–1510.

Woodruff, D.S. (2013). Sustaining biodiversity during the transformation: The challenges of falling rivers and rising seas and disappearing habitats in Asia. Invited paper presented in Session D2: Biodiversity at the 10th Annual Meeting of the Science and Technology in Society (STS) forum, Kyoto, October 7, 2013.

Woodruff, D.S. and J. Falk (2012). International Workshop on Coastal Cities, Climate Change and Sea Level Rise. Report to the APRU Presidents. Association of Pacific Rim Universities (APRU), Sustainability and Climate Change Program. University of California San Diego, September 5–7, 2012. 20 pp.

Woodruff, D.S. (2012). A tale of two planets: biodiversity and environmental sustainability before and after Rio+20. (Invited editorial for Special Anniversary Issue) Journal of Environment and Development,

Woodruff, D.S. (2008). International impacts of damming the Mekong River. In: Global Perspectives on Large Dams. Evaluating the State of Large Dam Construction and Decommissioning across the World. DiFrancesco, K. and K. Woodruff, eds. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Report no. 13: 85–89. Yale University, New Haven.

Woodruff, D.S. (2001). Declines of biomes and biotas and the future of evolution. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, 98:5471–5476.