Claire Kremen is a Professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy and Management at University of California, Berkeley, and an Associate Conservationist with the Wildlife Conservation Society. She is an ecologist and conservation biologist whose work focuses on understanding and characterizing the relationship between biodiversity and ecosystem services, and utilizing this information to develop conservation and sustainable management plans, considering both protected areas and the working lands matrix around them.
Claire’s current research focuses on exploring the ecological, social and economic benefits, costs and barriers to adoption of diversified farming systems, and on restoring pollination and pest control services in intensively farmed landscapes, using both predictive modeling and field studies. Her work reaches from theory to practice and includes hands-on conservation action such as, for example, the design and establishment of one of Madagascar’s largest national parks within an integrated conservation-development framework. She was awarded a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship in 2007 for her contributions to ecology, agriculture and biodiversity. She is a scientific advisor for several conservation organizations and sits on the Editorial Boards of Conservation Letters and the Quarterly Review of Biology.
In high school I wanted to solve the world hunger problem. A counselor urged me to train in basic sciences.. so I studied biology, but ended up far from my original goal, studying developmental evolution. But then an epiphany! It’s futile to unravel the miracles of evolution through science, when the fabric of life itself is unraveling. I abruptly changed course, to conserving biodiversity by establishing parks in Madagascar. However – we also need to live sustainably around those parks. 20 years later I am doing what I first set out to do – looking for a sustainable solution to world hunger.