4 05 2015


I am the Executive Director of The Clifton Institute in Warrenton, Virginia. I have a long-standing interest in the ecology and conservation of forests and grasslands in the eastern United States. At the Clifton Institute I direct a program of research on grassland restoration, declining native species, and the effects of urbanization and climate change on biodiversity. I am also a passionate land manager and I work with my team to restore native plant and animal communities on the Clifton Institute’s 900-acre property As an environmental educator I try to get people excited about the lesser known and underappreciated species around us. I also strive to instill an appreciation for the intrinsic value of plants and for their importance for maintaining animal populations.

In addition to my work in the temperate zone, I have a background in research on the effects of the wildlife trade, climate change, and habitat loss on tropical birds, especially in Indonesia, Malaysia, and Ecuador. I believe that strict protected areas are critically important for stopping extinctions around the world. I remain engaged with tropical conservation in my role as a board member for the Jocotoco Foundation.


January 2018-present: Executive Director, The Clifton Institute

Fall 2018-present: Adjunct faculty at American University and George Mason University

August 2015-December 2017: Director of Biodiversity Conservation, Rainforest Trust

July 2012-July 2015: Postdoctoral research fellow, Princeton University (Supervisor: David Wilcove).


Ph.D., University of Adelaide, Australia (2012). Thesis: Measuring and predicting the effects of climate change on Southeast Asian and Australian birds. Supervisors: Barry Brook, Damien Fordham, and the late Navjot Sodhi

B.S., Sewanee: The University of the South, USA (2006). Honors thesis: Land cover sampling biases in the North American Breeding Bird Survey. Supervisor: David Haskell



4 responses

4 05 2015

Media coverage of this paper
Richard Conniff on Takepart.com

5 05 2015
11 05 2015

And an article on CNBC: http://www.cnbc.com/id/102653895

25 05 2015

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