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David Wilcove

  • Program in Science, Technology, and Environmental Policy (STEP)
  • Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs
Position: Professor
Title: Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology and Public Affairs, Woodrow Wilson School. Director, Program in Environmental Studies.
  • Conservation
  • Ecology
Field: Conservation; policy
Office: 446 Robertson Hall
Phone: 609-258-7118
David Wilcove


Members of my research group are tackling a range of topics in different places, but in all of our work we strive to use a combination of ecology, economics, and policy research to find workable solutions to challenging conservation issues. Recent or ongoing projects include studies of the impact of logging and oil-palm agriculture on biodiversity in Southeast Asia (focusing on birds, fish, and dung beetles); the conservation of migratory species; and how human adaptive responses to climate change are likely to affect biodiversity. New or upcoming projects include studies of the wild bird trade in Southeast Asia, the development of coastal wetlands in Asia, and how bird distributions and abundance are affected by land-use changes in the Himalayas and Amazonia. Prior to joining the Princeton faculty in 2001, I served as senior ecologist with the Environmental Defense Fund (1991-2001) and The Wilderness Society (1986-1991).

Recent Publications

1. Pattemore, D.I. and D.S. Wilcove. 2011. Invasive rats and recent colonist birds partially compensate for the loss of endemic New Zealand pollinators. Proceedings of the Royal Society B DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2011.2036.
2. Fisher, B., D.P. Edwards, T.H. Larsen, F.A. Ansell, W.W. Hsu, C.S. Roberts, and D.S. Wilcove. 2011. Cost-effective conservation: calculating biodiversity and logging tradeoffs in Southeast Asia. Conservation Letters 4: 443-450. DOI: 10.1111/j.1755-263x.20
3. Koh, L.P. and D.S. Wilcove. 2008. Is oil palm agriculture really destroying tropical biodiversity? Conservation Letters 1: 60-64.
4. Wilcove, D.S. 2008. No Way Home: The Decline of the World’s Great Animal Migrations. Island Press, Washington, DC.