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David Tilman

David Tilman

Distinguished Professor

Ecology, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning

Bren Hall 4414



PhD, Ecology, University of Michigan
BS, Zoology, University of Michigan


David Tilman has a dual appointment at the Bren School and the University of Minnesota, where he is Regents' Professor and McKnight Presidential Chair in Ecology and Director of the university’s Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve. His research focuses on the causes, consequences, and conservation of Earth’s biodiversity, and on how managed and natural ecosystems can sustainably meet human needs for food, energy, and ecosystem services. His current research explores ways to use biodiversity as a tool for biofuel production and climate stabilization through carbon sequestration. His work on sustainable agriculture and renewable energy has critically examined the full environmental, energetic, and economic costs and benefits of grain crops, of current food-based biofuels, and of biofuels made from diverse mixtures of prairie grasses and other native plants growing on already-degraded lands. He has also dedicated much of his career to communicating with the public, politicians, and the managers of Earth’s ecosystems in policy contexts.

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