"The natural world in which we live is nothing short of entrancing – wondrous really. Personally, I take great joy in sharing a world with the shimmering variety of life on Earth."
– Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy (1941-2021)
Welcome From Director Rachel E. Gallery
Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy was a visionary, influential scientific leader in conservation biology and a passionate proponent for solutions to address the challenges of climate change and biodiversity loss, especially in the Amazon. To uphold and build upon his legacy, the Lovejoy Center will advance biodiversity research and conservation efforts for science-based policy and decision-making, and educate, mentor, and invest in the next generation of conservation scientists and leaders.
Tom brought people together and worked tirelessly to build connections to advance conservation efforts and constructively influence government policies and practices. Guided by his vision, we will build avenues for research translation in biodiversity conservation, natural resource management and policy, and environmental justice and work to grow a broader understanding of, and value for, the Earth’s biosphere.
This work will be buoyed by Tom’s enduring belief that despite our current challenges, “optimism is the only option.”
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About Thomas E. Lovejoy
Dr. Thomas E. Lovejoy (1941-2021) is one of the most globally renowned ecologists of modern times, recognized by countless U.S. and international organizations for his life’s work. His scholarship in biodiversity, tropical forests, and climate change focused on how human activity causes habitat fragmentation, pushing biological diversity towards crisis. Dr. Lovejoy conceived the idea of the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments (formerly the Minimum Critical Size of Ecosystems) project and is credited with introducing the term “biological diversity” (biodiversity) to the scientific community in 1980 along with Edward O. Wilson. He devoted much of his career to working in the Amazon, the world’s largest rainforest. For more than 40 years he conducted research, and brought visitors to Camp 41, part of the Amazon Biodiversity Center he founded near Manaus, Brazil in 1979.
In recognition of the value of his work, Dr. Lovejoy was an elected member of the U.S. National Academies of Sciences, and Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). In 1998, Brazil awarded him the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit. In 2001, he was awarded the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. He received over 50 Honors, including the Commandeur dans l’Ordre des Palmes Académiques by the Government of France (2014) and the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Global Council for Science and the Environment in 2017. In 2022, the National Geographic Society posthumously awarded Dr. Lovejoy the Hubbard Medal, the nonprofit’s highest honor.
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