The H. John Heinz III Center for Science,
Economics and the Environment
Thomas E. Lovejoy, conservation biologist, made the fate of tropical forests a public issue. In 1980 he coined the term "biological diversity" and drew up the first projections of global extinction rates for the Global 2000 Report to the President. He conceived the Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project, which defines the minimum size for national parks and biological reserves. Swapping international debt for conservation projects was his idea, one that has opened up over a billion dollars in conservation funds.
Dr. Lovejoy spent years at the World Wildlife Fund US before moving to the Smithsonian Institution, where he has served in many roles since 1987. He has sat on various White House councils, for six years as co-chair of the Committee on Environment and Natural Resources. At Interior, he helped coordinate the new National Biological Survey agency. He has been advisor to the United Nations Environment Program, the World Bank, and the U.N. Foundation.
He was president of both the American Institute of Biological Sciences and the Society for Conservation Biology, and chair of the United States Man and Biosphere Program. He serves on many scientific and conservation boards and advisory groups and is chair of the Yale Institute for Biospheric Studies. Author of numerous articles and books, he founded the public television series Nature.
Dr. Lovejoy is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society, the Linnaean Society of London, and the American Ornithologists' Union. Brazil awarded him both the Order of Rio Branco and the Grand Cross of the Order of Scientific Merit. He received the 2001 Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement and the 2002 Lindbergh Award.
He holds a B.S. and Ph.D. (biology) from Yale University.