What changes have occurred in wild animals and plants in the past century with ~0.9 degrees Celsius of warming around the globe?  What might the future ecological consequences be for wild species as the globe continues to warm rapidly?  These are the types of questions investigated by Terry L. Root, who is a Senior Fellow/University Faculty Emerita at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, Professor Emerita by courtesy in Biology at Stanford University, and a Fellow at the California Academy of Science.

Research into just such questions resulted in President George H. Bush honoring her in 1990 with the prestigious Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation. In 1992 she was selected as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment, an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow in 1999, and co-awardee with Stephen H. Schneider in 2002 of the Conservation Achievement Award from National Wildlife Federation, and in 2006 of the Banksia International Award from the Australian Banksia Environmental Foundation. Root was a lead author of the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel for Climate Change that in 2007 was co-awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Vice President Al Gore.  In addition she was a lead author for the Third Assessment Report (2001) and a Review Editor for the Fifth Assessment Report (2014).  In 2010 she was awarded the Spirit of Defenders Award from Defenders of Wildlife.  These awards help validate how Dr. Root's research is helping us to understand complex real-world problems, and her outreach to decision makers and the general public.

Dr. Root earned her Bachelors’ degree in Mathematics and Statistics at the University of New Mexico in 1975, after which she worked as a scientific programmer on NASA’s Voyager Project.  Returning to school, she obtained her Master’s degree in Biology at the University of Colorado in 1982 and her Ph.D. in Biology from Princeton University in 1987. She was on the faculty at The University of Michigan in the School of Natural Resources and Environment from 1987 to 2001, and at Stanford’s Woods Institute for the Environment from 2001 to 2015.



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