Rafe Sagarin is a marine ecologist and environmental policy analyst at the University of Arizona. He uses natural history observations and historical data sets from writers, naturalists, artists, and even gamblers to reassemble historical patterns of ecosystem change, including changes to the Gulf of California since the 1940 expedition of John Steinbeck and Ed “Doc” Ricketts. Using an approach inspired by the ecological philosophy of Ricketts, Rafe applies basic observations of nature to issues of broad societal interest, including conservation biology, protecting public-trust resources, and making our responses to terrorism and other security threats more adaptable.
Rafe is a recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship and was a Geological Society of America Congressional Science Fellow in the office of U.S. Representative (and later U.S. Secretary of Labor) Hilda Solis. He has taught ecology and environmental policy at the University of Arizona, Duke University, California State University – Monterey Bay, Stanford University, and the University of California – Los Angeles. His research has appeared in Science, Nature, Conservation Biology, Ecological Monographs, Trends in Ecology and Evolution, Foreign Policy, Homeland Security Affairs, and other leading journals, magazines, and newspapers. With Terence Taylor, he is the editor of the volume Natural Security: A Darwinian Approach to a Dangerous World (University of California Press, 2008) and the author of Learning from the Octopus: How Secrets from Nature Can Help Us Fight Terrorist Attacks, Natural Disasters, and Disease (Basic Books, 2012).
Aníbal Pauchard was born in Santiago, Chile, in 1974. He has a bachelor’s degree in forestry from the University of Concepción (1998) and a PhD from the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana (2002). Since 2003 he has worked at the Faculty of Forest Sciences at the University of Concepción, where he is currently associate professor and director of the Laboratorio de Invasiones Biológicas (LIB). He is also adjunct researcher at the Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity (IEB, Chile). He is currently adjunct professor at both the University of Montana and North Carolina State University. Since 2010, he has been the head of the undergraduate program of Natural Resource Conservation at the University of Concepción.
His research is focused mainly on the ecology and biogeography of biological invasions and their impacts on biodiversity and ecosystem functions. He has been studying alien-plant invasions in natural and seminatural areas across elevational gradients using multi-scale approaches. Along with researchers from several countries, he co-founded the Mountain Invasion Research Network (MIREN) to search for the causes and impacts of invasion processes in mountain environments.
Additionally, he has been looking at larger intercontinental scales, specifically comparing plant invasions between California and Chile (two regions with similar climates), and now between Chile and New Zealand. Aníbal is also becoming increasingly interested in broader issues in ecology and the management of natural resources such as ecology education, conservation psychology, and differences between developed and developing countries in how they deal with conservation problems.