Capstone Speaker – Rodolfo Dirzo

Dr. Rodolfo Dirzo is a professor, conservationist, and tropical ecologist. He is a Bing Professor in environmental science at Stanford and a senior fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment. His scientific work centers on the study of the ecological and evolutionary relationships between plants and animals and on the impact of human activities on natural ecosystems. He is particularly interested in how ecological and evolutionary patterns of biotic interactions —including herbivory, pollination, dispersal, plant-fungus relationships, and predation  —are affected by anthropogenically driven environmental changes. Most of his work is carried out in tropical ecosystems in Mexico, Costa Rica, Brazil, the Central Pacific and, most recently, Kenya. He is deeply committed to community engagement and to education of underserved groups and has established a number of programs devoted to mentoring of middle and high school students and their teachers. He was also part of a team commissioned by the U.S. National Academies to create a national framework for K-12 science education.