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Meet Taylor Ricketts

Dr. Taylor Ricketts has spent 20 years studying ecology and economics of ecosystem services. He has looked at how they are produced by ecological systems and their functions, how benefits from these services flow to people and the worth of those benefits. Dr. Rickett’s career has spanned from the explosive growth of ecosystem services as a scientific and policy topic starting with his involvement as a postdoc in the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment.

Dr. Ricketts has also spent his career working to bring scientific discoveries into the world of policy and decision-making. For 9 years, he directed WWF’s Conservation Science Program, a group of 30 interdisciplinary scientists on a mission to push the boundaries of sustainability science and inform conservation action worldwide. Currently, Dr. Ricketts directs the Gund Institute for Environment at UVM, an even more widely interdisciplinary center focused on understanding and solving the world’s most pressing environmental challenges. He also co-founded the Natural Capital Project, shed light on the pollination services provided to crops by bees and other pollinators, and helped lead additional syntheses for the National Academies and IPBES.

This year, Dr. Ricketts was named an ESA Fellow. He has been a member since 2000 and has been a part of the Mid-Atlantic Chapter. When asked what his favorite part about being an ESA member is, he said, “ESA inspires me,” and continued on to say, “It’s the largest collection of ecologists in the world, pursuing an immense array of important questions that can help us understand our planet and manage it well. What’s cooler than that?”. Dr. Ricketts also noted the benefits of ESA’s meetings and journals, “At ESA meetings and in ESA journals, I can keep up on rigorous experimental and theoretical work about how our biosphere functions and how our world is put together. And I can see people putting that knowledge to work and delivering real value to society. Again, inspiring.”