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Affiliation: 
Brown University
Title: 
Director
Department: 
Center for Environmental Studies, Environmental Change Inititative
Expertise: 
ecosystems of Patagonia; global change; primary production; ecosystem-water dynamics; biodiversity and ecosystem functioning

Biography

Osvaldo Sala is the Sloan Lindemann Professor of Biology at Brown University. As president of the Scientific Committee on Problems of the Environment and a coordinating lead author of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, Sala is an international leader in ecological science and global environmental policy. Sala has explored several topics throughout his career from water controls on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in arid and semi-arid ecosystems to the consequences of changes in biodiversity on the functioning of ecosystems, including the development of biodiversity scenarios for the next 50 years. He is particularly interested in working with scenarios as a way of simplifying, understanding, and communicating the complex relationships that emerge from the study of social-ecological systems. His research employs direct observations, manipulative field experiments, and simulation modeling. Field sites include the Patagonian steppe, annual grasslands of California, steppes of Colorado and the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. His research on arid ecosystems has taken him to the Patagonian steppe, annual grasslands of California, steppes of Colorado, the deserts of Southern Africa, and the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. Sala has served as editor of Global Change Biology and the president of the Argentinean Society of Ecology. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Argentinean National Academy of Sciences, and the Argentinean National Academy of Physical and Natural Sciences.