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New Mexico State University
Associate Professor
Department of Biology
plant ecology, population & comm. ecology


Dr. Laura Huenneke is Vice President for Research at Northern Arizona University. She came to the university as Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences and Professor of Biological Sciences in 2003, and then served three years as Dean of Engineering & Natural Sciences before becoming Vice President. Previously she spent 16 years on the faculty at New Mexico State University in Las Cruces, where she became Regents' Professor and served five years as department chair in Biology. Laura earned her Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. Her research interests pertain to the influence of biological diversity on ecosystem structure and function. She is also committed to the effective communication of scientific and ecological understanding to the public, to K-12 educators and students, and to policy-makers. In 1999 she was selected as one of the initial cohort of Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellows, a program promoting the development of communication and leadership skills among environmental scientists. Laura has served on the boards of the Las Cruces Natural History Museum, the Chihuahuan Desert Nature Park, the Arboretum at Flagstaff, and the University of Arizona's Biosphere II. She has served on several editorial boards for ecological research journals and on NSF and other review panels, and has been elected twice to the governing board of the Ecological Society of America (most recently as Vice President for Public Affairs). She is also a member of the Steering Committee for the Arizona Bioscience Roadmap and of the Northern Arizona Economic Development Advisory Council.