Claire Kremen


Office: Biodiv 207

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    BSc (Hons) Biological Sciences, Stanford University (1982); PhD Department of Zoology, Duke University (1987); Conservation Scientist, Xerces Society 1989-1992); Madagascar Country Program Director, Wildlife Conservation Society (1992-1996); Sr. Research Associate, Stanford University (1996-2001); Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton

Claire Kremen is UBC’s President’s Excellence Chair in Biodiversity with a joint appointment in IRES and Zoology at University of British Columbia. She is an ecologist and applied conservation biologist working on how to reconcile agricultural land use with biodiversity conservation.

Current research questions in her lab address the important role of agricultural diversification for biodiversity and sustainability specifically by addressing how diversification can promote population connectivity, resource use, and persistence for wildlife species, and, by tracing the effects of diversification through ecological pathways all the way to socio-economic outcomes and consider how to surmount the numerous barriers to their adoption.

Before coming to UBC, she held faculty appointments first at Princeton University and then at University of California, Berkeley, where she was also founding Faculty Director for the Center for Diversified Farming Systems and the Berkeley Food Institute. Prior to those appointments, she worked for over a decade for the Wildlife Conservation Society and the Xerces Society, designing protected area networks and conducting biodiversity research in Madagascar, a biodiversity hotspot. Her work both then and now strives to develop practical conservation solutions while adding fundamentally to biodiversity science. She is a member of the Scientific Advisory Board of Conservation International, Field Chief Editor for Frontiers in Sustainable Food Systems, and, since 2014, has been noted as a highly-cited researcher (Thomson-Reuters’ “World’s Most Influential Minds”/Clarivate Analytics).   

How can we enhance working lands for more wild species?In order to understand how agricultural working lands can support wild species, we must first understand how wild species use, live or move across working landscapes. For example, what components of the landscape are animals using for food, nesting, or mating purposes? Or how do animals such as elephants, birds, frogs or bumblebees navigate across farmlands?  Do diversification practices provide more resources or help animals to move?  Answering these questions at both local scales and within a global context can enable us to better design our agricultural landscapes to support positive biodiversity outcomes.

How can we manage working lands more sustainably?
Kremen’s lab studies how agricultural diversification, and its converse, landscape simplification and chemical intensification, affect ecological communities of wild pollinators, pests and predators, and how these community characteristics in turn affect the ecosystem services of crop pollination and crop pest control. They assess how these services affect crop yields and profits, and seek to understand what social and economic factors affect farmer’s interest and ability to adopt diversification practices. Combining these elements, they aim to inform and improve upon the condition of agricultural working landscapes to protect the wild species also found there and support sustainable food production.

RES 509 Advanced Conservation Science
RES 510 Social Ecological Systems

The Volvo Environment Prize

For Research

Doctor of Sciences Honoris Causa

For Research

American Museum of Natural History

Honorable John C. Pritzlaff Conservation Award

For Research

Santa Barbara Botanic Garden


For Research

California Academy of Sciences

Hellman Fellow

For Research

University of California

MacArthur Fellowship

For Research

MacArthur Foundation

McDonnell 21st Century Award

For Research

James S. McDonnell Foundation

A Whole Earth Approach to Nature-Positive Food: Biodiversity and Agriculture
DeClerck, F.A.J. et al.
Against the odds: Network and institutional pathways enabling agricultural diversification
One Earth 1–13.
Blesh, J. et al.
Common pesticides disrupt critical ecological interactions
Trends in Ecology and Evolution 38(3), 207-210,
Sargent, R. D., J. Carrillo, C. Kremen
Exploring scenarios for the food system–zoonotic risk interface
The Lancet Planetary Health 7:4, e329-e335 -
Shepon A, T Wu, C Kremen, T Dayan, I Perfecto, J Fanzo, G Eshel, C D Golden
Land-Sparing and Sharing: Identifying Areas of Consensus, Remaining Debate and Alternatives
Reference Module in Life Sciences Elsevier,
Kremen C. and I. Geladi
Semi-natural habitats on organic strawberry farms and in surrounding landscapes promote bird biodiversity and pest control potential, Agriculture, Ecosystem
Agriculture, Ecosystems & Environment 347:108353,
Garcia K., E M. Olimpi, L M’Gonigle, D S. Karp, E E. Wilson-Rankin, C Kremen, D J. Gonthier