Nicknamed the “real-life Lorax” by National Geographic and “Einstein of the treetops” by Wall Street Journal, Meg Lowman pioneered the science of canopy ecology. For over 30 years, she has designed hot-air balloons and walkways for treetop exploration to solve mysteries in the world’s forests, especially insect pests and ecosystem health. Meg is affectionately called the mother of canopy research as one of the first scientists to explore this eighth continent. She relentlessly works to map the canopy for biodiversity and to champion forest conservation around the world.
Search for Academy curators, collections managers, and research staff working to answer some of the world's most pressing scientific questions.
My research interests and experience are centered on the evolution, phylogeography (or the geographic distribution of genetic lineages), conservation, biogeography, systematics and community and behavioral ecology of coral reef fishes. I frequently try to combine these fields, invoking ecology to help explain evolutionary patterns and using molecular tools to test biogeographic and systematic hypotheses.
My research focuses on the capacity of benthic marine organisms to cope with changing environmental conditions. Specifically, I have devoted the last ten years to understanding how coral reef organisms are impacted by changing seawater chemistry (ocean acidification), alone and in combination with warming.
Using flowering plants to address questions about plant biodiversity, biogeography, and evolution, I am interested in why some families of flowering plants are so species-rich and the factors that have promoted this diversification. Can certain families of plants be used as indicators of biodiversity hotspots and can this information be useful in conservation decisions? I am also studying species in a megadiverse family of plants like Princess Flowers (Melastomataceae) to determine how they are related to one another and where they fit into the tree of life for flowering plants.
Dr. Bennett is the Chief of Science and Harry and Diana Hind Dean of Research and Collections. She was the Academy's first ever Associate Curator of Microbiology, helping broaden the Academy’s research scope to include a dedicated focus on viruses and bacteria. Her specialty lies in infectious diseases that can be transmitted from animals to humans.
I am a zoologist by training, but since 1990 I have been working full-time in biodiversity informatics – the application of information technologies to biodiversity science. Academy scientists generate enormous amounts of information as they collect, describe, document, and compare organisms. That information comes in a variety of forms, including text, photographs, DNA sequences, taxonomic names, classifications, distributions maps, and ultimately publications.