Announcement: Dean of the College of Natural Resources

June 12, 2018

Dear campus community,

We are pleased to announce the appointment of Professor David Ackerly as the next dean of UC Berkeley’s College of Natural Resources (CNR). David joined the faculty of the Department of Integrative Biology from Stanford in 2005, held the Virginia G. and Robert E. Gill Chair in Natural History from 2010 to 2015, and has most recently been serving as associate dean of the College of Letters and Science’s Biological Sciences Division since 2016. He will assume his new role as dean of CNR on July 1, 2018

A skilled communicator and collaborator, David is an advocate for the notion that we must cross traditional disciplines to better understand and address society’s greatest challenges. His vision for CNR is to strengthen the links among its departments, to collaborate more closely with other academic leaders, and to partner with the campus and other deans to pursue major philanthropic funding opportunities. A devoted mentor himself, David has also expressed a strong desire to focus on enhancing the graduate and undergraduate student experience at CNR.

Trained as a plant ecologist and evolutionary biologist, David has most recently been working on programs that bring together multidisciplinary teams to explore broad research areas including the effects of climate change on biodiversity, the integration of phylogenetics and ecology, and novel approaches to conservation biology. In the past decade, as a senior fellow at the Berkeley Institute for Data Science and member of the Berkeley Initiative in Global Change Biology steering committee, he has been increasingly involved in data-intensive projects.

David received his B.A. in Biology from Yale University in 1984 and his Ph.D. from Harvard University in 1993. He is a fellow of the California Academy of Sciences and the Ecological Society of America, as well as a recipient of the Berkeley Graduate Division's Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award.

David’s appointment comes at the end of a thorough search process, and we would like to extend our thanks to search committee chair Dean Jennifer Wolch, the entire search committee, and everyone in the College of Natural Resources community who provided feedback on the next dean. We also would like to extend our deepest thanks to Keith Gilless, CNR’s outgoing dean, who will be returning to his full-time faculty position after 11 years of outstanding service to the college and the campus.

Please join us in welcoming David to this position. We look forward to his contributions and leadership.


Carol T. Christ

A. Paul Alivisatos
Executive Vice Chancellor & Provost 


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