Peter Reich

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Reich conducts global change research on plants, soils, ecosystems and people across a range of scales. His work links fundamental physiology with community dynamics and ecosystem structure and function, from the patch to the globe, within the context of the myriad of global environmental challenges that face us. This includes studying the effects on natural and human ecosystems of rising CO2 and associated climate change, biodiversity loss, and wildfire. This research involves a variety of tools and approaches (long-term experiments, observations, global data compilations, statistical and simulation models), a diverse set of ecosystems (boreal forest, temperate grassland, and more), and a range of scales (local, regional, global). The overarching goal is to understand what we humans are doing to nature in order to help orchestrate a shift towards a nature-forward prioritization that will in turn support and sustain human society.

I studied physics and creative writing and became interested in the fate of our environment; over time I began using tools from each focal area to advance ecological science in a changing world