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Living in the Anthropocene: Science, Sustainability and Society
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Dr. Joshua Tewksbury is an ecologist, conservation biologist, and planetary health scientist with experience both in academia and in civil society. In addition to his appointment at Future Earth, Tewksbury is also a research professor at the University of Colorado, Boulder, and a senior scholar in the School of Global Environmental Sustainability at Colorado State University. During his visit, Tewksbury met with students in the Interfaces of Global Change Interdisciplinary Graduate Education Program. "Dr. Tewksbury is leading the charge to advance conservation and sustainability initiatives on a global scale," said William A. Hopkins, director of the Global Change Center. As director of the U.S. office of Future Earth, he is working with a broad international coalition of groups like the United Nations to pursue what has been called "possibly the largest, most ambitious international research program ever undertaken. As Virginia Tech is poised to advance its collective strengths in the environmental sciences, we are thrilled to have such an outstanding leader visit Blacksburg to engage in a community-wide discussion about critical issues facing our planet." Tewksbury was previously the Walker Professor of Natural History at the University of Washington, with appointments both in the department of biology and the College of the Environment, where his work focused on major global change issues, including the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, the potential of landscape connectivity to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and the impacts of species loss on ecosystem function. In addition to more than a decade of academic work, Tewksbury also served as the founding director of the Luc Hoffmann Institute at WWF, a global research center based in Switzerland focused on the co-creation of multi-disciplinary research. As director, Tewksbury launched over a dozen research projects, including work on the Food-Energy-Water nexus in South-East Asia, development corridors in East Africa, global mapping of threats to biodiversity, and the development of regionally-appropriate low-carbon sustainability targets for urban areas. Tewksbury's current research interests include studies of direct and indirect effects of climate change on food security at large spatial scales, the potential of large-scale restoration to serve multiple human and biodiversity goals, and the contribution of science to large scale planetary health issues.