Photo by Bert Lippel
Michael L. Rosenzweig
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
University of Pennsylvania, 1966
ECOLOGIST for more than forty
Rosenzweig remembers having to explain his calling to his puzzled family.
Most of them thought ecology was a branch of internal medicine!
Despite their acute disappointment, Rosenzweig persevered and participated
in some of the most basic ecological research of the twentieth century.
He has worked with mathematical theories of predation dynamics, foraging
choice and species diversity. He opened the era of modern ecological research
on desert animals, and continues this work to this very day. And he discovered
the way the number of species at the grand scale depends on the amount
of area. The latter discovery supplies the scientific basis for reconciliation
While writing the influential graduate textbook, Species Diversity
in Space and Time (Cambridge University Press, 1995), Rosenzweig became
aware of the long-term futility of our current set-aside strategy to save
species. His horror led to the discovery of reconciliation ecology and
Rosenzweig is married to the former Carole Ruth Citron (his wife of over
40 years). They have three children, all married to (or at least seriously
involved with) lovely partners. They also have almost their fair
share of beautiful and brilliant grandchildren.
Known as an innovator, Rosenzweig founded the Department of Ecology &
Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona in 1975, and was its
first head. In 1987 he founded the scientific journal Evolutionary
Ecology. In 1998, when prices for journals began to rise so high that many
university libraries could no longer afford their subscriptions, he organized
his board of editors and founded a competitor, Evolutionary Ecology
Research. EER, of which he is publisher and editor-in-chief,
reaches millions of scientists and their students world-wide.