Peter Reich named director of Institute for Global Change Biology


Peter Reich, a renowned expert in forest ecology, has been named director of the Institute for Global Change Biology at the School for Environment and Sustainability.

Reich, who has conducted global change research on plants, soils and ecosystems, comes from the University of Minnesota, where he is a Regents Professor, Distinguished McKnight University Professor, and the F.B. Hubacheck Sr. Chair in Forest Ecology and Tree Physiology.

Photo of Peter Reich
Peter Reich

Reich previously was the chief scientist at the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment at Western Sydney University in Australia from 2011-21.

He is a member of the National Academy of Sciences in the United States, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a fellow of the Ecological Society of America, and a recipient of the BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in Ecology and Conservation Biology.

The IGCB’s primary research goal is to develop a comprehensive, holistic understanding of the interactive effects of global change on organisms, ecological systems and coupled biosphere-atmosphere and natural-human systems.

Drivers of global change include climate change, biodiversity loss, pollution, novel pathogens, pests, land use and more. They impact forests, croplands, lakes and rivers, oceans, coastlines and cities.

U-M’s Biosciences Initiative established the Institute for Global Change Biology in 2018 as a Scientific Research Initiative. SRIs are the Biosciences Initiative’s major investments designed to advance major new directions in transdisciplinary discovery in the biosciences. President Mark Schlissel launched the Biosciences Initiative to create globally leading biosciences research programs focused on solving critical problems.

The IGCB is recruiting faculty and postdoctoral fellows who work within the field of global change biology. Foundational science and work relevant to policy, management and economics will be encouraged. This includes work in aquatic, coastal and oceanic ecosystems, food systems, terrestrial ecosystems, urban ecosystems, biosphere-atmosphere interactions, public health and others.

The center also is seeking U-M researchers and their national and international colleagues to submit proposals for interdisciplinary working groups that will collaborate to promote understanding largely through analysis of existing data and information. The IGCB seeks projects that will assess important ecological, earth system science, public health, and sustainability science ideas and theories.


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