She graduated from Stanford University with a B.S. in Biology in 1982, and from Duke University with a PhD in Zoology in 1987. She studies the impacts of deforestation in Madagascar, on species distributions with a Web-based biodiversity database.
- 2007 MacArthur Fellows Program 
- 2007 Hellman Fellowship, American Academy of Arts & Sciences
- 2007 Chancellor's Partnership Fellowship, University of California, Berkeley