David Cameron Duffy (born September 1, 1953) is an American professor of botany and zoology at the University of Hawai'i and Director of the Hawaiian Pacific Island Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit.
After graduating from Princeton, Duffy became a resident scientist in the Galápagos Islands, but was asked to take on the job of interim director of the Charles Darwin Research Station when it faced closing because of a budget deficit and conflict with Ecuadorian authorities. He found funding and restored relations with the Ecuadorians, while finding time to do some research.
Duffy next moved to the University of Cape Town where he ran the seabird component of the Benguela Ecology Project, again producing research on seabirds and their interactions with fisheries. Concurrently, he and his colleagues began research in the Chilean sector of the Humboldt Current. Duffy began simple models of upwelling trophic relations that were to predate many non-linear models for marine ecosystems.
In 1986, Duffy and his family moved to Costa Rica where he created the Centro de Documentacion en Vida Silvestre (Biodoc) in Heredia, Costa Rica as part of a United States Fish and Wildlife Service sponsored wildlife management graduate program in which Duffy was one of the first professors.
Two years later, he moved to the University of Georgia where he became the executive officer in charge of the International Congress of Ecology, under the direction of Frank Golley. At the same time he began his research on the biodiversity of eastern old growth forests and their recovery from clear cutting, which generated controversy among United States Forest Service scientists.
Duffy then moved to Long Island where he was briefly head of the Seatuck Foundation before becoming principal investigator on a cooperative project on Lyme disease with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Shelter Island. His work focused on the landscape ecology of Lyme disease and the role of deer and seabirds in the transmission of the disease.
Afterward, Duffy moved to Alaska where he led the Alaska Heritage Program at the University of Alaska Anchorage. His main research there focused on the biodiversity of the Alaskan landscape in relation to protected areas, but he also led the five-year multi-million dollar APEX (Alaska Predator Ecological Experiment) which monitored the recovery of seabirds following the Exxon Valdez oil spill.
He then moved to his current position where he is responsible for supervising approximately 950 grants and cooperative projects with state, federal, and private agencies (totaling $97 million as of April 2007) focusing on natural and cultural management in Hawaiian and Pacific natural areas..
Research and publications
Duffy is the author of over 100 scientific publications and the founding editor of the journal Waterbirds. Additionally, he was editor of Colonial Waterbirds from 1997-2000. His research has involved how species, ecosystems, and landscapes recover from perturbations, both man-made and natural.