Nancy Grimm

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Nancy Grimm
Alma materPh.D. Arizona State University

M.S. Arizona State University

B.A. Hampshire College
Known forstream ecology, urban ecology, biogeochemistry, sustainability
AwardsFellow, American Geophysical Union

Fellow, Ecological Society of America Fellow, AAAS

Member, National Academy of Sciences

Nancy Grimm is an American ecosystem ecologist and professor at Arizona State University. Grimm's substantial contributions to the understanding urban and arid ecosystem biogeochemistry are recognized in her numerous awards. Grimm is an elected Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, Ecological Society of America, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science.

Early life and education[edit]

Grimm had no interest in pursuing a career or major in STEM, but rather something to do with foreign language. However, after her first class in ecology at Hampshire College she decided that she wanted to be an ecologist and never looked back.[1] Nancy received her Bachelor's degree in 1978 from Hampshire College in Massachusetts.[2] Grimm earned her M.S. in 1980 and Ph.D. in 1985 from Arizona State University.[2] Grimm acknowledges key mentors throughout her life: Stan Gregory for inspiration as an undergraduate student at Hampshire College, Steve Carpenter for providing access to new opportunities, and Jim Collins for his advice once she got to Arizona State.[1]

Research and career[edit]

Grimm has been a professor for the School of Life Sciences and a Senior Sustainability scientist at Arizona State University since 1990.[3] She was the director of the Central Arizona-Phoenix Long-Term Ecological Research Program for nearly two decades (1997-2016), which focuses on studying the social-ecological system of the metropolitan area of Phoenix. Currently, she directs a sustainability research network that looks into how urban areas respond to extreme weather events.[3] Grimm and her research group primarily focus on urban and stream ecosystems, examining the effects of climate variation and change on ecosystem function. The success of Grimm's research program is evident in the more than $25 million in research funds she has secured from the National Science Foundation. This funding has allowed Grimm to carry out research that has enhanced the understanding of how ecosystems function in light of disturbance - whether that is the chronic disturbance of urbanization or how the variability of flow in a semi-arid streams and how these shifts affect the cycling of critical elements (e.g. nitrogen, carbon, and phosphorus).

Grimm is the former president of the Ecological Society of America (2005-2006) and the North American Benthological Society (1999-2000, now Society for Freshwater Science).[3] In addition to her position at Arizona State, Grimm has worked as a program director for the National Science Foundation and has worked with the U.S. Global Change Research Program as a senior scientist.[3] Grimm worked alongside 300 other scientific experts to write the National Climate Assessment in 2014.[4] The National Climate Assessment is a publication which is referred to by the public, federal agencies, and the National Academy of Sciences to learn about the changes that have already occurred as a result of climate change as well as what is expected as a result of climate change in the future.[4]

Grimm worked as the director of Arizona State University's Undergraduate Mentorship in Environmental Biology program between 1993 and 1998 in an effort to increase the number of students in underrepresented groups interested in ecology.[5] During her time at Arizona State University, she has been the mentor of 42 graduate scholars, 29 post-doctoral scholars, and 41 undergraduate research scholars.[5]

Awards and recognition[edit]

Nancy received the Arizona State University Faculty Achievement Award for her research in 2010. She received this award because of her research about urban ecology and studies which focus on the clash between human interaction and the environmental response.


Nancy Grimm has published over 110 peer reviewed publications and has been cited thousands of times. Below is a list of her top ten most cited articles (as of Fall 2018).[14]

  1. Global change and the ecology of cities[15]
  2. Global climate change impacts in the United States[16]
  3. Biogeochemical hot spots and hot moments at the interface of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems[17]
  4. Integrated Approaches to Long-Term Studies of Urban Ecological Systems: Urban ecological systems present multiple challenges to ecologists—pervasive human impact and extreme heterogeneity of cities, and the need to integrate social and ecological approaches, concepts, and theory[18]
  5. Stream denitrification across biomes and its response to anthropogenic nitrate loading[19]
  6. Temporal succession in a desert stream ecosystem following flash flooding[20]
  7. Towards an ecological understanding of biological nitrogen fixation[21]
  8. Socioeconomics drive urban plant diversity[22]
  9. A distinct urban biogeochemistry?[23]
  10. A new urban ecology: modeling human communities as integral parts of ecosystems poses special problems for the development and testing of ecological theory[24]


  1. ^ a b "Nancy Grimm". The Ecological Society of America's History and Records. 2016-07-06. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  2. ^ a b "Nancy Grimm – Grimm Lab". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  3. ^ a b c d "Nancy Grimm - Person - Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability". Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  4. ^ a b "National Climate Assessment". National Climate Assessment. Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  5. ^ a b "Grimm Lab - Overview". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  6. ^ "Renowned watershed ecologist Grimm to deliver Minshall series lectures Oct. 3-4". Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  7. ^ "Elected Fellows". American Association for the Advancement of Science. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  8. ^ "ESA Fellows | Ecological Society of America". Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  9. ^ "Eminent Ecologists Seminar - W.K. Kellogg Biological Station". W.K. Kellogg Biological Station. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  10. ^ "Distinguished Scientist Seminar Series". Semester in Environmental Science. 2012-12-17. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  11. ^ "Ecologist Nancy Grimm to deliver 2015 Odum Lecture at UGA - UGA Today". UGA Today. 2015-04-09. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  12. ^ "American Geophysical Union Announces 2017 Fellows - AGU Newsroom". AGU Newsroom. Retrieved 2018-11-17.
  13. ^ "2019 NAS Election". Retrieved 2019-04-30.
  14. ^ "Nancy B. Grimm - Google Scholar Citations". Retrieved 2018-11-14.
  15. ^ Grimm, Nancy B.; Faeth, Stanley H.; Golubiewski, Nancy E.; Redman, Charles L.; Wu, Jianguo; Bai, Xuemei; Briggs, John M. (2008-02-08). "Global Change and the Ecology of Cities". Science. 319 (5864): 756–760. doi:10.1126/science.1150195. ISSN 0036-8075. PMID 18258902.
  16. ^ Program, U. S. Global Change Research (2009-08-24). Global Climate Change Impacts in the United States. Cambridge University Press. ISBN 9780521144070.
  17. ^ McClain, Michael E.; Boyer, Elizabeth W.; Dent, C. Lisa; Gergel, Sarah E.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M.; Hart, Stephen C.; Harvey, Judson W.; Johnston, Carol A. (June 2003). "Biogeochemical Hot Spots and Hot Moments at the Interface of Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystems". Ecosystems. 6 (4): 301–312. doi:10.1007/s10021-003-0161-9. ISSN 1432-9840.
  18. ^ GRIMM, NANCY B.; MORGAN GROVE, J.; PICKETT, STEWARD T. A.; REDMAN, CHARLES L. (2000). "Integrated Approaches to Long-TermStudies of Urban Ecological Systems". BioScience. 50 (7): 571. doi:10.1641/0006-3568(2000)050[0571:IATLTO]2.0.CO;2. ISSN 0006-3568.
  19. ^ Mulholland, Patrick J.; Helton, Ashley M.; Poole, Geoffrey C.; Hall, Robert O.; Hamilton, Stephen K.; Peterson, Bruce J.; Tank, Jennifer L.; Ashkenas, Linda R.; Cooper, Lee W. (March 2008). "Stream denitrification across biomes and its response to anthropogenic nitrate loading". Nature. 452 (7184): 202–205. doi:10.1038/nature06686. hdl:1912/2425. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 18337819.
  20. ^ Fisher, Stuart G.; Gray, Lawrence J.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Busch, David E. (February 1982). "Temporal Succession in a Desert Stream Ecosystem Following Flash Flooding". Ecological Monographs. 52 (1): 93–110. doi:10.2307/2937346. ISSN 0012-9615. JSTOR 2937346.
  21. ^ Vitousek, Peter M.; Cassman, Ken; Cleveland, Cory; Crews, Tim; Field, Christopher B.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Howarth, Robert W.; Marino, Roxanne; Martinelli, Luiz (2002), "Towards an ecological understanding of biological nitrogen fixation", The Nitrogen Cycle at Regional to Global Scales, Springer Netherlands, pp. 1–45, doi:10.1007/978-94-017-3405-9_1, ISBN 9789048160860
  22. ^ Hope, Diane; Gries, Corinna; Zhu, Weixing; Fagan, William F.; Redman, Charles L.; Grimm, Nancy B.; Nelson, Amy L.; Martin, Chris; Kinzig, Ann (2008), "Socioeconomics Drive Urban Plant Diversity", Urban Ecology, Springer US, pp. 339–347, doi:10.1007/978-0-387-73412-5_21, ISBN 9780387734118
  23. ^ Kaye, J.; Groffman, P.; Grimm, N.; Baker, L.; Pouyat, R. (2006-04-01). "A distinct urban biogeochemistry?". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 21 (4): 192–199. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2005.12.006. ISSN 0169-5347. PMID 16701085.
  24. ^ Collins, James P.; Kinzig, Ann; Grimm, Nancy B.; Fagan, William F.; Hope, Diane; Wu, Jianguo; Borer, Elizabeth T. (2000). "A New Urban Ecology: Modeling human communities as integral parts of ecosystems poses special problems for the development and testing of ecological theory". American Scientist. 88 (5): 416–425. doi:10.1511/2000.5.416. JSTOR 27858089.