Sandra Díaz (ecologist)
Sandra Myrna Díaz
October 27, 1961
|Alma mater||National University of Córdoba|
|Known for||Plant biodiversity|
Plant functional traits
Global environmental change
Social benefits of biodiversity
|Institutions||National University of Córdoba |
University of Sheffield
|Influences||J. Philip Grime|
Sandra Myrna Díaz (born 27 October 1961) ForMemRS is an Argentinian ecologist and professor of ecology at the National University of Córdoba. She studies the functional traits of plants and investigates how plants impact the ecosystem.
Díaz is a senior member of the National Scientific and Technical Research Council and the National Academy of Sciences of Argentina. She is one of the top 1% most cited scientists in the world. She was elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS) in 2019.
Early life and education
Díaz attended the National University of Córdoba and graduated cum laude with a biology degree in 1984. She decided that she wanted to be an environmental scientist, and chose to pursue graduate research. She remained at National University of Córdoba for her doctoral studies, earning a PhD in biological sciences in 1989. She worked with Marcelo Cabido and Alicia Acosta on plant functional traits. During her PhD and later research Díaz developed the protocols to support scientists using functional traits to interpret ecosystems. Díaz was a fellow at CONICET, the center for ecology and natural resources.
Career and research
After reading a book by J. Philip Grime about the connection between ecosystem processes and environmental factors, Díaz applied to work with him in the United Kingdom. In 1991 Díaz joined the University of Sheffield as a postdoctoral research associate.
At Sheffield she studied how plant communities respond to increasing quantities of carbon dioxide (CO₂). She was the first to demonstrate the impact of carbon dioxide on soils. She found that, even in the presence of fertilizer, weedy plants that grow quickly suffer from heightened levels of carbon dioxide. At the same time, microorganisms in the soil thrived in high levels of carbon dioxide indicating that there is a competition between plants and soil for nitrogen. Diaz also showed that slow-growing plants have a more positive feedback mechanism.
Díaz returned to Argentina in 1993, where she moved back into studying plant traits. She helped to prepare the South American contribution to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). Díaz founded the núcleo diversus de investigaciones en diversidad y sustentabilidad.
She has played an important role in the development and implementation of biodiversity. As part of CONICET Díaz developed a new methodology to quantify the biodiversity of plants. This tool allows scientists to evaluate the effect of biodiversity of plants and the impact of ecosystems. Díaz was the first to provide a global picture of the functional diversity of vascular plants. She designed a database of tens of thousands of plants, using contributions of 135 scientists.
She explored functional trait diversity on plots of land, dividing vegetation into separate sections to simulate changes in climate and land use. She demonstrated that there exists a tradeoff in plant design between the fast acquisition of resources and the conservation of the resources in tissues. Plant designs can include the lifetime of their leaves, whether they grow quickly or slowly, how they reproduce and what kind of wood they have.
Díaz is also interested in social sciences, and looks at how societies value and support ecosystems. Díaz is interested in the relationship between living plants and people. She published a mechanistic framework for connecting functional diversity in 2007, a paper which would go on to win the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) Cozzarelli Prize. She used this methodology in real-world systems, and assembled a team of social scientists and ecologists. Social scientists worked with communities to understand what they want from a particular ecosystem, and ecologists studied functional diversity and the relevant ecosystem processes.
Clarivate Analytics reported that Díaz was one of the most highly cited environmental scientists in the world. She is a leader on the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES).   IPBES consists of 150 scientists worldwide.
She was listed as one of the ten people who mattered in science in 2019 by the journal Nature in their end of year review 
Awards and honours
Diaz' awards and honours include:
- 2008 Ecological Society of America Sustainability Award
- 2008 Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America (PNAS) Cozzarelli Prize
- 2013 Konex Platinum Award in Biology and Ecology
- 2014 Bernardo Houssay Award in Biological Sciences
- 2014 Honorary member award of the British Ecological Society (BES)
- 2017 Ramon Margalef Prize in Ecology
- 2018 Nominated by Nature's 10 as one of five ones to watch in 2019.
- 2019 Princess of Asturias Awards
- 2019 Elected a Foreign Member of the Royal Society (ForMemRS)
- 2019 Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters Gunnerus Award
- Sandra Díaz publications indexed by Google Scholar
- Trivedi, Bijal P. (2012). "Profile of Sandra M. Díaz". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 109 (29): 11469–11471. Bibcode:2012PNAS..10911469T. doi:10.1073/pnas.1210043109. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 3406846. PMID 22761316.
- Chapin III, F. Stuart; Zavaleta, Erika S.; Eviner, Valerie T.; Naylor, Rosamond L.; Vitousek, Peter M.; Reynolds, Heather L.; Hooper, David U.; Lavorel, Sandra; Sala, Osvaldo E.; Hobbie, Sarah E.; Mack, Michelle C.; Díaz, Sandra (2000). "Consequences of changing biodiversity". Nature. 405 (6783): 234–242. doi:10.1038/35012241. ISSN 0028-0836. PMID 10821284.
- "La cordobesa Sandra Díaz, una de las mentes más influyentes del mundo". Cba24n (in Spanish). 28 December 2018. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- Anon (2019). "Sandra Diaz". royalsociety.org. Royal Society. Retrieved 20 April 2019. One or more of the preceding sentences incorporates text from the royalsociety.org website where:
“All text published under the heading 'Biography' on Fellow profile pages is available under Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License.” --Royal Society Terms, conditions and policies at the Wayback Machine (archived 2016-11-11)
- "LAVOZ.com.ar | Sandra Díaz". Archivo.lavoz.com.ar. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Professor Sandra Díaz". Iinteracademies.org. Archived from the original on 24 March 2019. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Díaz, S.; Grime, J. P.; Harris, J.; McPherson, E. (1993). "Evidence of a feedback mechanism limiting plant response to elevated carbon dioxide". Nature. 364 (6438): 616–617. Bibcode:1993Natur.364..616D. doi:10.1038/364616a0. ISSN 0028-0836.
- Diaz, Sandra; Cabido, Marcelo (1997). "Plant functional types and ecosystem function in relation to global change". Journal of Vegetation Science. 8 (3): 463–474. doi:10.1111/j.1654-1103.1997.tb00842.x. ISSN 1100-9233. JSTOR 3237198.
- "Sandra M. Díaz | DiverSus group". Nucleodiversus.org. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Díaz, Sandra; Quétier, Fabien; Cáceres, Daniel M.; Trainor, Sarah F.; Pérez-Harguindeguy, Natalia; Bret-Harte, M. Syndonia; Finegan, Bryan; Peña-Claros, Marielos; Poorter, Lourens (2011). "Linking functional diversity and social actor strategies in a framework for interdisciplinary analysis of nature's benefits to society". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 108 (3): 895–902. doi:10.1073/pnas.1017993108. OCLC 720176072. PMC 3024663. PMID 21220325.
- Kattge, J.; Diaz, S.; Lavorel, S.; Prentice, I.C.; Leadley, P.; Bönisch, G.; Garnier, E.; Westobys, M.; Reich, P.B.; Wrights, I.J.; Cornelissen, C.; Violle, C.; Harisson, S.P.; et al. (2011). "TRY - a global database of plant traits". Global Change Biology. 17 (9): 2905–2935. Bibcode:2011GCBio..17.2905K. doi:10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02451.x. OCLC 1018986898.
- Dı́az, Sandra; Symstad, Amy J.; Stuart Chapin, F.; Wardle, David A.; Huenneke, Laura F. (2003). "Functional diversity revealed by removal experiments". Trends in Ecology & Evolution. 18 (3): 140–146. doi:10.1016/s0169-5347(03)00007-7. ISSN 0169-5347.
- Diaz, S.; Hodgson, J. G.; Thompson, K.; Cabido, M.; Cornelissen, J. H. C.; Jalili, A.; Montserrat‐Martí, G.; Grime, J. P.; Zarrinkamar, F. (2004). "The plant traits that drive ecosystems: Evidence from three continents" (PDF). Journal of Vegetation Science. 15 (3): 295–304. doi:10.1111/j.1654-1103.2004.tb02266.x. ISSN 1654-1103.
- Robson, T. Matthew; Grigulis, Karl; Quétier, Fabien; Bello, Francesco de; Lavorel, Sandra; Díaz, Sandra (2007). "Incorporating plant functional diversity effects in ecosystem service assessments". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 104 (52): 20684–20689. doi:10.1073/pnas.0704716104. ISSN 0027-8424. PMC 2410063. PMID 18093933.
- "Cozzarelli Prize". pnas.org. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Masood, Ehsan (22 August 2018). "The battle for the soul of biodiversity". Nature. 560 (7719): 423–425. Bibcode:2018Natur.560..423M. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-05984-3. PMID 30135536.
- Díaz, Sandra; Demissew, Sebsebe; Carabias, Julia; Joly, Carlos; Lonsdale, Mark; Ash, Neville; Larigauderie, Anne; Adhikari, Jay Ram; Arico, Salvatore; Báldi, András; Bartuska, Ann; Baste, Ivar Andreas; Bilgin, Adem; Brondizio, Eduardo; Chan, Kai MA; Figueroa, Viviana Elsa; Duraiappah, Anantha; Fischer, Markus; Hill, Rosemary; Koetz, Thomas; Leadley, Paul; Lyver, Philip; Mace, Georgina M; Martin-Lopez, Berta; Okumura, Michiko; Pacheco, Diego; Pascual, Unai; Pérez, Edgar Selvin; Reyers, Belinda; Roth, Eva; Saito, Osamu; Scholes, Robert John; Sharma, Nalini; Tallis, Heather; Thaman, Randolph; Watson, Robert; Yahara, Tetsukazu; Hamid, Zakri Abdul; Akosim, Callistus; Al-Hafedh, Yousef; Allahverdiyev, Rashad; Amankwah, Edward; Asah, Stanley T; Asfaw, Zemede; Bartus, Gabor; Brooks, L Anathea; Caillaux, Jorge; Dalle, Gemedo; Darnaedi, Dedy; Driver, Amanda; Erpul, Gunay; Escobar-Eyzaguirre, Pablo; Failler, Pierre; Fouda, Ali Moustafa Mokhtar; Fu, Bojie; Gundimeda, Haripriya; Hashimoto, Shizuka; Homer, Floyd; Lavorel, Sandra; Lichtenstein, Gabriela; Mala, William Armand; Mandivenyi, Wadzanayi; Matczak, Piotr; Mbizvo, Carmel; Mehrdadi, Mehrasa; Metzger, Jean Paul; Mikissa, Jean Bruno; Moller, Henrik; Mooney, Harold A; Mumby, Peter; Nagendra, Harini; Nesshover, Carsten; Oteng-Yeboah, Alfred Apau; Pataki, György; Roué, Marie; Rubis, Jennifer; Schultz, Maria; Smith, Peggy; Sumaila, Rashid; Takeuchi, Kazuhiko; Thomas, Spencer; Verma, Madhu; Yeo-Chang, Youn; Zlatanova, Diana (June 2015). "The IPBES Conceptual Framework — connecting nature and people". Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability. 14: 1–16. doi:10.1016/j.cosust.2014.11.002.
- Díaz, Sandra; Pascual, Unai; Stenseke, Marie; Martín-López, Berta; Watson, Robert T.; Molnár, Zsolt; Hill, Rosemary; Chan, Kai M. A.; Baste, Ivar A.; Brauman, Kate A.; Polasky, Stephen; Church, Andrew; Lonsdale, Mark; Larigauderie, Anne; Leadley, Paul W.; van Oudenhoven, Alexander P. E.; van der Plaat, Felice; Schröter, Matthias; Lavorel, Sandra; Aumeeruddy-Thomas, Yildiz; Bukvareva, Elena; Davies, Kirsten; Demissew, Sebsebe; Erpul, Gunay; Failler, Pierre; Guerra, Carlos A.; Hewitt, Chad L.; Keune, Hans; Lindley, Sarah; Shirayama, Yoshihisa (18 January 2018). "Assessing nature's contributions to people". Science. 359 (6373): 270–272. Bibcode:2018Sci...359..270D. doi:10.1126/science.aap8826. hdl:10289/12219. PMID 29348221.
- "Nature's Contributions to People (NCP) - Article by IPBES Experts in Science | IPBES". Ipbes.net. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Sandra Díaz | Global Land Programme". Glp.earth. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Nature's 10". Nature. Retrieved 19 December 2019.
- "Sustainability Science Awards – The Ecological Society of America's History and Records". Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "CISEN4". Geap.com.ar. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
- "Galería de Fotos Premios Konex 2013 - Acto Culminatorio: Ciencia y Tecnología : KONEX DE PLATINO - BIOLOGÍA Y ECOLOGÍA - SANDRA DÍAZ". Fundacion Konex. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Prof. Sandra Díaz received the "Bernardo Houssay Career Award"". DiverSus. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Científicos del CONICET galardonados en los Premios Houssay". Consejo Nacional de Investigaciones Científicas y Técnicas. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Honorary membership". British Ecological Society. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Dr. Sandra Díaz, Co-Chair of IPBES Global Assessment awarded 2017 Premi Ramon Margalef d'Ecologia | IPBES". Ipbes.net. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
- Gibney, Elizabeth; Callaway, Ewen; Cyranoski, David; Gaind, Nisha; Tollefson, Jeff; Courtland, Rachel; Law, Yao-Hua; Maher, Brendan; Else, Holly; Castelvecchi, Davide (2018). "Ten people who mattered this year". Nature. 564 (7736): 325–335. doi:10.1038/d41586-018-07683-5. PMID 30563976.
- "Joanne Chory and Sandra Myrna Díaz Princess of Asturias Award for Technical and Scientific Research". FUNDACIÓN Princesa de Asturias. 5 June 2019. Retrieved 26 October 2019.
- "Gunnerus Award goes to expert on biodiversity". EurekAlert.org. Retrieved 20 April 2019.