Stuart Pimm

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Stuart Leonard Pimm
Stuart Pimm.jpg
Born (1949-02-27) February 27, 1949 (age 73)[1]
CitizenshipNaturalized U.S. citizen
Spouse(s)Julia Killeffer[1]
AwardsFellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences
Kempe Award for Distinguished Ecologists
Heineken Prize
Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement
Scientific career
InstitutionsDuke University
University of Oxford
New Mexico State University
ThesisCommunity Process and Structure (1974)
Doctoral advisorRalph Raitt[2]

Stuart Leonard Pimm (born 27 February 1949) is an American-British biologist and theoretical ecologist specializing in scientific research of biodiversity and conservation biology.[3][4][5][6][7][8]


Pimm was born in Derbyshire, United Kingdom. He was educated at the University of Oxford and was awarded a PhD in Ecology from New Mexico State University in 1974.[2]


Pimm is currently Doris Duke Chair of Conservation Ecology in the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University, Durham, North Carolina.[9] He is an acknowledged authority in the field of conservation biology, recognized with several awards including the Heineken Prize[10] and the Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement. Pimm has collaborated with a wide range of other scientists, including Robert May,[11] Peter H. Raven, Joel E. Cohen, George Sugihara and Jared Diamond. His work has examined the mathematical properties of food webs and indicated that complex food webs should be less stable than simple food webs.[12]


Pimm is a prolific writer. He has published more than 250 peer-reviewed scientific articles,[1][13][14] including several in the scientific journals Nature[3][4][5] and Science[15][16][17]". He has published several books including, A Scientist Audits the Earth[18] and he has published articles in popular science publications such as Scientific American.[19] Up until mid-2019, he was a regular contributor to the National Geographic blog.[20]


Pimm is a Master of Ecological Conservation with The Beijing DeTao Masters Academy (DTMA), a high-level, multi-disciplined, application-oriented higher education institution in Shanghai, China.

Pimm was awarded the 2019 International Cosmos Prize in recognition of his research and conservation efforts, as well as his role in mentoring students.[21]

A new wasp species from the cloud forests of Colombia's tropical Andes has been named Dolichomitus pimmi in honor of Pimm and his conservation efforts in that region.[22]

SavingSpecies and Saving Nature[edit]

In 2010, Pimm founded a non-profit organization called SavingSpecies. The organization was dissolved in July 2019.[23] In 2019, he founded a non-profit organization called Saving Nature that continues the work of habitat preservation and restoration formerly supported by SavingSpecies.[24]


In 2014, Pimm was involved in a controversy related to allegedly sexist remarks he made in a book review[25] published by the Elsevier journal Biological Conservation. Pimm's article "sparked debate on Twitter almost immediately."[26]

Despite pressure from activists (ibid.), the journal refused to retract Pimm's review, saying "The Book Review by Pimm is not being retracted. It just contains some offensive language. We want to emphasize to our readers that this type of offensive language does not reflect the policy or practice of our journal or Elsevier. We also have taken steps to ensure that this situation does not happen again."

However, the journal did issue a mea culpa, indicating an opinion of Pimm's article. "We would like to inform our readers that parts of the book review Keeping Wild: Against the Domestication of the Earth by Stuart Pimm, Volume 180, pages 151–152 are denigrating to women."[27]. Of Pimm's article, the journal admitted that "It just contains some offensive language." When challenged, Pimm responded that he did not think his "wording was sexist..." However, some disagreed. In a later letter to the editor,[28] Amanda Stanley, then Conservation Science Program Officer at the Wilburforce Foundation, explained why Pimm's " review [was] so offensive."[29] An article in The New Yorker later that year explored the debate between conservationists that led to Pimm's controversial remark. The article asserted that, in his review, "Pimm’s emotions got the better of him." For his part, according to the article, Pimm was reported as being " totally unrepentant."[30]


Pimm married Julia Killeffer in 1990. He has two daughters from a previous marriage, both in the United States.


  1. ^ a b c "Curriculum Vitae, Stuart L. Pimm" (PDF). Duke University. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  2. ^ a b Pimm, Stuart (1974). Community Process and Structure (PhD thesis). New Mexico State University. ProQuest 302713548.
  3. ^ a b Pimm, S. L.; Lawton, J. H.; Cohen, J. E. (1991). "Food web patterns and their consequences". Nature. 350 (6320): 669. Bibcode:1991Natur.350..669P. doi:10.1038/350669a0. S2CID 4267587.
  4. ^ a b Pimm, S. L.; Raven, P. (2000). "Biodiversity. Extinction by numbers". Nature. 403 (6772): 843–845. Bibcode:2000Natur.403..843P. doi:10.1038/35002708. PMID 10706267.
  5. ^ a b Pimm, S. L. (1984). "The complexity and stability of ecosystems". Nature. 307 (5949): 321–326. Bibcode:1984Natur.307..321P. doi:10.1038/307321a0. S2CID 4317192.
  6. ^ Pimm, Stuart L. (1991). The balance of nature?: ecological issues in the conservation of species and communities. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-66830-4.
  7. ^ Pimm, S. L.; Jones, H. L.; Diamond, J. (1988). "On the Risk of Extinction". The American Naturalist. 132 (6): 757. doi:10.1086/284889. S2CID 84882806.
  8. ^ Brooks, T. M.; Pimm, S. L.; Oyugi, J. O. (1999). "Time Lag between Deforestation and Bird Extinction in Tropical Forest Fragments". Conservation Biology. 13 (5): 1140. doi:10.1046/j.1523-1739.1999.98341.x. S2CID 86781457.
  9. ^ "Nicholas School Faculty, Stuart L. Pimm". Duke University. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  10. ^ "Heineken Prize Laureate, Stuart L. Pimm". Heineken Prize. Archived from the original on 2009-07-06. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  11. ^ Sugihara, G.; Bersier, L. F.; Southwood, T. R.; Pimm, S. L.; May, R. M. (2003). "Predicted correspondence between species abundances and dendrograms of niche similarities". Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 100 (9): 5246–5251. Bibcode:2003PNAS..100.5246S. doi:10.1073/pnas.0831096100. PMC 154330. PMID 12702773.
  12. ^ Pimm, Stuart L. (2002). Food webs. Chicago: University of Chicago Press. ISBN 0-226-66832-0.
  13. ^ Stuart Pimm publications indexed by Google Scholar
  14. ^ Stuart Pimm publications indexed by Microsoft Academic
  15. ^ Pimm, S. L.; Russell, G. J.; Gittleman, J. L.; Brooks, T. M. (1995). "The Future of Biodiversity". Science. 269 (5222): 347–350. Bibcode:1995Sci...269..347P. doi:10.1126/science.269.5222.347. PMID 17841251. S2CID 35154695.
  16. ^ Pimm, S. L.; Ayres, M.; Balmford, A.; Branch, G.; Brandon, K.; Brooks, T.; Bustamante, R.; Costanza, R.; Cowling, R.; Curran, L. M.; Dobson, A.; Farber, S.; Da Fonseca, G. A.; Gascon, C.; Kitching, R.; McNeely, J.; Lovejoy, T.; Mittermeier, R. A.; Myers, N.; Patz, J. A.; Raffle, B.; Rapport, D.; Raven, P.; Roberts, C.; Rodriguez, J. P.; Rylands, A. B.; Tucker, C.; Safina, C.; Samper, C.; Stiassny, M. L. (2001). "ENVIRONMENT: Can We Defy Nature's End?". Science. 293 (5538): 2207–2208. doi:10.1126/science.1061626. PMID 11567124. S2CID 129642018.
  17. ^ Pimm, S. L. (1998). "ECOLOGY: Planning for Biodiversity". Science. 279 (5359): 2068–2069. Bibcode:1998Sci...279.2068.. doi:10.1126/science.279.5359.2068. S2CID 61333316.
  18. ^ Pimm, Stuart L. (2004). A scientist audits the Earth. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press. ISBN 0-8135-3540-9.
  19. ^ Pimm, S. L.; Jenkins, C. (2005). "Sustaining the variety of life". Scientific American. 293 (3): 66–73. Bibcode:2005SciAm.293c..66P. doi:10.1038/scientificamerican0905-66. PMID 16121856.(subscription required)
  20. ^ "Results tagged "Stuart Pimm" from NatGeo News Watch". NatGeo News Watch. Retrieved 2010-11-18.
  21. ^ "Stuart Pimm Receives International Prize". Duke Nicholas School of the Environment. 2019-11-25. Retrieved 2020-02-23.
  22. ^ "Newly Discovered Wasp Species Named to Honor Duke Conservation Scientist Stuart Pimm". Duke Nicholas School of the Environment. 2020-06-04. Retrieved 2020-07-02.
  23. ^ "Guidestar: SavingSpecies". Guidestar. 2020-05-19. Retrieved 2020-05-19.
  24. ^ "Saving Nature". Saving Nature. 2020-09-26. Retrieved 2020-09-26.
  25. ^ Pimm, Stuart (December 2014). "Keeping the Wild: Against the Domestication of Earth". Biological Conservation. 180: 288. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.006. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  26. ^ Ferguson, Cat (October 12, 2014). ""I don't take whores in taxis": Casual sexism in scientific journal leads to editor's note". Retraction Watch. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  27. ^ Primack, Richard; Broerse, Sandra (December 2014). "Editorial Note: Inappropriate language in a recent book review". Biological Conservation. 180: 288. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.006. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  28. ^ Stanley, Amanda G. (February 2015). "Response to Pimm (2014): Misogynist metaphors don't belong in scholarly discourse". Biological Conservation. 182: 13. doi:10.1016/j.biocon.2014.11.036. Retrieved July 8, 2020.
  29. ^ Ferguson, Cat (October 12, 2014). ""I don't take whores in taxis": Casual sexism in scientific journal leads to editor's note". Retraction Watch. Retrieved June 22, 2020.
  30. ^ Nijhuis, Michelle (December 9, 2014). "Bridging the Conservation Divide". The New Yorker. Condé Nast. Retrieved July 8, 2020.