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First Future Earth Colorado Hub Director announced

Josh was the founding director (November 2012- June 2015) of the Luc Hoffmann Institute, a WWF research centre based in Switzerland focused on the co-creation of multi-disciplinary research for conservation and environmental sustainability.

‘Future Earth research is essential for global sustainability. If Future Earth did not exist you would have to invent it. I am delighted to be part of what promises to be the world’s most innovative international research programme,’ said Josh. 

Future Earth Executive Director Paul Shrivastava said,

‘We are delighted that Josh is joining the team. He has vast experience in academia and civil society. He is a highly creative thinker, leader and problem solver. He will be a great asset to Future Earth.’


Josh’s academic work spans more than a decade and he has published in leading journals (Nature Climate Change (2015), Science (2014), PNAS (2014) ). Before joining Future Earth, Josh was the Maggie and Doug Walker Endowed Professor of Natural History at the University of Washington, with appointments both in the Department of Biology and the College of the Environment. His work focused on major global change issues, including the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, the potential of landscape connectivity to mitigate the impacts of climate change, and the impacts of species loss on ecosystem function. 

At the Luc Hoffmann Institute, Josh launched over a dozen co-designed research projects, including work on the food-energy-water nexus in South-East Asia, Socio-economic impacts of palm oil on three Continents, global mapping of threats to biodiversity, and the development of regionally-appropriate low-carbon sustainability targets for urban areas.  As a professor, Josh helped to shape major research initiatives focused on the impacts of climate change, the repair of fragmented landscapes, and the impact of global change on ecological function

Josh grew up on farms in the United States, both in Vermont and California. He did his undergraduate work at Prescott College, where he wrote a field guide to butterflies, and he did his graduate work at the University of Montana, working on the impact of fragmentation on bird populations.  Lots of time outside resulted in a passion for natural history, and Josh has spent a lot of time supporting the study of nature through collaborative projects and writings.

Josh officially starts with Future Earth in September 2015 and will move from Washington to Colorado shortly.

The Future Earth Colorado Global Hub is one of five global hubs, the others being in Montreal, Paris, Stockholm and Tokyo. Colorado will focus on Future Earth’s capacity building and research enabling.