MacArthur Fellows Program

Claire Kremen

Conservation Biologist | Class of 2007

Exploring the behavior of bees and other natural pollinators and their critical but often overlooked role in the global food web.

Conservation Biologist
University of California, Berkeley
Berkeley, California
46 at time of award
Published January 28, 2007

About Claire's Work

Claire Kremen is a conservation biologist whose applied research advances the fields of ecology, biodiversity, and agriculture. As a leader of a conservation planning initiative in Madagascar, Kremen has used adaptive management and predictive mapping to design and establish protected and multiple-use areas in Masoala National Park, Madagascar’s largest nature reserve. Her current work in Madagascar includes forecasting deforestation and its impact on species distribution and development of a web-based repository that will provide researchers with up-to-date biodiversity data and analytical tools needed for conservation planning and monitoring. In other research in the U.S., at the intersection of agriculture and biodiversity, Kremen explores the behavior of diverse native pollinators (primarily bees) and the environments that sustain them. By analyzing the behavior patterns of bees, Kremen investigates an often overlooked but critical component of the global food web, as more than half of all flowering agricultural crops involve natural pollinators. She measures several key variables, including geographic distribution of natural habitats, the diversity of insect pollinators, and the delivery of pollination services. Her results indicate that the ability of a community of native bees to pollinate farm crops adequately is dependent on their access to natural habitats, underscoring the importance of restoring and protecting natural environments on farms. Through new methods that improve our ability to measure, manage, and conserve natural systems domestically and internationally, Kremen demonstrates the dependence of sustainable agroecology on effective environmental preservation.


Claire Kremen received a B.Sc. (1982) from Stanford University and a Ph.D. (1987) from Duke University. She is an assistant professor in the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California, Berkeley. From 2001 to 2005, she was an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. Her papers have been published in such journals as Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, Science, Conservation Biology, and Ecology Letters.

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