David Ackerly is the Dean of the Rausser College of Natural Resources and has a joint appointment in the departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California Berkeley. His research group studies plant ecology and evolution, with an emphasis on the native plants of California. His current work examines drought tolerance of native tree species, potential impacts of climate change on plant communities, and post-fire forest dynamics at sites that burned in the 2017 northern California wildfires. His research is used to inform strategies of biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change, with a focus on California parks and open space.
Ackerly is a recipient of the 2011 Distinguished Faculty Mentor Award, a Senior Fellow with the Berkeley Institute of Data Sciences, a Fellow of the California Academy of Sciences, and a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America. He received his B.A. in Biological Sciences from Yale University in 1984 and his Ph.D. in Organismic and Evolutionary Biology from Harvard University in 1993. He joined the faculty at UC Berkeley in 2005.