Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs
Climate Solutions Lab

Dov Sax

Dov Sax

Interim Director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society
Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Areas of Interest: Climate change and species extinction; Conservation strategies; Species invasions.


Dov F. Sax is Interim Director of the Institute at Brown for Environment and Society, and a Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology & Environment and Society. He received his PhD in Biology at the University of New Mexico in 1999 and a BA in Integrative Biology at the University of California, Berkeley in 1992. He was a postdoctoral researcher at the University of California, Santa Barbara and an Assistant Professor at the University of Georgia, before coming to Brown in 2007. He is a co-founder and Past President of the International Biogeography Society. He has published scores of articles and co-edited two books, Foundations of Biogeography (University of Chicago Press, 2004) and Species Invasions: Insights into Ecology, Evolution and Biogeography (Sinauer Associates, 2005). He has been listed as being among the world’s most influential scientists by Thomson Reuters and Clarivate Analytics. His current research aims to identify species at the greatest extinction risk from climate change and to develop large, scalable solutions that can preserve the Earth’s biological diversity.


At the Sax Research Lab, our work integrates studies of local-scale invasion events with global invasion patterns. Our aim is to better understand and predict impacts of invasions on local, regional and global biodiversity. While such impacts are often negative, non-native species do provide a host of conservation benefits for native species in some systems. Current work in the lab aims to understand the evolutionary consequence of differences in the region of origin of non-native species with respect to their eventual success and impact. Finally, we are interested in gleaning information about ecological, evolutionary and biogeographical processes from the many unplanned ‘experiments’ that invasions provide.


Sax, D.F., Stachowicz, J.J., and Gaines, S.D., editors. (2005) Species Invasions: Insights into Ecology, Evolution and Biogeography. Sinauer, Sunderland, MA.

Lomolino, M.V, Sax, D.F. and Brown, J.H., editors. (2004) Foundations of Biogeography: Classic Works with Commentaries. Univ. of Chicago, Chicago, IL.

Rosenblad, K.C., Perret, D. and Sax, D.F. (2019) Niche syndromes and climate-driven extinction risk among island endemic conifers. Nature Climate Change 9: 627-631.

Ivory, S.J., Early, R., Russell, J. and Sax, D.F. (2019) Broader niches revealed by fossil data don’t reduce estimates of range loss and fragmentation of African montane trees. Global Ecology and Biogeography 28: 992-1003.

(See CV for full publication list)


Biol 1470 – Conservation Biology 

Biol 1475 – Biogeography 

Climate Change and Extinction Risk – Graduate Seminar 

Biol 2440 – Ecology and Evolution on Islands 

Biol 1940X – Topics in Conservation Science

Biol 0190Q – Climate Change and Species Extinction