Osvaldo Sala is the Julie A. Wrigley, Regents’ and Foundation Professor, at Arizona State University, where he contributes to both the School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability. He is also the Founding Director of the Global Drylands Center and the Leader of the Extremes Focal Area, which is part of the Global Futures Laboratory. He came to ASU in 2010 from Brown University where he was the founding Director of the Environmental Change Initiative and the Sloan Lindemann Professor of Biology.
His publications are among the most cited in the fields of ecology, sustainability and biology. He has more than 220 publications, 50,000 citations and an H factor of 93. Osvaldo’s most well-known 2000 paper in Science entitled “Global Biodiversity Scenarios for the year 2100” (Sala et al., Science 2000; 287) has been cited almost 9000 times. His work has been truly interdisciplinary, collaborating with geologists, social scientists, mathematicians and humanists and using a variety of tools from experimentation to simulation modeling.
Ecologists mostly know Osvaldo for his experimental manipulations of drylands. He has carried out many experiments around the world and published articles from Patagonia (Argentina), Kalahari Desert (South Africa and Namibia), Loess Plateau (China), to the Shortgrass steppe, Chihuahuan Desert, Sonoran Desert, Tallgrass prairie (US). He has established scientific collaborations all over the world from China, Israel and Australia to Europe, North and South America. Osvaldo’s level of activity continues to increase on a daily basis. He currently has an active lab at ASU with several graduate students and several ongoing grants from the National Science Foundation, US Department of Agriculture and Department of Defense.
Osvaldo Sala served in numerous international institutions and in different capacities from the Scientific Committee of Problems of the Environment (SCOPE), where he was the president, to the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and the IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change). He is currently serving as President of the Ecological Society of America. He has received several recognitions to his academic work including being an elected Member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Academy of Sciences of Argentina, Fellow of the American Geophysical Union, the American Association for the Advancement of Science and the Ecological Society of America.