Osvaldo Sala is the Julie A. Wrigley Chair and Foundation Professor at Arizona State University, where he contributes to both the School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability. 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. Previously, he worked at the University of Buenos Aires, Stanford University and Imperial College in different roles.
Sala has explored several topics throughout his career from water controls on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in arid and semi-arid ecosystems to the consequences of changes in biodiversity on the functioning of ecosystems, including the development of biodiversity scenarios for the next 50 years. He is particularly interested in working with scenarios as a way of simplifying, understanding, and communicating the complex relationships that emerge from the study of social-ecological systems. He employs a wide variety of tools; especially synthesis, manipulative field experiments, and simulation modeling. He has worked in the Patagonian steppe, annual grasslands of California, steppes of Colorado and deserts of Southern Africa and currently he has experiments in the Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico. His work is reflected in more than 200 peer-reviewed publications and several edited books.
Osvaldo Sala has been very interested in supporting associations of ecologists and scientists at the national and international levels. He contributed to the Ecological Society of America as a member of the governing board where he fostered relationships among ecological societies around the world. He was also the president of the Argentinean Society of Ecology. He has 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). Osvaldo Sala has served as member of the Advisory Board to the Director of the National Science Foundation in issues of environmental research and education, editor of Global Change Biology, Osvaldo Sala is a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America and of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He is an elected member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the Argentinean National Academy of Sciences, and the Argentinean National Academy of Physical and Natural Sciences.