Dr. Sandra M. Diaz is a Professor of Ecology at Córdoba National University and a senior member of the National Research Council of Argentina. Among her many accomplishments, Sandra founded Núcleo DiverSus on Diversity and Sustainability; co-founded the Global Communal Plant Trait Initiative TRY; and co-chaired the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services. Sandra’s research interests are in plant functional traits and general patterns of functional specialization, their effects on ecosystem properties, and their interactions with global change drivers.
Constructing the first global quantitative picture of essential functional diversity of vascular plants—the global spectrum of plant form and function—Sandra provided a backdrop for evolutionary, ecological, and biogeochemical modeling studies. This work included advancing theory and practical implementation of the concept of functional diversity and its effects on ecosystem properties and benefits. Sandra combines her plant ecology studies with interdisciplinary work on how different societies value and reconfigure biological communities and ecosystems. Sandra is a member of the Academies of Science of Argentina, USA, France, and the Developing World, and an Honorary Fellow of the British Ecological Society. Sandra’s awards include the Cozzarelli Prize (2008), the Margalef Prize in Ecology (2017), the Senckenberg Award for Nature Research (2019), and the Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science (2019). Sandra was a member of SESYNC’s External Advisory Committee.