Speaker > Biography
Biography of Daniel Janzen
Daniel Janzen is DiMaura Professor of Conservation Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and Technical Advisor to Area de Conservación Guanacaste in northwestern Costa Rica. Janzen's 1965-1986 research pioneered key parts of large and complex contemporary research areas in basic and applied tropical ecology (mutualisms among ants and plants, plant chemical ecology, evolution of microbial toxins, herbivore impact on community structure, and evolutionary anachronisms). From the early 1980's to the present, he has focused on inventory of tropical caterpillars, their parasites, and their microbial biodiversity, and the conservation of tropical biodiversity through its non-damaging development. Janzen's 420 publications encapsulate much of this information and its associated relevance for tropical science administration and conservation biology. Additionally, several thousand publications have strong roots in the hypotheses and information contained in this body of tropical animal-plant studies and conservation biology. Janzen planned and executed the original field biology courses of the Organization for Tropical Studies, co-designed INBio, Costa Rica's national biodiversity institute, with Dr. Rodrigo Gámez, and is the primary architect of Area de Conservación Guanacaste (ACG). His current concerns are DNA barcoding of all species in the world, and facilitating Paz con la Naturaleza (PN), Costa Rica's new plan to re-engineer itself as an environmentally friendly country while having a fully endowed national park system conserving 4% of the world's wild biodiversity in 25% of the country forever.
Janzen received the first Crafoord Prize in biology by the Swedish Royal Academy of Sciences (1984), and the Kyoto Prize in Basic Biology (1997). Janzen's activities have had a very positive influence on society's awareness of the relevance and potential of tropical wildland biodiversity to global understanding, national sustainable development, and individual quality of life, both inside and outside of the tropics. These ideas have been incorporated in the Convention on Biological Diversity and its continued policy planning.