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photo of Robert PaineROBERT T. PAINE PROFILE
Probably no one understands nature's interconnections quite like University of Washington zoologist Robert T. Paine. Bob's study of Tatoosh Island off the Washington coast is the longest ongoing study of a single area, by the same scientist, in the nation. His work on competition among species resulted in one of the most important principals of modern ecology; a principal called, "keystone species." A fan of fog, cold weather and rainy places, Bob feels most at home on Tatoosh. At 6'6"he easily leaps over the island's treacherous terrain in his search for science among the tide pools, nooks and crannies of his favorite outdoor laboratory.

Cambridge, Massachusetts, April 13, 1933

A.B.: 1954 Harvard University
Ph.D.: 1961 University of Michigan

Academic History

  • Ornithologist, Harvard Expedition to Chiapas, Mexico, Summer, 1954
  • Predoctoral Instructor, University of Michigan, 1960-61.
  • Assistant Professor of Zoology, University of Washington, 1962-67.
  • Associate Professor of Zoology, University of Washington, 1967-71.
  • Professor of Zoology, University of Washington, 1971-98.
  • Professor emeritus of Zoology, University of Washington, Dec. 1998- .
  • Visiting Professor, Auckland University, Auckland, New Zealand, July, 1968 - June, 1969.
  • Visiting Professor, Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, August - September, 1974.

Fellowships and Honors

  • Lerner Marine Fellowship, American Museum of Natural History, 1959.
  • Sverdrup Postdoctoral Fellowship, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, 1961-62.
  • Third Tansley Lecturer, British Ecological Society, 1979.
  • AAAS Fellow, 1980.
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1981-82.
  • MacArthur Award, Ecological Society of America, 1983.
  • National Academy of Sciences, 1986.
  • The Ecology Institute Prize (Germany), 1989.
  • Doctor of Science, Colby College, 1996.
  • Visiting Lectureship, British Ecological Society, 1996.
  • Sewell Wright Award; American Society of Naturalists, 1997.
  • American Academy of Arts and Sciences, Fellow, 1999.

Professional Activities

  • Editorial Board: Limnology and Oceanography, 1972-1975.
  • Editorial Board: Ecology, Ecological Monographs, 1971-1974.
  • Panel Member, Biological Oceanography, NSF, 1975-1977.
  • Vice-President, Ecological Society of America, 1977-1978.
  • Board of Directors, Palau Marine Research Institute, 1979-
  • President, Ecological Society of America, 1979-1980.
  • NRC panels (OCS Oil, 1987-90; Young Investigators, 1990-1994; Introduced Marine Species, 1991; Valuation of Biodiversity, 1995- ; Ecosystem Management, 1995- ; Board on Biology, 1996- ; Commission on Life Sciences, 1998- ).
  • Pew Fellows Program (Marine Conservation Biology), Advisory Board, 1997-2000.

Biblography (from 1990 to current)

1990a Direct and indirect effects of Peregrine Falcon predation on Seabird abundance (with J.T. Wootton and P.D. Boersma). Auk 107:1-9.
1990b Benthic macroalgal competition: complication and consequences. J. Phycol. 26:12-17.
1991a Conversational biology and ecological debate. In: Classics in Ecology, Sinauer. (with Joel Kingsolver), pp. 309-317.
1991b Between Scylla and Charybdis: Do some kinds of criticism merit a response? Oikos 62:90-92.
1992a Food web analysis through field measurement of per capita interaction strength. Nature 355:73-75.
1992b Studies on processes influencing biological diversity on rocky shores. Northwest Environ. Journal 8:148-150.
1993 A salty and salutary perspective on global change. Pp. 347-355 in (P.M. Kareiva, J.G. Kingsolver and R.B. Huey, eds.) Biotic Intercations and Global Change. Sinauer Associates, Sunderland, Mass.
1994 Marine Rocky Shores and Community Ecology: an Experimentalist's Perspective. Ecology Institute (Germany). 152 pp.
1995 A conversation on refining the concept of keystone species. Conservation Biology 9: 962-964.
1996 Preface, pp ix-x. Integration of Patterns and Dynamics. Eds. E.A. Polis and K.O. Winemiller. Chapman & Hall.
1996 Challenges in the quest for keystones. M.E. Power, et al. Bio Science, 46: 609-620.
1996 Ecological interactions and habitat modification in nesting Common Murres, Uria aalge. (With J. Parrish). Bird Conservation International 6:261-269.
1996 Trouble on oiled waters: lessons from the Exxon Valdez oil spill. (With 7 co-authors). Annual Review Ecology and Systematics. 27:197-235
1996 Effects of productivity, consumers, competitors, and El Niño events on food chain patterns in a rocky intertidal community. (With J.T. Wootton, M.E. Power and C.A. Pfister). Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. 93:13855-13858
1998 Celestial mechanics, sea-level changes and intertidal ecology. (With M.W. Denny). Biol. Bull. 194:108-115.
1998 Compounded perturbations yield ecological surprises. (With M.J. Tegner and E.A. Johnson). Ecosystems 1:535-545.

Installing a low-flow toilet can save a family of four more than 1,350 gallons per month (American Water Works Association, 1993).




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updated September 11, 2000

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