William R. L. Anderegg

University of Utah and Princeton University

Short Biography & Research Interests

I am an Assistant Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah and an Associate Research Scholar in the Princeton Environmental Institute at Princeton University. My research centers around the intersection of ecosystems and climate change. I received my Ph.D. from the Department of Biology at Stanford University.

My research focuses around two central themes:

  1. What is the future of forests in a changing climate? Massive mortality events of many tree species in the last decade prompt concerns that drought, insects, and wildfire may devastate forests in the coming decades. I study how drought and climate change affect forest ecosystems, including tree physiology, species interactions, carbon cycling, and biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. This research spans a broad array of spatial scales from xylem cells to ecosystems and seeks to gain a better mechanistic understanding of how climate change will affect forests around the world.
  2. How do we communicate climate science to the public and policy-makers? Communicating expert consensus and scientific understanding, even with inherent uncertainties, is critical to addressing climate change. I’ve explored the dynamics of expert agreement in communicating the state of climate science and trends in public interest and attention to climate issues.


*********What’s New*********

  • 8/2015: Great news coverage of our Science paper on drought’s lasting impacts on forests (here, here, and many others).
  • 4/2015: Excellent recent news coverage of our new paper on predicting aspen mortality under climate change (here, here, and here).
  • 11/2014: Some great coverage of our recent paper on Type I and Type II errors in climate science and assessment (here) in BAMS.
  • 08/2013: We have an exciting new paper out on the anatomy of lethal droughts led by Leander Anderegg (here).