Keynote Speaker

Todd Keeler-Wolf, Ph.D.

Todd Keeler-Wolf is an ecologist specializing in vegetation classification and mapping. A true Californian, Todd was born in Oakland and received his B.S. and Ph.D. from the University of California Santa Cruz. He was the Senior Vegetation Ecologist at the California Department of Fish and Wildlife for 25 years, where he lead the Vegetation Classification and Mapping Program. During this period, he studied the vegetation and flora of virtually every terrestrial ecosystem in the state. Todd is the author of numerous books and publications. He co-developed the “Sawyer and Keeler-Wolf classification system” and along with John Sawyer and Julie Evens, the Second Edition of A Manual of California Vegetation, with its accompanying online database. This guide features over 485 descriptions, 352 vegetation maps, fire/flood data, restoration and management considerations, and more. Todd also has traveled widely working outside of the State in The Caribbean, Australasia, South America, and East Africa, and has been a long-time active member of the Ecological Society of America’s Vegetation Classification Panel.

As an “experienced” ecologist having studied the interdependence of plants, animals, and their environments for several decades, Todd offers a California-based perspective on biodiversity. What is unique about the state’s biodiversity? How does adversity shape the kind of biodiversity we have here? What similar patterns of diversity exist here and elsewhere? What are the most vulnerable habitats to loss of biodiversity? What do we have to know about species to assess their vulnerability? And what kind of hope is there for restoration, protection, and recovery of the loss of biodiversity?