David Duffy

Professor of Botany
david duffy

David Duffy

Professor of Botany

PhD 1980, Princeton University

Contact Information
Phone:(808) 956-8218
Fax: (808) 973-2936
Email: dduffy@hawaii.edu

Link to Laboratory Site

Graduate Faculty Memberships
Botany; Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology; Zoology

Research Interests

My research interests vary widely by ecosystem and organism, but focus on how ecosystems respond to perturbations, either natural or man-made, at scales ranging from the individual through the landscape. Observing how populations and landscapes respond to such perturbations can offer clues on how to manage or restore them.

David Duffy is a professor of botany, and graduate professor of zoology, and of ecology, evolution and conservation biology. Duffy started his career helping at the Children’s Science Center at the American Museum of Natural History in New York when he was 9, then graduated to field work at the Museum’s Great Gull Island Project when he was 13. Field trips to Yucatan and Colombia as a Harvard undergraduate ignited his interest in tropical biology while stints in Galapagos, Costa Rica and Africa made it clear how fragile tropical ecosystems are.

His main interests are in how ecosystems respond to perturbations, both natural and human-caused. His work has included the effect of El Nino on seabirds in Peru , fishery interactions with seabirds in Peru and South Africa, the effects of Exxon Valdez oil spill and climate shifts on seabirds  in Prince William Sound, the role of landscape in fostering Lyme Disease, the effect of forest harvesting in the Appalachians on spring herbaceous ground cover, and determining just how much of Alaska’s biodiversity  is actually protected. Most recently he has become interested in how to shape management and science to respond to the problem of invasive alien species in Hawaii. How much science do you need to respond and how can management measure whether it is being effective?

He now directs the Pacific Cooperative Studies Unit, which manages over 300 employees and over $14 million in projects to conserve the resources of Hawaii and other Pacific Islands.


Selected Publications

  • Duffy, D.C. and F. Kraus. May 2006. Science and the Art of the Solvable in Hawaii’s Extinction Crisis. Environment Hawaii 16(11)1: 3-6.
  • Woodworth, B.L., C.T. Atkinson, D.A. LaPointe, P.J. Hart, C.S. Spiegel, E.J. Tweed, C. Henneman, J. LeBrun, T. Denette, R. Demots, K.L. Kozar, D. Trigilia, D. Lease, A. Gregor, T. Smith, and D.C. Duffy. 2005. Host population persistence in the face of introduced vector-borne diseases: Hawaii amakihi and avian malaria. Proc. of the Nat. Acad. of Sciences. 102(5): 1531-1536
  • Duffy, Boggs, Hagenstein, Michaelson, and Lipkin. 1999. A landscape assessment of the degree of protection of Alaska’s terrestrial biodiversity.  Conservation Biology 13: 1332-1343.
  • Duffy, Clark, Campbell, Perello, and  Simon. 1994. Landscape patterns of abundance of  Ixodes scapularis   (Acari: Ixodidae)  on Shelter Island, New York. Journal of Medical Entomology 31: 875-879.  
  • Duffy. 1993. Stalking the Southern Oscillation: environmental uncertainty, climate change and North Pacific seabirds. In  K.  Vermeer, K. T. Briggs, K. H. Morgan, and D. Siegel-Causey (eds).   The Status, Ecology and Conservation of Marine Birds of the North  Pacific. Special Publication, Canadian Wildlife Service, Ottawa, pp. 61-67.
  • Duffy and Meier. 1992. Do Appalachian herbaceous understories ever recover from clearcutting?  Conservation Biology 6:196-201
  • Duffy and Wissel.  1988. Models of fish school size in relation to environmental productivity. Ecological Modelling 40:201-211.

    Please visit my Online Publications