Professor of biology, University of Maryland
Karen Lips is a field ecologist who studies how global change (wildlife disease, climate change, land use) affects biodiversity of amphibians and reptiles in Latin America and the U.S. A primary focus of her research is determining the ecological and environmental factors that influence amphibian species' response to disease, and how that information might be used in conservation and recovery plans. She is interested in how the loss of biodiversity affects communities and ecosystems, and how human activities contribute to the spread of disease and loss of biodiversity. Before joining the University of Maryland, Lips was a Jefferson Science Fellow at the U.S. Department of State, where she worked in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs, in the Office of Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs, and served as an Embassy Science Fellow in Colombia. Lips is a research associate at the U.S. Museum of Natural History, an AAAS Leshner Leadership Public Engagement Fellow, an AAAS fellow, an ESA fellow, and an Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow. She was awarded the President's Award of the Chicago Zoological Society, a Bay and Paul Biodiversity Leadership Award, the Sabin Amphibian Conservation Award in 2012, and the inaugural UMD Impact Communicator Award. She holds a BS in zoology from the University of South Florida and a PhD in biology from the University of Miami. Lips is interested in increasing engagement on environmental issues, promoting scientific leadership, and fostering international scientific collaborations.