Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholars Program

The Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholars Program was created in July 2002 with a generous gift by Edward P. Bass to YIBS.

The Bass Visiting Environmental Scholars Program brings premier scholars in any field dealing with the study of the environment, past or present, to Yale for an extended period of time. The scholars are nominated through the YIBS Faculty Affiliates, and while in residence at Yale, scholars present seminars, interact with faculty, students and research groups, and participate in the life of one or more academic units.

Dr. Rita Colwell was named as the inaugural Edward P. Bass Distinguished Visiting Environmental Scholar in the spring of 2005, and YIBS has hosted upwards of 35 scholars since then.


Current Bass Environmental Scholars

Erin Saupe

Research Description: Erin Saupe is a paleobiologist working to investigate interactions between life and environments over geological time scales. Her work addresses questions on the origin, maintenance, and conservation of biological diversity, with a focus on community and species’ responses to environmental change. Work in her group also focuses on the emerging field of conservation paleobiology, which applies information from the past to species’ conservation today. The goal of this approach is to better anticipate how current and future climate change will impact Earth’s biodiversity.

Appointment Date: Spring 2023

Greg Wilson Mantilla

Research Description: Greg Wilson Mantilla is a paleobiologist who aims to understand critical transitions in the deep time history of life. One of the most captivating of these transitions is the early radiation of mammals, which ultimately led to their striking diversity today from the tiny flying bumblebee bat to the titanic, fully aquatic blue whale. His research is collaborative and combines fieldwork to collect new fossils and associated geological data, systematic study of fossil specimens, and quantitative analysis of morphology, function, and ecology of extant and extinct taxa and communities. 

Appointment Date: Spring 2023


Past Bass Environmental Scholars

Cheryl Knott (Professor, Department of Anthropology, Boston University) Fall 2022
Rees Kassen (Professor, University of Ottawa) Fall 2022 
José Paruelo (Instituto Nacional de Investigación Agropecuaria (Uruguay) & IFEVA-Facultad de Agronomía. Universidad de Buenos Aires and CONICET) Spring 2022
Caroline Strömberg (Estella B. Leopold Professor in Biology and Curator of Paleobotany, University of Washington) Spring 2022
Steven Hamburg (Chief Scientist, Environmental Defense Fund)  Fall 2020
John Damuth (Research Biologist of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, Univeristy of California, Santa Barbara) 

Fall 2019 & Spring 2020

Susan Mazer (Professor of Ecology and Evolution

University of California, Santa Barbara; President, California Botanical Society)

Fall 2019 & Spring 2020

Michael Hochberg (Research Director, Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique, University of Montpellier, France)

Fall 2019
P. David Polly (American paleontologist and the Robert R. Shrock Professor in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at Indiana University) Spring 2019
Mark Swilling (Distinguished Professor and Programme Coordinator: Sustainable Development in the School of Public Leadership, University of Stellenbosch and Academic Director of the Sustainability Institute) Spring 2018
Nancy Knowlton (coral reef biologist and is the Smithsonian Institution’s Sant Chair for Marine Science) Fall 2017
Robert Wallace (Director, Greater Madidi - Tambopata Landscape & Amazon Landscape Conservation Expert Wildlife Conservation Society) Spring 2017
Roy Plotnick (Professor Invertebrate Paleontology, Landscape Ecology, Statistical Methods) Spring 2017
Aaron Ellison (ecologist & environmental conservationist) Spring 2016
Ana Magdalena Hurtado (evolutionary anthropologist) Spring 2016
Julia Marton-Lefèvre (environmentalist & academic) Spring 2016
Grae Worster (fluid dynamicist) Spring 2016
Bill Weber (wildlife conservationist) Spring 2014
Jeremy Jackson (marine ecologist & paleontologist) Spring 2014
Jonathan Bloch (paleontologist) Spring 2013
Hugh Possingham (conservation biologist) Spring 2013
Carlos Jaramillo (paleobiologist & geologist) Fall 2012 & Spring 2013
Arne Mooers (evolutionary biologist) Spring 2012
Scott Wing (biologist) Spring 2012
Daniel Lashof (climate policy expert) Fall 2011
Dame Alison Richard (anthropologist & conservationist) Summer & Fall 2011
Kevin de Queiroz (zoologist) Spring 2011
Link Olson (biologist) Spring 2011
Paul Richards (anthropologist) Spring 2011
Rosemary & Peter Grant (evolutionary biologists) Fall 2010
David Fox (evolutionary paleoecologist) Spring 2010
Inez Fung (atmospheric scientist) Fall 2009 & Spring 2010
Michael Benton (paleontologist) Spring 2009
David Beerling (geobiologist) Fall 2008 & Spring 2009
Christian Koerner (botanist) Spring 2007
William Cronon (environmental historian) Spring 2007
Michael Teitelbaum (demographer) Fall 2006 & Spring 2007
Stephen Sparks (volcanologist) Fall 2006 & Spring 2007
Dorceta Taylor (sociologist) Fall 2005
Rita Colwell (environmental microbiologist) Spring 2005

About Edward P. Bass

Mr. Bass, ’67 (’68 BS), is active in business, conservation, and ranching and is a committed environmentalist. He co-founded Biosphere 2, an environmental research and conservation project near Tucson, Arizona. He is chairman of the Executive Committee of the World Wildlife Fund and founding trustee of the Philecology Trust. He serves on the executive committees of the New York Botanical Garden and the Botanical Research Institute of Texas and has been a leader in the decade-long redevelopment of downtown Fort Worth. In addition to graduating from Yale College, Mr. Bass studied at Yale’s School of Architecture from 1968-70. His service to Yale includes co-chair of the Leadership Council of the Yale School of the Environment, member and former founding chair of the YIBS External Advisory Board, and former member of the University Council and former chair of the Council Committee on the Peabody Museum. He was named Successor Trustee in 2001.