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Director, Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota

Jessica Hellmann

Jessica Hellmann is the director of the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota. As director, she provides overall strategic leadership for the Institute, an internationally recognized organization working to solve grand environmental challenges, while promoting interdisciplinary research, teaching and leadership across the university and engaging external partners and stakeholders. Hellmann’s research focuses on global change ecology and climate adaptation. She was among the first to propose and study ways to reduce the impact of climate change through new techniques in conservation management. She works with governments and corporations to build investment in climate change adaptation and co-authored several climate assessment and adaptation planning efforts. Before coming to the University of Minnesota in 2015, Hellmann was on the faculty at the University of Notre Dame in the Department of Biological Sciences. Hellmann is a frequent contributor to leading scientific journals such as Proceedings of the National Academies of Science, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, BioScience and PLOS ONE. She serves on the editorial board of the journal Evolutionary Applications, is an associate editor with both Conservation Biology and Elementa, and serves on committees for the Ecological Society of America, the College Board and the National Academy of Sciences. Hellmann earned her Ph.D. in biology from Stanford University and served as a postdoctoral fellow at Stanford’s Center for International Security and Cooperation and the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Biodiversity Research.