Senior figures in the environmental, sustainability and health space who have been invited to provide technical, policy and strategic advice to the Coalition.
Dr. Thomas Lovejoy
Preventing Pandemics at the Source remembers the accomplished conservation biologist Dr. Thomas Lovejoy, who passed away on December 25th, 2021. Tom was an advisor to Preventing Pandemics at the Source. He was incredibly supportive of our efforts and always generous with his time and expertise.
Tom’s achievements and contributions are extraordinary. He helped coined in 1980 the term “biological diversity”. He was one of the first to measure the impact of deforestation on various species and to call for the preservation of biologically diverse ecosystems. He spent more than 40 years doing field research in the Brazilian Amazon while holding leadership positions at various organizations. He spent 14 years at the World Wildlife Fund and over a decade at the Smithsonian Institution. From 1999 to 2002. He was also the World Bank’s chief biodiversity advisor and a lead specialist for environment for Latin America and the Caribbean. He served as president of the Heinz Center from 2002 to 2008 and held the Biodiversity Chair until the center closed at the end of 2013. Before his passing, Tom was an elected professor in the department of environmental science and policy at George Mason University and a Senior Fellow at the United Nations Foundation. He served on dozens of other boards and advisory groups.
Tom received the prestigious Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, a BBVA Foundation Frontiers of Knowledge Award in the ecology and conservation biology category, the Blue Planet Prize, and a Conservation Fellowship from National Geographic, and had BS and PhD degrees in biology from Yale University.
"Tom was also a close personal friend of mine, as I had the good fortune to be one of the many graduate students who did their PhDs at the field site that Tom established in the Brazilian Amazon" says Nigel Sizer, executive director of Preventing Pandemics at the Source, "I first met Tom there in 1989 and he was a mentor ever since, unfailingly kind and generous. Tom was also humble, and worked constantly, tirelessly, quietly behind the scenes, to make good things happen for conservation and science, right up until a few days before he passed away at the age of 80. Whenever I spoke with him, he was always in the middle of something very high-level through his incredible network and access, and for much of this he received little or no credit."
With Tom's passing, we have lost a very special friend of Preventing Pandemics at the Source. We are committed to driving his legacy forward by shedding light on the link between the destruction of nature and emerging infectious diseases, and by continuing his fight for the preservation of biologically diverse ecosystems.