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DeClerk is the science director of the EAT Foundation, a collaboration between the Stockholm Resilience Center, the Stordalen Foundation, and the Wellcome Trust. He leads EAT’s scientific research which focuses on the role of food (diet) in ensuring environmental sustainability, human health, and dignity in work. At SRC he serves on the leadership of the Food Systems theme and is responsible for coordinating EAT/SRC engagements. His research focuses on food as the “gateway drug” to sustainability – and how changes in human diet can be leverages as a means of supporting food systems that are capable of providing healthy food to a 9 billion global population within planetary boundaries.
DeClerk has long straddled the boundary between plant ecology and sustainable development dedicating more than 20 years to professional work on agricultural development, environment, and sustainability. His research with CATIE in Costa Rica, where he taught for six years, as well as recent professional experience with Bioversity International and CGIAR have focused on biodiversity and ecosystem services in agricultural landscapes and their contributions to sustainable development. This work recognizes that agricultural systems are the largest ecosystems of the Anthropocene, and humanities best option for achieving sustainability targets.
His research on agricultural landscapes incudes questions on both human and biophysical dimensions of managing landscape multifuntionality and multiscalar interactions between ecosystem services. He obtained his PhD from the University of California Davis in 2004 where he studied the productivity, resistance, and resilience of Sierra Nevada conifer forests to more than 130 years of climate variability. He conducted his postdoctoral work with the Earth Institute at Columbia University with research on the contributions of biodiversity and ecosystem services to the Millennium Development Goals, including human nutrition.
DeClerk is the Science Director of EAT and a Senior Scientist with Bioversity International. He is a contributing author to both the Africa and Global Assessments of the Intergovernmental Panel on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES). He also serves as a contributing author to the TEEB AgriFood interim reports. He holds academic research positions with CATIE in Costa Rica, Columbia University in New York, and with the University of Idaho. DeClerk services on the Advisory Board for the Science for Nature and People collaboration.
DeClerk a hybrid of many places. His Belgian birth has inspired him to become a brewer (he bought a small brewery in Costa Rica, which now lives in his garage). His California upbringing has instilled a deep love for the outdoors, rugged coastlines, expansive deserts, redwoods forests, and the Sierra Nevada. He lives with his family (wife, son and daughter) in Montpellier, France (which is in striking distance of the Pyrenees amongst other places).
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