AGU President

eric-davidson-headshotEric A. Davidson

Eric A. Davidson has been an AGU member for more than 25 years. He became president-elect of the Biogeosciences section in 2010 and president-elect of AGU in 2014. He took office as AGU’s 2017-2018 president in January 2017.

Davidson is director and professor at the Appalachian Laboratory of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science in Frostburg, a position he has held since 2015. Previously, he was a senior scientist and served a term as president and executive director at the Woods Hole Research Center in Woods Hole, Mass.

His research in biogeochemistry includes the exchange of plant nutrients from the land to streams and groundwater and the exchange of greenhouse gases between the soil and the atmosphere. He works in a variety of ecosystems, including forests and agricultural lands in North and South America. He is an internationally recognized expert in human alteration of the global nitrogen cycle and the temperature sensitivity of soil microbial processes. Recently, he has become involved in interdisciplinary work regarding biophysical and socioeconomic impediments and opportunities for improving nitrogen use efficiency in agriculture. He was selected as an Institute for Scientific Information Highly Cited Researcher in 2007, 2015, and 2016. He has served as a senior editor for Global Biogeochemical Cycles and Global Change Biology.

Davidson holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College (1978) and a Ph.D. in forestry from North Carolina State University (1986). He held postdoctoral positions in soil microbiology and biogeochemistry at the University of California, Berkeley and the NASA Ames Research Center.

Davidson is a Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science. He was a cofounder of the International Nitrogen Initiative and served a term as coordinator of its North American Center. He is currently leader of a Research Coordination Network on Reactive Nitrogen in the Environment. Davidson has written a popular book, You Can’t Eat GNP, which explores the links between economics and ecology for students and laypersons.

As he assumes the role of AGU president, Eric Davidson acknowledges the newly emerging uncertainties and challenges facing the Earth and space sciences, both within the United States and throughout the world. Our mission of promoting scientific discovery for the benefit of humanity has never been more important, and AGU must be a leader in articulating and promoting its essential role for knowledge, prosperity, and well-being.