Claire Kremen




PhD  Zoology    Duke University, 1987
B.S.   Biology    Stanford University, 1982

Research Interests

Conservation Biology, entomology

Research Description

As a conservation biologist, I seek mechanisms for slowing or preventing the loss of biodiversity, which is one of the greatest environmental challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. Estimates of the magnitude of species extinction vary greatly, but one thing is clear – current rates of extinction far exceed those of past major extinction spasms. Largely, this is due to human influence: through resource consumption and land use, humans now dominate all global environmental systems.

Human-caused extinctions not only terminate the existence of countless organisms that evolved over hundreds of millions of years, but in so doing threaten the life support systems on which we depend. Herein lie two fundamentally different, but complementary imperatives for protecting biodiversity: the intrinsic value of the multiplicity of life forms and the evolutionary processes that produced them, and the utilitarian value that the diversity of life provides for our own well-being.

These two value systems lead to quite different, yet complementary, conservation strategies. In the “protected area” strategy, the goal is to conserve as many species as efficiently as possible within a network of reserves. While such protected areas may also provide services to humanity, the main impetus for their creation is the intrinsic value of the biodiversity they contain. In the “ecosystem service” strategy, the goal is to identify and conserve the species that provide important benefits to humans, in the places where these services are most needed. In my research, I work on both of these strategies, because I find that their underlying value-systems are equally compelling, and that together they work in a complementary fashion, often in different parts of the landscape, to reconcile human resource use with biodiversity conservation. A central goal in my approach is to provide information, techniques or tools of use to real-world situations. Each research project, therefore, is designed around a specific applied problem, and then draws broader, generalizable principles from these specific applications.

Learn more about our research by visiting our lab website.

Selected Publications

Garibaldi, L., I. Steffan-Dewenter, C. Kremen, J. Morales, R. Bommarco, S. Cunningham, L. Carvalheiro, N. Chacoff, J. Dudenhöffer, S. Greenleaf, A. Holzschuh, R. Isaacs, K. Krewenka, Y. Mandelik, M. Mayfield, L. Morandin, S. Potts, T. Ricketts, H. Szentgyörgyi, B. Viana, C. Westphal, R. Winfree, and A. Klein. Stability of pollination services decreases with isolation from natural areas despite honey bee visits. 2011. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01669.x

Chaplin-Kramer, R., E.J. Blitzer, M.O’Rourke and C. Kremen. 2011. A meta-analysis of crop pest and natural enemy response to landscape complexity. Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/j.1461-0248.2011.01642.x.

Kremen, C., Ullman, K. S. and Thorp, R. W. 2011. Evaluating the Quality of Citizen-Scientist Data on Pollinator Communities. Conservation Biology, 25: 607-617

Eilers, E.J., C. Kremen, S.S. Greenleaf, A.K.Garber, A.-M. Klein. 2011. Contribution of Pollinator-mediated Crops to Nutrients in the Human Food Supply. PLoS ONE 6: e21363.

Chaplin-Kramer, R., K. Tuxen-Bettman, and C. Kremen. 2011. Value of wildlands habitat for supplying pollination services to Californian agriculture. Rangelands 33:33-41.

Menz, M. H. M., R. D. Phillips, R. Winfree, C. Kremen, M. A. Aizen, S. D. Johnson, and K. W. Dixon. Reconnecting plants and pollinators: challenges in the restoration of pollination mutualisms. Trends in Plant Science. 16:4-12

Potts, S. G., J. C. Biesmeijer, C. Kremen, P. Neumann, O. Schweiger, and W. E. Kunin. 2010. Global pollinator declines: trends, impacts and drivers. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 24:345-353.

Winfree, R., and C. Kremen. 2009. Are ecosystem services stabilized by differences among species? A test using crop pollination. Proceedings of the Royal Society B-Biological Sciences 276:229-237.

Lonsdorf, E., C. Kremen, T. Ricketts, R. Winfree, N. Williams, and S. Greenleaf. 2009. Modelling pollination services across agricultural landscapes. Annals of Botany 103:1589-1600.

Klein, A. M., C. M. Mueller, P. Hoehn, and C. Kremen. 2009. Understanding the role of species richness for pollination services. Pages 195-208 in D. Bunker, A. Hector, M. Loreau, C. Perrings, and S. Naeem, editors. Biodiversity, Ecosystem Functioning, and Human Wellbeing. Oxford University Press, Oxford.

Kremen, C., A. Cameron, A. Moilanen, S. J. Phillips, C. D. Thomas, H. Beentje, J. Dransfield, B. L. Fisher, F. Glaw, T. C. Good, G. J. Harper, R. J. Hijmans, D. C. Lees, E. Louis, R. A. Nussbaum, C. J. Raxworthy, A. Razafimpahanana, G. E. Schatz, M. Vences, D. R. Vieites, P. C. Wright , and M. L. Zjhra. 2008. Aligning Conservation Priorities Across Taxa in Madagascar with High-Resolution Planning Tools. Science 320:222-225.

Ricketts, T. H., J. Regetz, I. Steffan-Dewenter, S. A. Cunningham, C. Kremen, A. Bogdanski, B. Gemmill-Herren, S. S. Greenleaf, A. M. Klein, M. M. Mayfield, L. A. Morandin, A. Ochieng, and B. F. Viana. 2008. Landscape effects on crop pollination services: are there general patterns? Ecology Letters 11:499-515.

Kremen C. and R. Chaplin. 2007. Insects as providers of ecosystem services: crop pollination and pest control. In Insect Conservation Biology: proceedings of the Royal Entomological Society's 23rd Symposium. (Stewart, A.J.A., New, T.R. and Lewis, O.T. (eds)) CABI Publishing, Wallingford, 349-382.

Kremen, C., N. M. Williams, M. A. Aizen, B. Gemmill-Harren, G. LeBuhn, R. Minckley, L. Packer, S. G. Potts, T. Roulston, I. Steffan-Dewenter, D. P. Vazquez, R. Winfree, L. Adams, E. E. Crone, S. S. Greenlead, T. H. Keitt, A. M. Klein, J. Regetz, and T. H. Ricketts. 2007. Pollination and other ecosystem services produced by mobile organisms: a conceptual framework for the effects of land-use change. Ecology Letters 10:299-314.

Williams N. & Kremen C. 2007. Floral resource distribution among habitats determines productivity of a solitary bee, Osmia lignaria, in a mosaic agricultural landscape. Ecological Applications. 17:910-921

Winfree, R., N. M. Williams, J. Dushoff and C. Kremen. 2007. Wild bees provide insurance against ongoing honey bee losses. Ecology Letters. 10:1105-1113

Greenleaf, S., N. Williams, R. Winfree, & Kremen C. 2007. Bee foraging ranges and their relationships to body size. Oecologia. 153:589-596.

Winfree R., Griswold T. & Kremen C. (2007). Effect of human disturbance on bee communities in a forested ecosystem. Conservation Biology 21:213-223.

Klein A.M., Vaissière B., Cane J.H., Steffan-Dewenter I., Cunningham S.A., Kremen C. & Tscharntke T. (2007). Importance of crop pollinators in changing landscapes for world crops. Proceedings of the Royal Society of London Series B-Biological Sciences 274: 303-313.

Zhang,W., T. H. Ricketts ; C. Kremen , K.Carney & S. M. Swinton. 2007, Ecosystem Services and Dis-services to Agriculture. Ecological Economics. 64, 253-260.

Good, T. C., M. L. Zjhra and C. Kremen. 2006. Dealing with data deficiency in classifying extinction risk: A case study of a radiation of Bignoniaceae from Madagascar. Conservation Biology, 20:1099-1110.

Greenleaf, S. S. and C. Kremen (2006). Wild bees enhance honey bees' pollination of hybrid sunflower. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 103: 13890-13895.

Kremen, C., and R. S. Ostfeld. 2005. A call to ecologists: measuring, analyzing, and managing ecosystem services. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 3:540-548.

Kremen, C. 2005. Managing for ecosystem services: what do we need to know about their ecology? Ecology Letters, 8:468-479.

Larsen, T. H., N. M. Williams and C. Kremen. 2005. Extinction order and altered community structure rapidly disrupt ecosystem functioning. Ecology Letters, 8:538-547.

Kremen, C., N. M. Williams, R. L. Bugg, J. P. Fay and R. W. Thorp. 2004. The area requirements of an ecosystem service: crop pollination by native bee communities in California. Ecology Letters, 7:1109-1119.

Kremen, C. , Lees, D. C. and J. Fay. 2003. Butterflies and conservation planning in Madagascar: from pattern to practice. Pp 517-540 In Ecology and Evolution Taking Flight: Butterflies as Model Systems (C. L.Boggs, W. B. Watt, and P. R. Ehrlich, Eds.). University of Chicago Press.

Kremen, C., Williams, N. M. and R. W. Thorp. 2002a. Crop pollination from native bees at risk from agricultural intensification. PNAS 99:16812-16816. (Selected as “Editor’s Choice”, Science, 12/20/2002).

Kremen, C., R. L. Bugg, N. Nicola, S. A. Smith, R. W. Thorp and N. M Williams. 2002b. Native bees, native plants and crop pollination in California. Fremontia 30:41–49. (Invited selection for special issue on Californian insects).

Kremen, C. Niles, J., Dalton, M., Daily, G., Ehrlich, P., Fay, P., Grewal, D. and R. P. Guillery. 2000. Economic incentives for rain forest conservation across scales. Science, 288, 1828-1832.

Kremen, C., Razafimahatratra, V., Guillery, R. P., Rakotomalala, J., Weiss, A., and J. Ratsitsompatrarivo. 1999. Designing a new national park in Madagascar based on biological and socio-economic data. Conservation Biology, 13,1055-1068.

Kremen, C., Lance, K. and I. Raymond. 1998. Interdisciplinary tools for monitoring conservation impacts in Madagascar. Conservation Biology, 12, 549-563.

Kremen, C., Colwell, R., Erwin, T. L., Murphy, D. D., Noss, R. F. and S. Muttulingam. 1993. Terrestrial arthropod assemblages: their use as indicators for biological inventory and monitoring programs. Conservation Biology, 7, 796-808.

Kremen, C. 1992. Assessing indicator species assemblages for natural areas monitoring: guidelines from a study of rain forest butterflies in Madagascar. Ecological Applications, 2, 203-217.

Honors and Awards

  • Fellowship - Macarthur Foundation - 2008
  • Hellman Fellowship - American Academy of Arts & Sciences - 2007
  • Chancellor's Partnership Fellowship - University of California, Berkeley - 2007

Recent Teaching

  • 2 - The Biosphere
  • 277 - Advanced Topics in Conservation Biology
  • 281 - Seminar in Wildlife Biology and Management

Contact Information


Office: 217 Wellman Hall

Office Phone: 510-643-6339


Office Hours

Fri, 2-3 PM; Updated 08/25/2011

Research Group(s)

Mailing Address

Dept of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management
UC Berkeley
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720