Stephen R. Carpenter is the S.A. Forbes Professor of Zoology and Director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. His research on lake ecology led to fundamental concepts of trophic cascades, ecological regime shifts, and resilience of ecosystems and the societies that depend on them. Carpenter was among the co-chairs of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, the first global assessment of the benefits that nature provides to society. Wisconsin lakes have been his laboratory for more than 40 years, starting with his PhD studies at UW-Madison. Insights for managing water quality, food webs, and lake fisheries emerged from his work.
Carpenter is the 2011 Laureate of the Stockholm Water Prize and has received research honors from the Association for the Sciences of Limnology and Oceanography and the Ecological Society of America. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. He served as President of the Ecological Society of America. Carpenter was a co-founder of the Resilience Alliance and currently serves on the Board of Stockholm Resilience Centre and as chair of the Program on Ecosystem Change and Society, a program of Future Earth. Carpenter is author of 5 books and about 400 scientific publications on ecology and environment.