David Haskell’s work integrates scientific and contemplative studies of the natural world. His research and teaching examine the evolution and conservation of animals, especially forest-dwelling birds and invertebrates. This research is supported by the National Science Foundation, the Environmental Protection Agency, the Fish and Wildlife Service, the World Wildlife Fund, and the Templeton Foundation. In addition to numerous scientific articles, he has published essays and poems about science and nature. In 2012, Viking published The Forest Unseen: A Year’s Watch in Nature, which E. O. Wilson described as “a new genre of nature writing, located between science and poetry.” The New York Times recently ran a profile of the book.
His classes have received national attention for the innovative ways in which they combine scientific exploration, contemplative practice, and action in the community. In 2009, the Carnegie and CASE Foundations named him Professor of the Year for Tennessee, an award given to college professors of who have achieved national distinction and whose work shows “extraordinary dedication to undergraduate teaching.” The Oxford American featured him in 2011 as one of the southern U.S.’s most creative teachers and his teaching has been profiled in USA Today, The Tennesseean, and other newspapers.
Haskell holds degrees from the University of Oxford (B.A. in Zoology) and from Cornell University (Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology). He is Professor of Biology at the University of the South, where he has served both as Chair of Biology and as Associated Colleges of the South Environmental Fellow. He is a Fellow of the American Council of Learned Societies and was granted Elective Membership in the American Ornithologists’ Union in recognition of “significant contributions to ornithology.”