John Vandermeer

Courtesy Appointment


PhD, University of Michigan



Professor Vandermeer is the Asa Gray Distinguished University Professor of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology as well as the Arthur F. Thurnau Professor in LSA's Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. He has been involved in research and teaching in food and agriculture related topics for the past 40 years. His research has concentrated on the ecology of the coffee agroecosystem in Mexico, elaborating the complex ecological structures involved in complicated dynamics of the pest control system there. He has authored 15 books, mainly concerned with agroecosystems and more than 200 publications in theoretical ecology, tropical ecology and agroecology. He is a founding member of the New World Agriculture and Ecology Group. Currently he teaches an elementary course (Bio/Environ 101 – Food, energy and the environment) and two advanced courses (EEB 477 -- Field Ecology and EEB 498 – Ecology of agroecosystems).

  • 2010-2012: National Science Foundation (with co PIs J. Kurdziel and C. Badgley) ED-QUEST: Enhancing diversity, quality, and Understanding of the Ecological Sciences for Tomorrow. $226,000.

  • 2004-2009: National Science Foundation (co PI with I. Perfecto, Spatial scaling with an unusual food web structure: The case of Azteca spp. ants in the coffee agroecosystem of southern Mexico), $500, 000.

  • 2002-Present: MacIntyre Stennis grant (co PI with I. Perfecto, Forest succession in oak-dominated Michigan forests) — $10, 000.

  • 2002-2006: National Science Foundation (Continuing studies of hurricane-damaged rain forests in Nicaragua $210, 000.

  • 1999-2002: National Science Foundation (Role of agroecosystems in post agricultural succession). $200,000.

  • Harold R. Johnson Diversity Service Award (2013).

  • Special recognition from La Sociedad Cientifica LatinoAmericana de Agroecología (2011).

  • Imes and Moore Faculty Award (2009). 

  • Sarah Goddard Power Award (2008).

  • Margaret Davis Collegiate Professor (2002 – 2009).

Select publications: 
  • Perfecto, I., and J. Vandermeer. 2014. Coffee Ecology. Earthscan, London (in press).

  • Vandermeer, J. and D. E. Goldberg. 2013. Elementary Population Ecology, 2nd Edition, Princeton University Press.

  • Vandermeer, J., 2010. The ecology of Agroecosystems, Bartlett and Jones, Sudbury, MA.

  • Perfecto, I., J. Vandermeer, and Angus Wright 2009. Nature’s Matrix: Linking Agricuture, Conservation and Food Sovereignty, Earthscan, London.

  • Vandermeer, J., and I. Perfecto. 2005. A breakfast of biodiversity: The true causes of rain forest destruction (second edition). (Vandermeer and Perfecto). Institute for Food and Development Policy.