Stephen Russell (Steve) Carpenter is a leader of whole-ecosystem experiments and adaptive ecosystem management focused on freshwaters. Topics include trophic cascades and their effects on production and nutrient cycling, contaminant cycles, freshwater fisheries, eutrophication, nonpoint pollution, ecological economics of freshwater, and resilience of social-ecological systems.
Carpenter serves as the Director of the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where he is the Stephen Alfred Forbes Professor of Zoology. He is a member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences, a Fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and a foreign member of the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences. Carpenter is the 2011 laureate of the Stockholm Water Prize. His other notable awards include a Pew Fellowship in Conservation and Environment, the G. Evelyn Hutchinson Medal of the American Society of Limnology and Oceanography, the Robert H. MacArthur Award from the Ecological Society of America, the Excellence in Ecology Prize from the Ecology Institute, and the Naumann-Thienemann medal of the International Society for Limnology. He is co-Editor in Chief of Ecosystems, and a member of governing boards for the Beijer Institute of Ecological Economics and the South American Institute for Resilience and Sustainability Studies. From 2000-2005 he served as co-chair of the Scenarios Working Group of the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. He led the North Temperate Lakes Long-Term Ecological Research program at U.W.-Madison from 1999-2009. He is a former President of the Ecological Society of America. He joined the U.W.-Madison faculty in 1989.