Smith Fellows

Program Advisory Board

Clare Aslan | Jodi Hilty | Mallika Nocco | Morgan Tingley | David Wilcove | Grace Wu

Clare Aslan

Dr. Clare Aslan is co-director of the Center for Adaptable Western Landscapes at Northern Arizona University. She also serves as an associate professor and Director of the School of Earth and Sustainability. Clare performs solutions-oriented research targeting critical conservation challenges that span disciplines, scales, and systems. Her research interests include resilience of social-ecological systems to habitat fragmentation and changes in fire regimes, as well as the response of plant-pollinator interactions to global environmental change. In her collaborations, teaching, and public engagement, Clare's work centers on social-ecological systems and sustainability across the Colorado Plateau, an extensive region characterized by vast public lands, low human population density, high geological and topographic diversity, and highly diverse but understudied native species communities. Clare was a 2010 Smith Fellow, working with Dr. Erika Zavaleta to examine non-native birds as pollinators of endangered Hawaiian plants.


Jodi Hilty

Dr. Jodi Hilty is president and chief scientist of the Yellowstone to Yukon Conservation Initiative, a joint US-Canada non-profit organization dedicated to connecting and protecting the Y2Y region so that people and nature can thrive. Trained as a conservation biologist specializing in ecological corridor and large landscape research, she has over 25 years of experience managing large landscape conservation efforts. This work focuses on applying best available information to address complex conservation challenges through community-based and highly collaborative efforts, and also seeks to support Indigenous leadership in protected area and corridor conservation.

A co-editor or lead author on four books, her most recent is 2019’s Corridor Ecology: Linking Landscapes for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Adaption and she led writing of the 2020 IUCN Guidelines for Conserving Connectivity through Ecological Networks and Corridors. 

Jodi is personally invested and interested in growing diversity in science and conservation. This is realized in various ways, such assupporting and advising future leaders involved in conservation biology and large landscape conservation including, but not limited to,contributing to Smith Fellows. She prioritizes serving on the Smith Fellows board due to its commitment in supporting and including scientists who bridge science to conservation, and because the program is developing diverse leaders in the field of conservation biology.

Mallika Nocco

 Dr. Mallika Nocco is an Assistant Cooperative Extension Professor in Soil-Plant-Water Relations & Irrigation Management in the Department of Land, Air, and     Water Resources at UC Davis. Her areas of expertise are in soil-plant-water conservation, irrigation, crop water use physiology, soil hydrologic health, and thermal/multispectral aerial imagery for crop water stress evaluation. Mallika is a 2014 EPA STAR Fellow and 2017 David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow who is passionate about policy-relevant science and communication. She works with growers, policymakers, and water districts to develop irrigation management strategies that balance farm livelihoods and water conservation. She is the co-host of the Water Talk Podcast ( and director of the Conservation Irrigation Lab ( 

Morgan Tingley

Dr. Morgan Tingley joined the University of California, Los Angeles as an Associate Professor in 2020, after previously serving as an Assistant Professor at the University of Connecticut and as a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow at Princeton University. He holds a Ph.D. in Environmental Science, Policy, and Management from the University of California, Berkeley, a B.A. from Harvard University, and an M.Sc. from Oxford University.




David Wilcove

Dr. David Wilcove is a professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and public affairs at Princeton University. Prior to joining the faculty of Princeton University, he was senior ecologist at the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, DC, where he developed science-based strategies to protect endangered species. He is author of The Condor’s Shadow: The Loss and Recovery of Wildlife in America (1999), as well as numerous technical and popular articles in the fields of conservation biology, ornithology, and endangered species protection. He has served on the boards of directors of the Society for Conservation Biology, RARE Center for Tropical Conservation, American Bird Conservancy, and Natural Areas Association, as well as the editorial boards of Conservation Biology, Ecological Applications, and New England Naturalist. In 2001, Professor Wilcove received the Distinguished Service Award for the Society for Conservation Biology in recognition of his work on behalf of endangered species. In 1990, he was one of ten scientists awarded a Pew Scholarship in Conservation and the Environment. He previously worked for The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy. He received a Ph.D. in biology from Princeton University (1985) and a B.S. from Yale University (1980).

Grace Wu

Dr. Grace Wu (she/her) is an Assistant Professor in the Environmental Studies Program at UC Santa Barbara. Dr. Wu is interested in the conservation and habitat impacts of land-intensive climate change mitigation strategies and advancing our ability to plan for sustainable, multi-use landscapes that protect biodiversity and advance climate goals. Her current main research areas are sustainable spatial planning of low carbon energy systems and designing policy, management, and technology pathways to sustainable land systems in the agriculture, forestry and other land use sectors. Dr. Wu works closely with science and policy teams at The Nature Conservancy to assess whether and how renewable energy infrastructure can be scaled up without negatively impacting areas of high conservation value. Her prior work examining these issues for California have led to changes in state-level energy planning that better integrate land use and conservation considerations. Dr. Wu was previously a Smith Conservation Fellow at The Nature Conservancy and the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (2018-2021). She was also a UC President’s Postdoctoral Fellow at the John Muir Institute of the Environment at UC Davis (2018). She was trained in systems thinking and interdisciplinary approaches in the Energy and Resources Group at UC Berkeley.