Alan R. Townsend

Alan R. Townsend

Fellow of INSTAAR

  • Dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University


  • PhD: Stanford University, 1994
  • BS: Amherst College, 1988

Contact Information


Biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology.

Research Interests

Carbon and nitrogen dynamics at regional to global scales; phosphorus controls over C and N in moist tropical systems; nutrient controls over soil carbon storage; human health effects of a changing N cycle.


After seventeen years at CU Boulder, the Townsend Lab has ended; but the science continues.


  • Google Science Communication Fellow, Google, 2011
  • Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, Stanford University, Woods Institute for the Environment, 2001