Ruth DeFries
University Professor, Columbia University

Ruth DeFries is Denning Family Professor of Sustainable Development at Columbia University in New York and a member of the US National Academy of Sciences. Her most recent book is What Would Nature Do? A Guide for Our Uncertain Times (2021). She lives in New York.

Written by Ruth DeFries

Photo by Kristian Bell/Getty.

Essay/
Ecology and environmental sciences
Nature’s playbook

From termite queens to the carbon cycle, nature knows how to avoid network collapse. Human designers should pay heed

Ruth DeFries