Debby Moskovits joined The Field Museum staff as a research assistant right after graduate school, in 1985. Next she worked with the public side of the Museum, developing exhibitions on ecology, evolution, and conservation, and renovating the Museum’s animal halls. In 1994, while the Museum was celebrating its centennial, Debby launched a new effort. She organized a unit to translate the Museum’s rigorous science into immediate action for conservation, cultural understanding, and the well-being of people living in and around biologically rich areas. The Museum’s efforts led to important results, including establishment of vast protected landscapes in the most diverse regions of the planet, lasting collaborations with indigenous communities, and strong partnerships for conservation in a vibrant metropolis.
Debby is now the vice-president for Science and Education, overseeing the Museum’s three science centers: Collections, Integrative Research, and Science Action. The Museum’s 25 million-strong collections of biological specimens and cultural artifacts contain the magnificent story of our planet, and its life and cultures. Our research unlocks the information in these objects, solving the mysteries of our past and answering vital questions of today. Our action harnesses museum science to create lasting results in conservation and quality of life. Together, these centers increase the Museum’s ability to understand the past, explore the present, and shape a future rich with biological and cultural diversity.
Dr. Moskovits received her B.A. with high honors from Princeton University and her Ph.D. in Biology from The University of Chicago. Her dissertation was on the ecology and behavior of tortoises in Amazonian Brazil. She has worked for more than forty years in ecology and conservation, primarily in the tropics.