Josh Atwood, PhD

  • PhD Completion: May 2011 - Post-establishment evolution of nonnative plant species in New England mainland and island habitats


Since leaving the CIIP and completing graduate school, Josh moved to Hawaii and has worked in invasive species coordination and policy for the state government. Hawaii is at the forefront of conservation innovation by necessity: having evolved in near isolation over 70 million years, Hawaii’s native species are highly threatened by increased travel and trade that today provide a near constant stream species introductions to these islands.

Hawaii’s culture and political history provide a unique context for environmental policy and management that ensures that conservation work here is always fascinating and never dull. Hawaii is simultaneously part of a Pacific biological/cultural heritage and part of the United States, and Josh has found it really rewarding to work at the intersection of state, regional, and federal conservation issues. Josh’s time with the CIIP has served him well in this position, as he works across agencies and disciplines and try to find common ground among a diverse partner network.

Josh’s Pearls of Wisdom: “So far my work experience has taught me that science is people, conservation is people, and policy is people. Whatever you want to accomplish, it starts with finding the right people and listening before speaking.”