Craig W. Osenberg graduated with highest honors from the University of California Santa Barbara (BA, Biological Sciences, 1980), and later completed his graduate studies at the Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University (PhD, 1988, working with Earl Werner and Gary Mittelbach). He went on to a post-doctoral and research appointment at UC Santa Barbara and faculty appointments at UC Berkeley and the University of Florida; at UF, he served as Graduate Coordinator (Dept. of Zoology) and Chair (Department of Biology). Craig is now Professor of Ecology in the Odum School of Ecology at the University of Georgia.
His research in population and community ecology tackles problems across a diversity of habitats (terrestrial, freshwater, estuarine, and marine) and organisms (fish, amphibians, plants, invertebrates), but is organized around several interrelated research themes: (1) fish population dynamics – the role of stage-structure and the effects of density dependence; (2) the development and application of statistical tools designed to quantify impacts of human activities on ecological systems (including marine reserves); (3) the development and application of meta-analysis and quantitative synthesis; and (4) coral reef dynamics – especially the role of species interactions (including mutualisms) on the growth and survival of corals and the resulting feedbacks on coral-associated organisms. These projects have been supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, NSF IGERT program, Sea Grant, French-American Cultural Exchange, and the European Union. He and his students have published over 150 papers.
Professor Osenberg was elected a Fellow of the Ecological Society of America in 2015. He also was Chair of the Aquatic Section of ESA, Editor-in-Chief of Oecologia, served on the editorial boards of Ecology, Ecological Monographs and Frontiers in Marine Science, and was on the Science Advisory Board to the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. He has served as a consultant to a diversity of groups applying science to important environments issues, including human impacts in marine systems, the design and assessment of marine protected areas in Costa Rica and the Mediterranean, and restoration of the Everglades and the Gulf of Mexico.