Sandra Díaz is interested in plant functional traits and general patterns of functional specialization, their effects on ecosystem properties and their interactions with global change drivers. She constructed the first global quantitative picture of essential functional diversity of vascular plants –the global spectrum of plant form and function- providing a backdrop for evolutionary, ecological and biogeochemical modelling studies. She has advanced theory and practical implementation of the concept of functional diversity and its effects on ecosystem properties and benefits. She combines her plant ecology studies with interdisciplinary work on how different societies value and reconfigure biological communities and ecosystems.
Sandra is a Professor of Ecology at Córdoba National University, and a senior member of the National Research Council of Argentina. She founded Núcleo DiverSus on Diversity and Sustainability, and co-founded the Global Communal Plant Trait Initiative TRY. She co-chaired the Global Assessment of the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services.
She is a member of the Academies of Science of Argentina, USA, France, and the Developing World, and an Honorary Fellow of the British Ecological Society. She was awarded the Cozzarelli Prize (2008), the Margalef Prize in Ecology (2017), the Senckenberg Award for Nature Research (2019), and the Gunnerus Award in Sustainability Science (2019).