Environmental Sciences|Loyola University Chicago

Environmental Sciences

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Reuben P. Keller, PhD

Title: Assistant Professor 
Office: Cudahy Science 401 
Phone: 773.508.2952 


Personal Information

I grew up and did my undergrad in Australia before moving to the US in 2001 to do my PhD in David Lodge’s lab at the University of Notre Dame. I completed that in 2006, and then spent several months working in David Aldridge’s lab at Cambridge before returning to Notre Dame as a post-doc. For this post-doc I was mostly responsible for leading and editing the book Bioeconomics of Invasive Species: Ecology, Economics, Policy & Management. In 2009 I became the Henry Chandler Cowles lecturer in the Program on the Global Environment at the University of Chicago. That position ended during Summer, 2011, when I moved to my position in the Department of Environmental Science at Loyola.


My research explores the links and feedbacks among global environmental change, human economic systems, and human behavior. As society becomes more globalized, and as human populations grow, we become increasingly reliant on patterns of production and trade that have serious environmental, economic and human health consequences. One of the best examples of this is invasive species, which is the primary focus of my research. Invasive species are introduced through trade and travel, each of which brings large benefits to society. In contrast, the impacts of invasive species are extremely detrimental to society. The degree to which human societies can protect agricultural and natural lands, human and animal health, and beneficial economic systems in the future will depend in large part on our ability to manage the introduction and spread of invasive species.


I am presently working on a project that aims to develop tools for predicting the identity of likely future invasive species in the Great Lakes. Because the Great Lakes are a shared resource, the actions of all states that border the lakes affect all others. We are working with management agencies toward the goal of producing set of risk assessments that can be widely applied across the Great Lakes Basin. This would be a significant improvement compared to the current regulatory framework, which differs across states.


Other ongoing projects include work with economists to look at the value of regulations that restrict import of invasive species, work on global patterns of shipping, projects dealing with international policy for addressing invasive species, and continuing work with European collaborators to address patterns of invasion across Europe.




I am currently teaching two sections of the Environmental Sustainability course, a part of the Civic Engagement requirement at Loyola. All undergraduates are required to take a civic engagement course in order to graduate. My students are currently working on projects with a local elementary school to increase use of their greenhouse, and ultimately to engage the school students in the full process from growing produce to preparing it for meals. The other project is on campus, where students are working to determine the biodiversity and ecosystem service value of trees on campus.



Selected Publications


Keller RP & C Perrings. In Press. International policy options for reducing the environmental impacts of invasive species. BioScience.


Springborn M, CM Romagosa & RP Keller. 2011. The value of nonindigenous species risk assessment in international trade. Ecological Economics. doi:10.1016/j.ecolecon.2011.06.016


Keller RP, JM Drake, M Drew & DM Lodge. 2011. Linking Environmental Conditions and Ship Movements to Estimate Invasive Species Transport Across the Global Shipping Network. Diversity and Distributions 17:93-102.


Keller RP, DM Lodge, M Lewis & J Shogren (editors). 2009. Bioeconomics of Invasive Species: Integrating Ecology, Economics, Policy and Management. Oxford University Press.


Keller RP, DM Lodge & DC Finnoff. 2007. Risk assessment for invasive species produces net bioeconomic benefits. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 104:203-207.


Keller RP & DM Lodge. 2007. Species invasions from commerce in live aquatic organisms – problems and possible solutions. BioScience 57:428-436.


Keller RP, JM Drake & DM Lodge. 2007. Fecundity as a basis for risk assessment of nonindigenous molluscs. Conservation Biology 21:191-200.


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