Dr. Cardinale is an ecologist who focuses on the conservation and restoration of biodiversity in natural systems, as well as the ecological design of human engineered systems that benefit from use of native species and biodiversity. Cardinale has published over 130 peer-reviewed papers, received more than $38 million in grant funding, and ranked as one of the world’s most highly cited researchers in the area of Environment / Ecology since 2014. Cardinale is also an elected fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), and a fellow of the Ecological Society of America (ESA).

Dr. Cardinale received his B.S. in Biology from Arizona State University in 1993, an M.S. degree in Fisheries and Wildlife from Michigan State University in 1996, followed by a Ph.D. from the University of Maryland in 2002. During his graduate studies he worked on the ecological restoration of freshwater ecosystems. He began his faculty career at the University of California-Santa Barbara as an Assistant Professor in 2005 where he worked on conservation and management of biodiversity in both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. He then moved to the University of Michigan in 2011 where he formed and directed the Cooperative Institute for Great Lakes Research — a research institute that brought together universities, government agencies, non-governmental organizations, and private-business partners to work together on sustainable management of the Great Lakes.

In 2021, Dr. Cardinale was named Head of Penn State’s Department of Ecosystem Science and Management where he helps coordinate the research, teaching, and extension activities of more than 50 faculty and federal agency scientists and 100 graduate students who work on the sustainable management of natural and managed ecosystems.