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Renee Ann Richer

Associate Professor of Biology at Duke Kunshan University
DKU Faculty


Dr. Richer’s work is at the intersection of environment and biology (particularly physiological ecology) with emphasis on the impacts of climate change and ameliorating the impacts of climate change. Uniquely, she has worked extensively with plants, animals and microbial communities, focusing on semi-arid to hyper-arid environments. 

For more than a decade, she has been working to understand the physiology and ecology of complex biocrusts in deserts and the bioactive compounds they produce. She is particularly interested in how environmental factors influence compound production and isomer ratios. Her teaching interests include biology and environmental science.
She has edited a book on developing university courses for environment, development and sustainability studies (Central European University Press), and has published a guide to the flora of Qatar (Akkadia Press). She served as guest editor for a Journal of Arid Environments special issue, Toxins in Desert Environments, and has published numerous peer-reviewed papers. She is a full member of Sigma Xi and a certified senior ecologist of the Ecological Society of America.
Richer has a B.A. in biology (with honors) from the University of Chicago and a Ph.D. in biology from Harvard University. Before joining Duke Kunshan, she taught at Weill Cornell Medicine Qatar and the University of Wisconsin, Green Bay.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Associate Professor of Biology at Duke Kunshan University · 2021 - Present DKU Faculty
Associate Professor of the Practice of DKU Studies at Duke University · 2023 - Present DKU Studies

Education, Training & Certifications

Harvard University · 2004 Ph.D.