Filley named as director of Discovery Park's Center for the Environment

November 16, 2018

Timothy Filley, professor of geochemistry and soil science in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences and the Department of Agronomy, has been named as the new director of Discovery Park's Center for the Environment. His appointment began Sunday (Nov. 11).

An internationally recognized environmental geochemist, Filley began his career at Purdue in 2000 as assistant professor in the Department of Earth, Atmospheric, and Planetary Sciences after a postdoctoral fellowship at the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C., and a Ph.D. at The Pennsylvania State University. He has served as associate head of EAPS, national program chair of the Geochemistry Division of the American Chemical Society, and director of the U.S.-China Ecopartnership for Environmental Sustainability, and as acting director of C4E since August 2017.  

“Tim is accomplished in his field and brings a great record of multidisciplinary research, administrative leadership, and experience establishing strong partnerships with academic, governmental and nongovernmental institutions, and industry,” says Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, Discovery Park’s chief scientist and executive director.  “He is no stranger to building collaborative research teams that focus not only on technical fixes but also on the social, political and economic dimensions needed to address complex sustainability challenges.” 

The Center for the Environment serves to facilitate interdisciplinary research, learning, and engagement on important regional and global environmental challenges. In recent years, the center has grown to include 200 active faculty affiliates, expanded strategic areas of focus, and provides opportunities for graduate and undergraduate student research.

“I am honored to serve as C4E director and help strengthen Purdue’s standing as a national and global leader in solving complex environmental problems,” Filley says. “Purdue is fortunate to have outstanding faculty, students, and staff across the physical, natural and social sciences, engineering, humanities, and technology who are deeply committed to environmental sustainability and resilience-thinking. As center director, I look forward to working with this diverse group to converge our talents, interests, and significant institutional resources on solutions for a sustainable planet and economy.”

An expert in stable isotope geochemistry and the chemistry of soil and plants, Filley has research interests focusing on the biogeochemical processes that transform organic matter in terrestrial and riverine ecosystems within natural and intensively managed landscapes. An overarching goal of his work is to demonstrate that detailed mechanistic information about soil organic matter dynamics can lead to better understanding of society’s vulnerability to climate and land use change, and to the potential risks from emerging pollutants.  He has published 97 scientific papers and is lead principal investigator of the Arequipa Nexus Institute for Sustainable Food, Energy, Water, and the Environment (The Nexus).