Since its inception, SFI has prioritized people over programs. Even before the Institute’s official founding in 1984, George Cowan and collaborators envisioned an institute without departments, with renowned scholars as its faculty.

“It was all about really good people who were crossing disciplines,” Cowan said.

In keeping with this vision, SFI extends and refreshes its network of researchers annually when it appoints new external faculty, affiliated with universities and institutions from around the world. 

This year, we welcome 11 new researchers.


Danielle Bassett

Engineering Department
University of Pennsylvania


Wendy Carlin

Professor of Economics
Department of Economics
University College London


Sean Carroll

Research Professor
Physics Department

André de Roos

Professor of Theoretical Ecology 
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
University of Amsterdam


John Krakauer

Director of BLAM Lab, Co-founder of the KATA project
John C. Malone Professor
Professor of Neurology, Neuroscience, & Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation
Department of Neurology
Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine

Suresh Naidu

Professor in Economics and International and Public Affairs
School of International and Public Affairs
Columbia University


Mary O'Connor

Associate Director / Associate Professor
Biodiversity Research Centre
University of British Columbia


Orit Peleg 

Assistant Professor
Computer Science Department
University of Colorado, Boulder

Marten Scheffer

Department of Environmental Sciences
Wageningen University & Research Centre

Thalia Wheatley

Associate Professor of Psychological and Brain Sciences
Director of Graduate Studies
Dartmouth Social Systems Laboratory
Department of Arts & Sciences
Dartmouth College

Karen Willcox

Professor, Director of the Oden Institute of Computational Engineering and Sciences
Aerospace Engineering and Engineering Mechanics
University of Texas, Austin