Rodolfo Dirzo. (Photo by Linda A. Cicero/Stanford News Service.)

If you think all ecologists are focused on the gloom and doom of climate change, think again. Some of them have even bigger things on their minds.

“I think that, given time and political will and political savviness, we might be able to fix the climate change situation,” says Rodolfo Dirzo, the Bing Professor in Ecology at Stanford University, where he also serves as the director of the Center for Latin American Studies. “But biological extinction is not a reversible thing. To me — and I know that this might be controversial — I think that biological extinction is the most dramatic global environmental change that characterizes the Anthropocene.”