newwideheader 2017-05-27T01:06:15+00:00

Hi, I’m Eric.

I specialize in not specializing, but have focused on 3 broad themes:
Ecology,  Network Theory, and Finding Simple Stories in Complex Data.
I like to connect the dots among problems, people, projects,
and pretty much anything, actually.

I’m a Field Ecologist

My Ph.D focused on Marine Ecology: experimental community ecology of rocky shores.  My field ecology collaborations since 1996 have focused on Alpine Wilderness Ecosystems in the Sierra Nevada of California, where I helped create the first University of California research and education center in Yosemite National Park. A recurring theme of my conservation-related research is to leverage data to better inform natural resource management decisions. More…

I’m an Ecological Network Scientist

I have been collaborating with ecologists, physicists, and computer scientists since the late 1990’s to understand the architecture and dynamics of complex ecosystems. More recently this work has broadened to include social and economic networks (e.g., who collaborates with whom, who buys what from whom, who funds what).  A recurring theme of this work has been to uncover the simplicity that lies on the other side of complexity. More…

I’m a Data Ecologist

I co-founded Vibrant Data Inc. in 2013 with two other TED Fellows (David Gurman and Kaustuv DeBiswas) to help people see and understand patterns in complex data. Vibrant Data was acquired by Rakuten in 2016. I’m particularly interested in working on data science problems that have the potential to positively impact humanity (and other species too). A recurring theme in my data science work is to enable critical thinking with data. More…

Recent Happenings

Hacking Creativity

Featured Project: Hacking Creativity

Hacking Creativity is the largest empirical study of “Creative Styles” in history. We developed a novel short survey that measures, not how creative you are, but rather of how you create. The study is ongoing, but preliminary results are debunking myths that there is “one way” to be your best creative self. Highly accomplished people achieve creative success in radically different ways.  Creative Style is also not tied to discipline – for example scientists and artists may share many creative habits. People tend to broadly separate into ‘Creative Introverts’ and ‘Creative Extroverts’ – with different ‘flavors’ of each.  These early results suggest that any efforts to improve creative performance must be personalized to the variety of ways in which people create. Hacking Creativity is led by Red Bull High Performance and includes collaborations with Vibrant Data, Josephmark, creativity researcher Mark Runco, and ethnographer Lizbet Simmons. 

The “Swall Institute”

The “Swall Institute” – as it is affectionately called – is a sustainably designed, creative incubation space in California’s Eastern Sierra which overlooks the deepest valley in North America. Swall is 1 hr south of Yosemite National Park and 20 min from the Mammoth Airport (MMH). It can accommodate informal working groups for 3-7 people. It is the product of years of dreaming, sweat, and help from countless friends.  Swall retreats have hosted: TED Fellows, the Levi-Strauss’ sustainability team, Red Bull High Performance, and 72andSunny among others. At Swall, Sean Gourley and I crafted the first draft of our 2013 TED Talk, and Alex MacDonald finished a book about the economic history of American space exploration. Individual artist residencies have included: mural artist, Jane Kim, singer-songwriter Meklit Hadero, jazz musician Patrick Cress, and mushroom burial suit inventor Jae Rhim Lee. Swall is also a hub of GrownSkis guided tours in the Sierra.  Contact me if you want to collaborate or host a retreat.

Eric L. Berlow is an ecologist and network scientist who co-founded Vibrant Data,  a data science and data visualization company that was acquired by Rakuten Inc.. Berlow is internationally recognized for his research on ecological complexity – with articles in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that have received Thomson Reuter’s Most Highly Cited Papers awards.  His two talks on TED.com on finding hidden patterns in complex data have received over 2 million views.  Prior to Vibrant Data, Berlow was the director of the University of California’s first science institute inside Yosemite National Park, which focused on facilitating data-driven decisions for protecting natural ecosystems.

Berlow has received a TED Fellowship, a TED Senior Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He was named one of the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine. Berlow holds a  B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Ecology from Oregon State University.

Eric L. Berlow is an ecologist and network scientist who co-founded Vibrant Data,  a data science and data visualization company that was acquired by Rakuten Inc. in 2016. Berlow is internationally recognized for his research on ecological complexity – with articles in Nature, Science, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that have received Thomson Reuter’s Most Highly Cited Papers awards.  His two talks on TED.com on finding hidden patterns in complex data have received over 2 million views.  Prior to Vibrant Data, Berlow was the director of the University of California’s first science institute inside Yosemite National Park, which focused on facilitating data-driven decisions for protecting natural ecosystems.

Berlow has received a TED Fellowship, a TED Senior Fellowship, an Alexander von Humboldt Fellowship, and a National Science Foundation Post-Doctoral Fellowship. He was named one of the Top 100 Creatives by Origin Magazine. Berlow holds a  B.A. in Biology from Brown University and a PhD in Ecology from Oregon State University.