My initial training in ecology was at Canadian universities, and I have an undergraduate degree (BSc in Biology) from the University of Windsor and a graduate degree (MSc in Botany/Plant Ecology) from the University of Alberta. My PhD is in Botany/Plant Ecology from North Carolina State University. I started out at Iowa State University in the Botany Department and after that was dissolved became a professor in EEOB. I have been the chair of the Ecology and Evolutionary Biology interdepartmental graduate major and director of Iowa Lakeside Laboratory. I am a fellow of the Society of Wetland Scientists (SWS) and currently am the president–elect of the North Central Chapter of SWS.
I am a plant ecologist by training who works exclusively on wetlands. My major research foci are the restoration of wetlands, the use of wetlands as nutrients sinks, and the role of tree islands in the Everglades. I am also interested in the history of ecology and am currently working on a project on the history of wetland ecology.
I have worked with scientists, managers, and policy makers all around the world on ways to improve the management and restoration of wetlands. I am the author of a widely used introductory textbook on wetland ecology, The Biology of Freshwater Wetlands, Second Edition, that is published by Oxford University Press.
Sklar, F. H. and A. G. van der Valk. (Eds) 2002. Tree Islands of the Everglades. Kluwer Academic Press, Dordrecht, The Netherlands. 541pp
van der Valk, A. G. 2009. Restoration of wetland environments: lessons and successes. pp. 729-754. In E. Maltby and T. Barker (Eds.) The Wetlands Handbook. Blackwell Science, Oxford, UK
van der Valk, A. G. 2011. Origins and development of ecology. pp. 37-59. In K. de Laplante, B. Brown, and K. A. Peacock (Eds.) Philosophy of Ecology, Vol. 11 of the Handbook of the Philosophy of Science, Elsevier, The Netherlands
van der Valk, A. G. 2012. The Biology of Freshwater Wetlands, Second Edition, Oxford University Press, Oxford, UK. 312pp