Wilcove focuses on developing innovative ways to protect biodiversity in an increasingly hot, crowded, and hungry world by combining research in ecology and the social sciences. He and his research group (The Drongos) have worked in Asia, Africa, South America, North America, and Australasia. In recent years he has devoted particular attention to wildlife conservation in Asia. He is the author of two books and many scientific publications, book chapters, and popular articles dealing with biodiversity conservation, endangered species, ornithology, island biogeography, and conservation policy. His work has garnered awards from the Society for Conservation Biology, Defenders of Wildlife, the Pew Foundation, The Wildlife Society, and the Hauptman-Woodward Medical Research Institute. Prior to joining the Princeton faculty, he was senior ecologist at the Environmental Defense Fund in Washington, DC, and before then he worked at The Wilderness Society and The Nature Conservancy.
Wilcove is affiliated with the Center for Policy Research on Energy and the Environment at the School of Public and International Affairs, the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and the High Meadows Environmental Institute.