I study the interactions between food production, food security, and the environment using a range of modern tools. Current work focuses on three main areas of research: how to effectively adapt agriculture to climate change, how to reduce yield gaps in major cropping regions, and how to quantify environmental consequences of biofuel and food crop production. A common theme is the use of large datasets to constrain and improve models that represent our understanding of how the world works. Prospective students interested in food security, climate change, and/or how to combine models and large datasets in creative ways are encouraged to contact me.
I currently teach four courses open to both undergraduate and graduate students. One is "Fundamentals of Modeling" that is a hands-on introduction to environmental modeling concepts and techniques, a required class for first year deparment graduate students. A second is "Climate and Agriculture" which covers different aspects of climate change impacts on food production and food security. Third is a seminar on "Global Land Use to 2050," taught in winter 2012 with Tom Hertel. Fourth, I co-teach "Advanced Statistical Methods for Earth System Science" with Bala Rajaratnam.
Current activities in 2012: Lead author for IPCC Fifth Assessment Report; Member of National Academy of Science committee on "Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Political and Social Stresses"; Member of Technical Advisory and Review Panel for World Bank Group activities related to climate change adaptation; Editor for Global Change Biology and Associate Editor for Environmental Research Letters; numerous academic and public lectures
Food Security, Climate Change, Land use, Remote Sensing, Ecosystem Modeling, Statistics, Geographic Information Systems