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David Lobell

head shot of David Lobell
Title:Associate Professor
Primary Affiliation:Department of Environmental Earth System Science
Other Affiliations:Earth Systems, E-IPER, Associate Director of Center on Food Security and the Environment; Senior Fellow at Woods Institute for the Environment and Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
Office Location:Y2E2  367
Research Group:Lobell Laboratory
Research Lab:Spatial Analysis Center
Alternative Website:Center on Food Security and the Environment
Phone:650-721-6207
E-mail:dlobell@stanford.edu

Research

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.

Teaching

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.

Professional Activities

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

Education

  • 2005 | Ph.D. Geological and Environmental Sciences Stanford University
  • 2000 | Sc.B. Applied Mathematics Brown University

Professional Experience

  • 2009 - Present | Assistant Professor Environmental Earth System Science, Stanford University
  • 2009 - Present | Center Fellow, Center on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University
  • 2009 - Present | Woods Institute for the Environment and Freeman Spogli
  • 2009 - Present | Institute for International Studies, Stanford University
  • 2008 - 2009 | Senior Research Scholar Program on Food Security and the Environment, Stanford University
  • 2005 - 2007 | Lawrence Postdoctoral Fellow Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory

Honors & Awards

  • 2011 | Terman Fellow
  • 2010 | Google Science Communication Fellow
  • 2010 | James B. Macelwane Medal, American Geophysical Union
  • 2008 - 2011 | NASA New Investigator Program Award
  • 2005 - 2008 | Lawrence Fellowship, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory
  • 2004 | EPA Science to Achieve Results Graduate Student Fellowship
  • 2004 | NASA Earth System Science Graduate Student Fellowship
  • 2001 - 2002 | Carbon, Climate and Society Initiative Fellowship, NSF Integrative Graduate Education and Research Training
  • 2001 | Best of Session Award, ERIM Conference on Geospatial Information in Agriculture and Forestry
  • 2000 - 2004 | NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
  • 1999 | Outstanding Student Paper Award, American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting. 

University Service

  • 2009-present | Earth Systems Executive Committee, Land Track Leader
  • 2009-present | Goldman Honors Program Advisory Committee
  • 2010-present | Woods Institute Environmental Venture Project proposal review committee
  • 2010-present | Stanford Interdisciplinary Graduate Fellowship review committee
  • 2011-present | Woodrow Wilson Fellowship selection committee, School of Education
  • 2010-present | Freshman Advisor
  • 2010-present | Advisory committee for Haas center
  • 2010 |Carnegie Institution Dept. of Global Ecology Search Committee
  • 2010 | EESS department seminar organizer for three quarters
  • 2010-present |one directed reading class in Spring 2010, 2 in fall 2010, 2 in spring 2011
  • 2009-present | PhD committees for students: Rachael Garrett, Joanne Gaskell, Kaitlin Schilling
  • 2009-present | Earth Systems masters advisors for 3 students

Professional Activities

  • 2012 - Present | Editorial Advisory Board Member, Global Food Security
  • 2011 - Present | Editor, Global Change Biology
  • 2011 - Present | Member of National Academy of Sciences Committee on Assessing the Impact of Climate Change on Political and Social Stresses
  • 2011 - Present | Member of Technical Advisory and Review Panel for World Bank Group activities related to climate change adaptation
  • 2010 - Present | Fellow, American Geophysical Union
  • 2010 - Present | Lead Author, IPCC Working Group 2, "Food Production Systems and Food Security"
  • 2000 - Present | Member, American Geophysical Union
  • 2005 - Present | Member, American Society of Agronomy
  • 2005 - Present | Member, Ecological Society of America
  • 2009 - 2011 | Editorial Board Member, Environmental Research Letters
  • 2009 - 2010 | Member of National Academy of Sciences Committee on Stabilization Targets for Atmospheric Greenhouse Gas Concentrations
  • 2008 - 2010 | Associate Editor, Journal of Environmental Quality
  • 2008 | National Academy of Sciences Panel on Climate, Energy, and Security
  • 2006 | National Academy of Sciences Workshop on Remote Sensing for Human Welfare
  • 2005 | NASA Land Cover Land Use Change Grant Review Panel

Courses Taught

  • 2012 (Fall) | EESS211 Fundamentals of Modeling [Enrolled 17]
  • 2012 (Spring) | EESS184 Climate and Agriculture [Enrolled 11]
  • 2012 (Winter) | EESS318 Global Land Use Change to 2050 [Enrolled 9]
  • 2012 (Winter) | EESS260 Advanced Statistical Methods for Earth System Analysis [Enrolled 13]
  • 2011 (Fall) | EESS211 Fundamentals of Modeling [Enrolled 26]
  • 2010 (Fall) | EESS211 Fundamentals of Modeling [Enrolled 22]
  • 2010 (Fall) | EESS 301 Topics in EESS [Enrolled 15]
  • 2010 (Spring) | EARTHSYST 184/284 Climate and Agriculture [Enrolled 29]
  • 2010 (Spring) | EESS 301 Topics in EESS [Enrolled 5]
  • 2009 (Fall) | EESS211 Fundamentals of Modeling [Enrolled 23]
  • 2009 (Spring) | EarthSys184/284 Climate and Agriculture [Enrolled 30]
  • 2009 (Winter) | EESS 301 Topics in EESS [Enrolled 6]
  • 2009 (Winter) | EARTH SYS 19 Food for Thought [Enrolled 11]
  • 2008 (Spring) | EARTH SYS 184/284 Climate and Agriculture [Enrolled 14]

Publications

  • 2013 *|Lobell, D.B.. G.L. Hammer, G. McLean, C. Messina, M.J. Roberts, and W. Schlenker.The critical role of extreme heat for maize production in the United States, Nature Climate Change, in press
  • 2013 *|Lobell, D.B., U. Baldos, and T.W. Hertel. Climate adaptation as mitigation: the case of agricultural investments, Environmental Research Letters, 8 015012 doi:10.1088/1748-9326/8/1/015012
  • 2013 *+| Gourdji, S.M., K. Matthews, M. Reynolds, J. Cross, and D.B. Lobell. An assessment of wheat breeding gains in hot environments, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 280: 1752.
  • 2013 *| Lobell, D.B., Ortiz-Monasterio, J.I., Sibley, A.M., & Sohu, V.S. Satellite detection of earlier wheat sowing in India and implications for yield trends. Agricultural Systems, 115, 137-143
  • 2013 *| Lobell, D.B. Errors in climate datasets and their effects on statistical crop models. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 170, 58-66
  • 2012 *+| McGrath, J.M., & Lobell, D.B. Reduction of transpiration and altered nutrient allocation contribute to nutrient decline of crops grown in elevated CO2 concentrations. Plant, Cell & Environment, in press.
  • 2012 *| Lobell, D.B., and Gourdji, S.M. The influence of climate change on global crop productivity, Plant Physiology, 160: 1686-1697.
  • 2012 *|Lobell, D.B. The use of satellite data for crop yield gap analysis. Field Crops Research, in press
  • 2012 *+| Urban, D., Roberts, M., Schlenker, W. and Lobell, D. Projected temperature changes indicate significant increase in interannual variability of U.S. maize yields. Climatic Change, 112(2): 525-533.
  • 2012 *| Lobell, D., Torney, A. and Field, C., 2012. Climate extremes in California agriculture. Climatic Change, 109: 355-363.
  • 2012 *| Lobell, D. and Field, C., 2012. California perennial crops in a changing climate. Climatic Change, 109: 317-333.
  • 2012 *+| Maltais-Landry, G. and Lobell, D.B., 2012. Evaluating the Contribution of Weather to Maize and Wheat Yield Trends in 12 US Counties. Agronomy journal, 104(2): 301.
  • 2012 *| Pongratz, J., Lobell, D.B., Cao, L. and Caldeira, K., 2012. Crop yields in a geoengineered climate. Nature Clim. Change, 2(2): 101-105.
  • 2012 *| Lobell, D.B., Sibley, A. and Ivan Ortiz-Monasterio, J., 2012. Extreme heat effects on wheat senescence in India. Nature Clim. Change, advance online publication. DOI: 10.1038/NCLIMATE1356
  • 2011 *| Lobell, D.B., Banziger, M., Magorokosho, C. and Vivek, B., 2011. Nonlinear heat effects on African maize as evidenced by historical yield trials. Nature Clim. Change, 1(1): 42-45.
  • 2011 *| Lobell, D.B., W.S. Schlenker, and J. Costa-Roberts. 2011. “Climate trends and global crop production since 1980” Science, doi:10.1126/science.1204531.
  • 2011 *+| Loarie, S.R., Lobell, D.B., Asner, G.P., Mu, Q. and Field, C.B., 2011. Direct impacts on local climate of sugar-cane expansion in Brazil. Nature Clim. Change, 1(2): 105-109.
  • 2011 *| Rowhani, P., Lobell, D. B., Linderman, M. & Ramankutty, N. 2011. Climate variability and crop production in Tanzania. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 10.1016/j.agrformet.2010.12.002.
  • 2011 *| Nicholas, K.A., Matthews, M.A., Lobell, D.B., Willits, N.H. and Field, C.B., 2011. Effect of vineyard-scale climate variability on Pinot noir phenolic composition. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 151(12): 1556-1567.
  • 2011 *| Ahmed, S.A. et al., 2011. Climate volatility and poverty vulnerability in Tanzania. Global Environmental Change, 21(1): 46-55.
  • 2011 *+| McGrath, J.M., and D.B. Lobell. 2011. An independent method for deriving the carbon fertilization effect using historical yield data from wet and dry years. Global Change Biology, doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2011.02406.x.
  • 2011 *+| Georgescu, M., Lobell, D.B. and Field, C.B., 2011. Direct climate effects of perennial bioenergy crops in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(11): 4307-4312.
  • 2011 *+|Seifert, C., Ortiz-Monasterio, J.I. and Lobell, D.B., 2011. Satellite-Based Detection of Salinity and Sodicity Impacts on Wheat Production in the Mexicali Valley. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 75(2): 699.
  • 2011 *+| Loarie, S.R., Lobell, D.B., Asner, G.P. and Field, C.B., 2011. Land-Cover and Surface Water Change Drive Large Albedo Increases in South America. Earth Interactions, 15(7): 1-16.
  • 2010 *| Ebi, K.L., D.B. Lobell, and C.B. Field. 2010. Climate change impacts on food security and nutrition, United Nations’ SCN News, 38: 11-17.
  • 2010 *+| Burney, J.A., Davis, S.J. and Lobell, D.B., 2010. Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(26): 12052.
  • 2010 *| Lobell, D.B., Ortiz-Monasterio, J.I. and Lee, A.S., 2010. Satellite evidence for yield growth opportunities in Northwest India. Field Crops Research, 118: 13-20.  
  • 2010 *| Hertel, T., M.B. Burke and D.B. Lobell, 2010. The poverty implications of climate-induced crop yield changes by 2030. Global Environmental Change, 20(4): 577-585.  
  • 2010 *| Lobell, D.B. and M.B. Burke. 2010. On the use of statistical models to predict crop yield responses to climate change. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 150 (11): 1443-1452.  
  • 2010 *| Lobell, D.B. and Burke, M.B. (eds.) 2010. Climate Change and Food Security. Springer. http://www.springerlink.com/content/978-90-481-2952-2 
  • 2010 *| Fedoroff, N.V., D.S. Battisti, R.N. Beachy, P.J.M. Cooper, D.A. Fischhoff, C.N. Hodges, V.C. Knauf, D. Lobell, B.J. Mazur, D. Molden, M.P. Reynolds, P.C. Ronald, M.W. Rosegrant, P.A. Sanchez, A. Vonshak, and J.K. Zhu. 2010. Radically Rethinking Agriculture for the 21st Century. Science 327:833-834
  • 2010 *| Schlenker W and Lobell DB. 2010. Robust negative impacts of climate change on African agriculture. Environmental Research Letters: 014010 (8pp)
  • 2009 *+| Georgescu, M., D. B. Lobell, and C. B. Field. 2009, Potential impact of U.S. biofuels on regional climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21806, doi: 10.1029/2009GL040477.
  • 2009 *| Lobell, D.B. 2009. Remote Sensing of Soil Degradation: Introduction. J. Environ. Qual. 39:1-4
  • 2009 *| Burke, M.B., E. Miguel, S. Satyanath, J.A. Dykema, and D.B. Lobell. 2009. Warming increases the risk of civil war in Africa. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106:20670
  • 2009 *| Burke MB, Lobell DB and Guarino L 2009 Shifts in African crop climates by 2050, and the implications for crop improvement and genetic resources conservation Global Environmental Change: 19, 317-325
  • 2009 *| Lobell D.B., K.G. Cassman, and C.B.Field. 2009. Crop Yield Gaps: Their Importance, Magnitudes, and Causes. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 34:4.1-4.26
  • 2009 *| Campbell, J. E., D.B. Lobell, Field, C. B. 2009. Greater transportation energy and GHG offsets from bioelectricity than ethanol. Science 10.1126/science.1168885
  • 2009 *| Lobell, D.B., G. Bala, A. Mirin, T. Phillips, R. Maxwell, D. Rotman. 2009, Regional differences in the influence of irrigation on climate, J Climate. 22:2248-2255
  • 2009 *| Lobell, D.B., S.M. Lesch, D.L. Corwin, M.G. Ulmer, K.A. Anderson, D.J. Potts, J.A. | Doolittle, M.R. Matos, and M.J. Baltes. 2009. Regional-scale Assessment of Soil Salinity in the Red River Valley Using Multi-year MODIS EVI and NDVI. J. Environ. Qual. 39:35-41
  • 2009 *| Ahrens, T.D., D.B. Lobell, J.I. Ortiz-Monasterio, Y. Li, P.A. Matson. 2009. Narrowing the agronomic yield gap with improved nitrogen use efficiency: a modeling approach. Ecological Applications. In press
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B., and M.B. Burke. 2008. Why are agricultural impacts of climate change so uncertain? The importance of temperature relative to precipitation. Environmental Research Letters 3:034007
  • 2008 *| Campbell, J. E., Lobell, D. B., Genova, R. C., Field, C. B. 2008. The global potential of bioenergy on abandoned agriculture lands, Environmental Science and Technology. 10.1021/es800052w
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B., M.B. Burke, C. Tebaldi, M.M. Mastrandrea, W.P. Falcon, and R.L. Naylor. 2008. Prioritizing climate change adaptation needs for food security in 2030. Science, 319:607-610. DOI: 10.1126/science.1152339
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B., and J.I. Ortiz-Monasterio. 2008. Satellite Monitoring of Yield Responses to Irrigation Practices across Thousands of Fields. Agron. J. 100:1005-101
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D. B., C. J. Bonfils, L. M. Kueppers, and M. A. Snyder. 2008, Irrigation cooling effect on temperature and heat index extremes, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L09705, doi:10.1029/2008GL034145
  • 2008 *| Tebaldi, C., and D. B. Lobell 2008, Towards probabilistic projections of climate change impacts on global crop yields, Geophys. Res. Lett., 35, L08705, doi:10.1029/2008GL033423
  • 2008 *| Bonfils, C., P. Duffy, B. Santer, T. Wigley, D. Lobell, T. Phillips, and C. Doutriaux. 2008. Identification of external influences on temperatures in California. Clim. Change in press:10.1007/s10584-007-9374-9
  • 2008 *| Field, C.B., J.E. Campbell and D.B. Lobell. 2008. Biomass energy: The scale of the potential resource. Trends in Ecology & Evolution, in press. doi:10.1016/j.tree.2007.12.001
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B., C. Bonfils, and J.M. Faures. 2008. The role of irrigation expansion in past and future temperature trends. Earth Interactions, 12:1-11
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B., and C. Bonfils. 2008. The Effect of Irrigation on Regional Temperatures: A Spatial and Temporal Analysis of Trends in California, 1934–2002. J. Clim. 21:2063-2071
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B. and C.B. Field. 2008. Estimation of the CO2 fertilization effect using growth rate anomalies in CO2 and crop yields since 1961. Global Change Biology, 14, 39-45
  • 2008 *| Lobell, D.B. and C.B. Field. 2008. Estimation of the CO2 fertilization effect using growth rate anomalies in CO2 and crop yields since 1961. Global Change Biology, 14, 39-45
  • 2007 *| Field, C.B., D.B. Lobell, H.A. Peters, and N.R. Chiariello. 2007. Feedbacks of Terrestrial Ecosystems to Climate Change. Annual Review of Environment and Resources, 32: 7.1-7.29
  • 2007 *| Bonfils, C. and D.B. Lobell. 2007. Evidence for a recent slowdown in irrigation-induced cooling, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, doi: 10.1073/pnas.0700144104
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B. 2007. Changes in diurnal temperature range and national cereal yields. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 145, 229-238.
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B. and C.B. Field. 2007. Global scale climate-crop yield relationships and the impacts of recent warming. Environmental Research Letters, 2, 004000 (7pp)
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D. B., C. Bonfils, and P. B. Duffy. 2007. Climate change uncertainty for daily minimum and maximum temperatures: a model inter-comparison. Geophysical Research Letters, 34: L05715, doi:10.1029/2006GL028726
  • 2007 *| Bala, G., K. Caldeira, M. Wickett, T. J. Phillips, D. B. Lobell, C. Delire, and A. Mirin. 2007, Combined climate and carbon-cycle effects of large-scale deforestation, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 0608998104
  • 2007 *| Bonfils, C., P. Duffy, and D. Lobell, 2007, Comments on “Methodology and Results of Calculating Central California Surface Temperature Trends: Evidence of Human-Induced Climate Change?” J. Climate, 20, 4486-4489
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D. B., J. I. Ortiz-Monasterio, F. C. Gurrola, and L. Valenzuela. 2007. Identification of Saline Soils with Multiyear Remote Sensing of Crop Yields, Soil Science Society of America Journal, 71, 777-783
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B., and J.I. Ortiz-Monasterio. 2007. Impacts of day vs. night temperatures on spring wheat yields: a comparison of empirical and CERES model predictions in three locations. Agronomy Journal, 99:469-477
  • 2007 *| Ortiz-Monasterio, J.I., and D.B. Lobell. 2007. Remote sensing assessment of regional yield losses due to sub-optimal planting dates and fallow period weed management. Field Crops Research. 101:80-87
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B. 2007. The cost of uncertainty for nitrogen fertilizer management: A sensitivity analysis. Field Crops Research. 100:210-217
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B., K.N. Cahill, and C. Field. 2007. Historical effects of temperature and precipitation on California crop yields. Climatic Change, 81: 187-203
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B. , J.I. Ortiz-Monasterio, and W.P. Falcon. 2007. Yield Uncertainty at Field Scales Evaluated with Multi-Year Satellite Data. Agricultural Systems, 92:76-90
  • 2007 *| Lobell, D.B., C.B. Field, K.N. Cahill, and C. Bonfils. 2006. Impacts of future climate change on California perennial crop yields: model projections with climate and crop uncertainties. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, 141(2-3):208-218

Advisee Publications

  • 2013 | Georgescu, M., Lobell, D.B., Field, C.B., & Mahalov, A. Simulated hydroclimatic impacts of projected Brazilian sugarcane expansion. Geophysical Research Letters, 40, 1–6.
  • 2013 | Gourdji, S.M., K. Matthews, M. Reynolds, J. Cross, and D.B. Lobell. An assessment of wheat breeding gains in hot environments, Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society, 280: 1752.
  • 2012 | McGrath, J.M., & Lobell, D.B. Reduction of transpiration and altered nutrient allocation contribute to nutrient decline of crops grown in elevated CO2 concentrations. Plant, Cell & Environment, in press.
  • 2012 | Urban, D., Roberts, M., Schlenker, W. and Lobell, D. Projected temperature changes indicate significant increase in interannual variability of U.S. maize yields. Climatic Change, 112(2): 525-533.
  • 2011 | McGrath, J.M., and D.B. Lobell. 2011. An independent method for deriving the carbon fertilization effect using historical yield data from wet and dry years. Global Change Biology, in press
  • 2011 | Georgescu, M., D. B. Lobell, and C. B. Field. 2011. Direct climate effects of perennial bioenergy crops in the United States. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 108(11): 4307-4312.
  • 2011 | Seifert, C., J.I. Ortiz-Monasterio, and D.B. Lobell. 2011. Satellite-based detection of sodicity impacts on wheat production in the Mexicali Valley. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 75(2): 699.
  • 2011 | Loarie, S.R., D.B. Lobell, G.P. Asner, and C.B. Field. 2010. Land-cover change and surface water drive large albedo increases in South America. Earth Interactions, 15(7): 1-16.
  • 2010 | Burney, J.A., Davis, S.J. and Lobell, D.B., 2010. Greenhouse gas mitigation by agricultural intensification. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 107(26): 12052. 
  • 2009 | Georgescu, M., D. B. Lobell, and C. B. Field. 2009, Potential impact of U.S. biofuels on regional climate, Geophys. Res. Lett., 36, L21806, doi: 10.1029/2009GL040477. 

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