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 regularly teach three courses open to both undergraduate and graduate students. One is Fundamentals of Modeling (EESS 211), which is a hands-on introduction to environmental modeling concepts and techniques, taught every year. Second is Feeding Nine Billion (ES185), an introduction to basics of crop ecology and agronomy, world crop production systems, and tradeoffs associated with various new practices or technologies, also taught every year (starting in 2013). Third is Climate and Agriculture (ES184) which covers different aspects of climate change impacts on food production and food security, and is taught every other year (next in 2015).
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