Visiting Fellows

Paulo Brando, Ph.D.

Distinguished Visiting Scientist

Dr. Brando is an ecologist whose research explores the vulnerability of tropical forests to repeated disturbances and prolonged degradation. He aims to inform the public and policy-makers about the potential negative effects of climate and land use change on the future of Amazonian forests. In his research, Dr. Brando uses field manipulation experiments, statistical and dynamic models and remote sensing techniques. Dr. Brando received a bachelor's degree in Forest Engineering from the University of São Paulo (2003) and a PhD in Interdisciplinary Ecology from the University of Florida (2010). He has worked with the Amazon Environmental Research Institute (IPAM) and collaborated with the Woods Hole Research Center since 2003.

 

 

Andrea Cattaneo, Ph.D.

Distinguished Visiting Scientist

Andrea Cattaneo
Dr. Cattaneo is an economist whose research focuses on the economics of tropical deforestation, in particular linking economy-wide models of drivers of deforestation to geographic information systems. He has experience in analyzing the design of payment programs for ecosystem services, the role of monitoring on program performance, and the use of environmental indices in the context of multi-objective decision-making when monetary valuation estimates are not available. Before joining the Center, Dr. Cattaneo worked for the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), the Economic Research Service (ERS) of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). He obtained a Master of Science in Engineering (M.S.E.) in electrical engineering at the University of Pavia (Italy), and from Johns Hopkins University he received a second M.S.E. in Environmental Systems Analysis and his Ph.D. in Economics and Systems Analysis.

 

 

Eric A. Davidson, Ph.D.

Adjunct Senior Scientist

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Eric Davidson

Dr. Davidson is an ecologist, soil scientist, and biogeochemist interested in the role of soil microorganisms as processors of carbon and nitrogen. He has studied the exchange of carbon and nitrogen gases, including heat-trapping greenhouse gases, between the soil and the atmosphere. His research addresses how human management of the land affects greenhouse gases production and consumption within soils and losses of nutrients to streams and groundwater. He is also interested in the interface of science, policy, and education, and has published on ecological economics and human alteration of the nitrogen cycle. Dr. Davidson has been a longtime member of the WHRC scientific staff and currently serves as President of the Biogeosciences Section of the American Geophysical Union. He is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science and has been named as a Highly Cited Researcher by the Institute for Scientific Information. He earned his doctorate in forestry at North Carolina State University.

 

 

Daniel C. Nepstad, Ph.D.

Distinguished Visiting Scientist

Dr. Nepstad is a tropical ecologist whose research has focused on the response of Amazon forests to climate change, fire, and land use. In 1998, he developed the Amazon Scenarios program, which simulates the future of the Amazon under a range of policy scenarios. He led the Center’s Amazon Program and REDD initiative (focused on bringing tropical forests into the UN climate treaty) until mid-2008, when he spent a year in environmental philanthropy. Dr. Nepstad returned to the Center to work on a global land-use strategy that lowers greenhouse gas emissions, with an initial focus on the Amazon and Brazil. He was founding president of the Center’s main partner in Brazil (IPAM) and co-founder of both Aliança da Terra and the international Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS).

 

 

Sudeep Samanta, Ph.D.

Distinguished Visiting Scientist

Sudeep Samanta
Dr. Samanta's present research addresses the processes of water and carbon exchange between forests and the atmosphere, as well as human impact on these processes through land use. He uses statistical methods to integrate scientific knowledge and observations in building and testing numerical models of complex natural systems. One of his main interests is proper estimation and conveyance of uncertainties in model results for science and policy use. He received his M.S. in remote sensing and GIS and his Ph.D. in forestry from the University of Wisconsin.

 

 

Richard S. Williams, Jr., Ph.D.

Adjunct Senior Scientist

Dr. Williams is a research geologist who uses airborne and satellite remote sensing to monitor changes in the Earth's glaciers (particularly sensitive indicators of global warming). He is author of more than 200 books, papers, and maps. He holds a doctorate in geology from Penn State, is a fellow of the AAAS, the Geological Society of America, and a foreign fellow of the Icelandic Science Society. Two glaciers in Antarctica are named for him. He is Vice Chairman Emeritus, Committee for Research and Exploration, National Geographic Society, and senior scientist with the U.S. Geological Survey.

 

 

Portraits by Gigi Gatewood.