Thu, Feb 2, 2023

1 PM – 2:30 PM EST (GMT-5)

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Watson Center A53

New Haven, CT , 06520, United States

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Grizelle González - Director, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, US Forest Service
Deborah Lawrence - Professor of Environmental Sciences, University of Virginia; Chief Scientist, Calyx Global
Simon Lewis - Professor of Global Change Science, University of Leeds & University College London
Yadvinder Malhi - Professor of Ecosystem Science, University of Oxford; Senior Research Fellow, Oriel College
Paulo Brando - Associate Professor of Ecosystem Carbon Capture, Yale School of the Environment


Watson Center A53

New Haven, CT , 06520, United States


Grizelle González's profile photo

Grizelle González


International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Grizelle started working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, U.S. Forest Service, International Institute of Tropical Forestry (the Institute) in 2000.  At the Institute, she has served in roles as a Postdoctoral Scientist, Research Ecologist, Director of the Sabana Field Research Station, R&D Project Leader, Assistant Director for Research and currently serving as Institute Director.  As the R&D Lead at the Institute, she has helped guide the science, administration and communication of research related to Tropical Forests and Grasslands currently occurring in over 10 countries, and in collaboration with more than 45 Institutions and 150 scientists.  She represents the Institute in interactions with the Regions, Stations, and external partners, helping to shape the research agenda, budgetary decisions, safety procedures, communicating results to partners and the public and contributing to the coordination of national and international research efforts.

Dr. González is member of the editorial boards of the Caribbean Journal of Science, the Caribbean Naturalist, Forests, and Frontiers in Forests and Global Change (section Forest Disturbance). Grizelle is also a supporter of arts and science collaborations, and believes science is central for the sustainable development, and resiliency of tropical America.  She became a certified forest therapist in August 2020.  Dr. González holds a Ph.D. from the University of Colorado-Boulder in Biological Sciences; a M.Sc. Degree in Biology; and a B.Sc. in Biology from the University of Puerto Rico. 

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Deborah Lawrence

Professor of Environmental Sciences

University of Virginia

Deborah Lawrence is an Environmental Sciences professor at the University of Virginia, where she conducts global forest and climate research. She is also the Chief Scientist at Calyx Global, an independent provider of ratings and other carbon market analytics for the rapidly growing carbon market. Her research focuses on the links between tropical deforestation and climate change. She has spent the past 25 years doing field-based research in Indonesia, Costa Rica, Mexico and Cameroon. Most recently, she has been using global climate models to explore the cumulative effect of tropical land use decisions, exploring the climate impact of land allocation among food crops, biofuels and forests across the globe.

Previously, she was a science advisor to the US Department of State, Office of Global Change (the international climate change policy and negotiations unit). She later helped establish SilvaCarbon, a US federal interagency program for forest carbon measurement and monitoring. Deborah has also served on the Technical Committee on Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use at the American Carbon Registry. She received a BA in Anthropology from Harvard University, and a PhD in Botany from Duke University. Deborah’s favorite activities include tending to her climate-forward backyard, where she must constantly defend her beloved chickens from foxes.

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Simon Lewis

Professor of Global Change Science

University College London & University of Leeds

Simon Lewis is a Professor of Global Change Science, at both University College London and the University of Leeds. HIs main research interests are to understand how humans are changing the Earth system, with a focus on the topics and the global carbon cycle. He is interested in net zero plans, negative emissions, and greenwash by governments and companies. His team’s scientific discoveries include the globally significant carbon sink in intact tropical forests, the evolution of the carbon sink; and the world’s largest tropical peatland complex in central Congo. He co-founded and co-manages the African Tropical Rainforest Observatory ( In 2018, he published, with Mark Maslin, The Human Planet: How We Created the Anthropocene (Penguin), and exploration of the science, history and politics of the Anthropocene, an Observer book of the year and shortlisted for the Azimov Prize.

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Yadvinder Malhi

Professor of Ecosystem Science

University of Oxford

Yadvinder Malhi CBE FRS is Professor of Ecosystem Science at the Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography and the Environment, and Senior Research Fellow at Oriel College.  Professor Malhi explores the functioning of the biosphere and its interactions with global change, including climate change. He has a particular fascination with and love for tropical forests, though he has recently been spotted in ecosystems ranging from savannas, the Arctic, tropical coral reefs and Oxfordshire’s woodlands and floodplain meadows. He looks at how natural ecosystems may be shifting in response to global atmospheric change, and how protecting or restoring natural ecosystems can help tackle climate change, and help adaptation to the consequences of climate change.

His team at the Environmental Change Institute is known for collecting intensive field data from fascinating but sometimes tough and remote forests. They have ongoing programmes of research in Asia, Africa, the Amazon and Andes regions, and Oxford’s own Wytham Woods. A new recent focus has been on nature recovery and biodiversity restoration in the UK. While addressing fundamental questions about ecosystem function and dynamics, his research findings are significant for conservation and adaptation to climate change. He is a Trustee of the Natural History Museum of London, President-Elect of the British Ecological Society, chairs a number of programmes on biodiversity at the Royal Society, and is a scientific advisor on nature restoration for the UK government and the government of Scotland.

He leads an active Ecosystem Dynamics research lab focussing on forest vegetation-atmosphere interactions, employing field studies, satellite remote sensing and ecosystem modeling.

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