Deborah Lawrence ← Back


  • Professor, University of Virginia

Deborah Lawrence is a Professor of Environmental Sciences at the University of Virginia.

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.

In 2009-2010, Professor Lawrence served as Science Advisor in the Office of Environment and Global Change and the Office of the Special Envoy for Climate Change at the US Department of State.

Since 2010, Deborah has been consulting with the International Programs Office of the US Forest Service and the Climate Change Office of USAID on scientific and technical aspects of forest carbon measurement and monitoring under SilvaCarbon. In 2011, she was a visiting scientist at the Center for International Forestry Research (CIFOR) in Bogor, Indonesia where she worked on minimising the climate impacts of oil palm expansion with partners at World Resources Institute (WRI), Sekala Indonesia, and the Climate and Land Use Alliance.

She was a post-doctoral fellow at Harvard University, earned her Ph.D. (Botany) at Duke University, and received a B.A. (Biological Anthropology) from Harvard University.