Dr. Krithi K. Karanth, a former post-doctoral research scientist in the DeFries Lab, has been selected by The World Economic Forum (WEF) as a 2015 Young Global Leader (YGL). This prestigious honor recognizes her as one of the 187 distinguished leaders below the age of 40 from around the world. Krithi has been working to understand and find solutions to human-wildlife conflicts. Her blog featured by the WEF summarises the difficulties we face and need for innovation to address these challenges: blog link Krithi was also featured by the BBC World Service Outlook podcast. You can hear the program here (March 17th, 2015, starting 9:26 into program)
Ruth DeFries wrote a piece for the New York Times column Dot Earth recently. Please click to read the article HERE
Ruth DeFries has been awarded one of the American Association of Geographers highest honors, the AAG Distinguished Scholarship Honors Award for 2015. She is being recognized for the contributions that she has made to our understanding of the patterns and impacts of anthropogenic landscape change, and for her ability to link that research to larger international policy discussions aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from tropical deforestation. Read more HERE
DeFries' Lab Ph.D. student Megan Cattau's research was covered recently on the Mongabay.com environmental news site. A study was led by Megan and was carried out in collaboration with The Orangutan Tropical Peatland Project (OuTrop) and Center for International Cooperation in Sustainable Management of Tropical Peatlands (CIMTROP). According to its results, the latest estimate for Kalimantan’s current orangutan population is between 1,500 and 1,700 as of 2009, a decline from as many as 4,100 individuals in 1995. In other words, the population dropped by more than half in just 14 years. Read more HERE
The Breakthrough Institute has announced that Ruth DeFries is the 2014 Paradigm Award Winner. The Paradigm Award is bestowed annually to individuals whose work has made major contributions to realizing a future where all the world’s inhabitants can enjoy secure, free, and prosperous lives on an ecologically vibrant planet. The Breakthrough Institute also cited Ruth DeFries' influential works about “planetary opportunities,” and her recent book, The Big Ratchet: How Humans Thrive in Face of Natural Disasters. You can read more HERE.
Ruth DeFries published a book in September - The Big Ratchet.
The book charts the story of how technologies and innovations have combined to feed
more people than ever before in the history of humanity. Please follow this LINK
for the book website
E3B and DeFries Lab Postdoc Pinki Mondal has just published a paper with Ruth DeFries, recent E3B/DeFries Lab Ph.D. alum Meha Jain, DeFries lab alum Gillian Galford, Andrew Robertson of IRI, Earth Institute, and Chris Small of LDEO. Winter crop sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability in central India. Pinki Mondal, Meha Jain, Andrew W. Robertson, Gillian L. Galford, Christopher Small & Ruth S. DeFries. Climatic Change. Volume 126 , Issue 1, pages 61-76. Link, HERE
Ruth DeFries has been selected as one of the "The World's Most Influential Scientific Minds 2014" based on the number of highly cited papers she has contributed during the period 2001 to 2012 and citations to them as per ISI Thomson Reuters. For more information, please follow this LINK
The DeFries Lab has just had a project funded through the Google Earth Engines Research Award Program on "The Sensitivity of Agricultural Output to Climate Variability Across Smallholder Farms in South Asia" (investigators and collaborators include DeFries Lab alum Gillian Galford (Univ. of Vermont), Post-doc Pinki Mondal, recent Ph.D. Graduate Meha Jain and Ruth DeFries.
Megan Cattau , DeFries Lab member and E3B Ph.D. student, just been awarded (March 20th, 2014) an Exploration Fund grant for her project "Feedbacks between fire and land cover: Changing disturbance dynamics in the peat swamp landscape." The Explorers Club grants are highly competitive and only a small percentage of the proposals are funded. Congratulations!
Matthew Fagan, Ph.D., DeFries Lab and E3B Ph.D. program alum, has defended his dissertation (Jan. 27, 2014), and will begin his NASA Postdoctoral Fellowship shortly. Beginning April 2014, Matt will be based at Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, MD. Congratulations, Matt!
Miriam Marlier, Ph.D., DeFries Lab and E3B Ph.D. program alum, has successfully defended her dissertation (December 2013), and will be continuing her work with the DeFries' Lab as a post-doctoral fellow. Congratulations Miriam!
The Times of India has coverage (02/20/2014) of a three-day symposium that was held on the Kanha-Pench Landscape at Mocha, in the Mandla district in Madhya Pradesh, India. The meeting "...was aimed to foster communication, identify research gaps and priorities, and develop a shared vision for science-based conservation in the landscape in central India which is of national and global importance for a substantial proportion of the tiger population along with other endangered species." The symposium was organized by a team that includes E3B's own Chair, Ruth DeFries, Postdoctoral Research Scientist, Pinki Mondal, and Ph.D. student Meghna Agarwala. Please see link HERE.
Ruth DeFries, delivered the keynote address at an international workshop on ‘Land use optimisation for coordinating regional development with the conservation of endangered species’ in Puducherry, India (Dec. 16th). The amount of land under protection has increased steadily since the 1980s. “The main focus now is to ensure that the areas that come under protection are effectively managed, so that the protection itself is successful.” Please CLICK HERE to see coverage in The Hindu
Megan Cattau, DeFries Lab and E3B Ph.D. student, recently received a grant from the United Sates-Indonesia Society (USINDO) to support research for the fire probability modeling chapter of her thesis. In this chapter, she will evaluate the causes of large-scale, detrimental peatland fires in Indonesia. Megan is working in Indonesia this year, on her Fulbright.
Ruth DeFries has been teaching a class with fellow E3B Professor Kevin Griffin - Ecological and Social Systems for Sustainable Development. They challenged their students to prepare a “sustainable” meal. Click here to see how things turned out!.
Krithi Karanth, DeFries Lab Alumna, and Ruth DeFries are co-authors on a paper that has been receiving a lot of attention in the Indian press (Sept. 23, 2013). The article, "Living with Wildlife and Mitigating Conflicts Around Three Indian Protected Areas", published in Environmental Management
September 2013 LINKED HERE, with co-authors, Lisa Naughton-Treves and Arjun M. Gopalaswamy, looks at the economic toll that human-wildlife conflict takes on communities living and working near Protected Areas. Interesting coverage appears in The Hindu (please click here), FIRSTPOST.India (here) and The New Indian Express (here).
Meha Jain, E3B doctoral student working with Ruth DeFries and Shahid Naeem, posted a blog and video on the National Geographic site about her work in India -- "Indian Farmers Cope With Climate Change and Falling Water Tables". Meha's work is sponsored in part by the National Geographic Society as part of the Young Explorer program. Please click here
Matt Fagan and Ruth DeFries are lead authors on a paper in Environmental Research Letters "Land cover dynamics following a deforestation ban in northern Costa Rica". The work assessed whether deforestation for conversion to pasture and cropland decreased in the lowlands of northern Costa Rica following the 1996 ban on forest clearing, despite a tripling of area under pineapple cultivation in the last decade. Results suggest that deforestation bans may protect mature forests better than older forest regrowth and may restrict clearing for large-scale crops more effectively than clearing for pasture. See the paper here
The Council of the Association of American Geographers has appointed E3B Postdoctoral Research Scientist Giovani Graziosi to the International Research and Scholarly Exchange Committee for a period of 3 years, 2013-16. The formal charge of this advisory committee is to encourage participation of geographers in interdisciplinary conferences and in meetings dealing with international issues.
Meha Jain, E3B Ph.D. student, has been awarded a National Science Foundation Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant. Her thesis is entitled, The Impacts of Farmer Adaptation to Climate Variability on Groundwater Salinity and Soil Health in Gujarat, India
Ruth DeFries, and colleagues, including Maria Uriarte, E3B Professor and DGS, Marcia Macedo, DeFries Lab Alum, have work featured in The Phil Trans B issue on 'Ecology, economy, and management of an agro-industrial frontier landscape in the southeast Amazon. Please click here to see more. Mongabay, a popular environmental science and conservation news site, has a interesting bit of coverage. Please click here
Meha Jain, Pinki Mondal, Ruth S. DeFries, Christopher Small, and Gillian L. Galford, (former DeFries lab Post-doctoral fellow) have a new paper. "Mapping cropping intensity of smallholder farms: A comparison of methods using multiple sensors" Remote Sensing of Environment, Volume 134, July 2013, Pages 210–223 please click here
Megan Cattau, is co-author on a paper on lions in Mozambique Jacobson, A. P., Cattau, M. E., Riggio, J. S., Petracca, L.S., and Fedak, D. A. 2013. Distribution and abundance of lions in northwest Tete Province, Mozambique. Tropical Conservation Science Vol. 6(1):87-107. Click here to read more.
Ruth DeFries and Maria Uriarte are two of the authors on a paper selected by Nature Geoscience as one of their "ten favourite papers" in a web focus that celebrates the fifth anniversary of the journal linked here "Deforestation driven by urban population growth and agricultural trade in the twenty-first century" by Ruth S. DeFries, Thomas Rudel, Maria Uriarte & Matthew Hansen
Ruth DeFries and Victor Gutierrez-Velez were part of an interdisciplinary team at Columbia University's Earth Institute that published a paper "Depopulation of rural landscapes exacerbates fire activity in the western Amazon" in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The lead author of the paper is María Uriarte. Please see the Earth Institute's link HERE. The other authors of the study are Miguel Pinedo-Vaquez, also of Columbia's Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology; Katia Fernandes and Walter Baethgen, from Columbia's International Research Institute for Climate and Society; and Christine Padoch, of the New York Botanical Garden. Padoch and Pinedo-Vaquez are also associated with the Center for International Forestry Research. Additional international press attention can be read HERE ClimateWire and here Natureza el Globo and here UOL news and here Huffington Post
Tien Ming Lee has co-authored a paper in American Naturalist entitled "Positive Relationships between Association Strength and Phenotypic Similarity Characterize the Assembly of Mixed-Species Bird Flocks Worldwide" The findings highlight "the need to consider positive interactions along with competition when seeking to explain community assembly" Please see the link to the paper HERE
Ruth DeFries and Krithi Karanth have had a paper accepted for publication in PLoS entitled "Assessing Patterns of Human-Wildlife Conflicts and Compensation Around a Central Indian Protected Area"
Karanth, K., Gopalaswamy, A., DeFries, R., and Ballal, N. (2012). "Assessing patterns of human-wildlife conflicts and compensation around a Central Indian protected area." PLos One 7(12): e50433. http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0050433
Victor Gutierrez-Velez and Ruth DeFries have had a paper accepted for publication in Remote Sensing of Environment entitled "Annual multi‐resolution detection of land cover conversion to oil palm in the Peruvian Amazon". Gutierrez-Velez, V. and R. DeFries (2013). "Annual multi-resolution detection of land cover conversion to oil palm in the Peruvian Amazon." Remote Sensing of Environment 129: 154-167.
Ruth DeFries has been selected by The Ecological Society of America in their new Fellows program which aims to recognize and honor member contributions to the field of ecology. "The Fellows and Early Career Fellows programs will recognize the many ways in which our members contribute to ecological research and discovery, communication, education and pedagogy, and to management and policy," said ESA President Scott Collins. The complete list of first Fellows can be found on the Society´s webpage. Fellows are elected for life.
The research of Ruth DeFries, E3B Chair, and former Post-doc, Krithi Karanth -now Ramanujan Fellow and executive Director, Centre for Wildlife Studies (India) - is figuring prominently in the Supreme Court of India's potential ban on nature tourism in the vicinity of tiger reserves. Please see the New York Times India Ink blog HERE, and a posting on the site LiveMint HERE.
Miriam Marlier, a Ph.D. student, is coauthor of a paper with E3B Chair Ruth DeFries, just published in Nature Climate Change (August, 2012). The paper details health risks from landscape fire emissions in southeast Asia. Please click here for the paper, and click here for a news piece about the paper.
Ming Lee , a postdoctoral fellow, has recently co-authored a short paper with Lian Pin Koh on "Sensible consumerism for environmental sustainability". This paper is part of a special issue: advancing environmental conservation: essays in honor of Navjot Sodhi. Navjot was a tropical conservation scientist, and dear mentor and friend of Ming. Please click here for Ming's article.