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Strategic Energy Alliance is a cross-campus effort of the Precourt Institute for Energy.

Stanford Global Carbon Management Workshop #1 - Speakers, Moderators and Panelists

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Christa Anderson is a research fellow at World Wildlife Fund (WWF) where she researches and writes on climate change, land use, and forests. She is particularly focused on intersecting science and policy issues, such as investigating the contribution of lands to climate change mitigation. Prior to WWF, Christa worked on climate change programs at the World Bank and International Programs at the US Forest Service. She has worked in Kenya, Tanzania, Malawi, Zambia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Republic of Congo, Cameroon, Indonesia, Peru, and at home in California. Christa has published in scientific journals including Science, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, and Environmental Science and Technology. Her research has also been covered in popular media outlets such as The Washington Post and NPR’s Science Friday. She has a PhD in Environment and Resources from Stanford and a MS in Environmental Science from Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies.

Ann Bartuska is a senior advisor at Resources for the Future. In this capacity, Dr. Bartuska is focusing her efforts on natural resources and forestry, especially a consideration of natural climate solutions through forests and agricultural lands. Dr. Bartuska joined RFF in 2017 after serving as the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Deputy Under Secretary for Research, Education, and Economics as well as chief scientist. Prior to USDA, Dr. Bartuska held a host of leadership positions, including Deputy Chief for Research and Development of the US Forest Service. She also has served in several appointments, including to the advisory board of the National Science Foundation and as executive director of The Nature Conservancy’s Invasive Species Initiative and president of the Ecological Society of America.

Sally Benson, who joined Stanford University in 2007, is the co-director of Stanford's Precourt Institute. A Professor in the Department of Energy Resources Engineering in the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences; she studies technologies and pathways to reducing greenhouse gas emissions including geologic storage of CO2 in deep underground formations and energy systems analysis for a low-carbon future. She also directs Stanford’s Global Climate and Energy Project. Prior to joining Stanford, Benson was Division Director for Earth Sciences, Associate Laboratory Director for Energy Sciences and Deputy Director at LBNL. Professor Benson serves on the Board of Directors for the National Renewable Energy Laboratory and Climate Central. Currently she also serves on the Advisory Boards for Argonne National Laboratory and Pacific Northwest National Laboratory and Princeton’s Carbon Mitigation Initiative.

Joe Cornelius is the chief executive officer for Bill & Melinda Gates Agricultural Innovations, known as Gates Ag One, which aims to ensure high-quality, cutting-edge crop innovations are available and accessible to small holder farmers in developing countries. Joe began his career on a small family farm and now brings more than 30 years experience and a continued dedication to improving the world through agricultural advancements. Prior to leading Gates Ag One, Joe served as a director for Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation’s  Global Growth & Opportunity Division and as program director for the Advanced Research Projects Agency in the U.S. Department of Energy, where he led transformational platform efforts in computational agriculture, smart-farm technologies and the sustainable management of carbon, nitrogen, and water to improve terrestrial and marine ecosystems while mitigating greenhouse gas fluxes into the atmosphere. Joe holds a PhD in plant genetics and molecular biology and a MS in plant physiology and biochemistry from Michigan State University.

Francesca Cotrufo is a Professor and Associate Head in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences, and Senior Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, at Colorado State University. She earned her B.Sc. from the University of Naples, Italy and Ph.D. from Lancaster University, UK. Prior to join CSU in 2008, she worked as a professor at the Second University of Naples, Italy. Cotrufo is a soil ecologist and biogeochemist, internationally recognized as an authority in the field of litter decomposition and soil organic matter dynamics, and in the use of isotopic methodologies in these studies. In 2017, Cotrufo was the recipient of the ASA-CSSA-SSSA Mentoring Award.  She is editor of the journal Global Change Biology and member of the Science Committee of the International Biochar Initiative. She is faculty of the Summer Soil Institute and committee chair of the EcoCore Analytical Service facility at Colorado State University.

Gretchen Daily is Founder and Faculty Director of the Natural Capital Project and Bing Professor of Environmental Science at Stanford University. An ecologist by training, Daily’s research spans a wide range of topics including biodiversity conservation, agriculture, and livelihoods; the production and value of ecosystem services for human health and well-being; and policy and finance mechanisms for integrating conservation and human development. Her coauthored books include The Stork and the Plow: The Equity Solution to the Human Dilemma (1995), Nature’s Services: Societal Dependence on Natural Ecosystems (1997), The New Economy of Nature: The Quest to Make Conservation Profitable (2002), The Power of Trees (2012) and, together with other NatCap co-founders, Natural Capital: Theory and Practice of Mapping Ecosystem Services (2011). Daily serves on the boards of The Nature Conservancy and the Stockholm Resilience Centre.

Paul Falkowski is a Board of Governors Professor of Geological Sciences in the Institute of Marine and Coastal Sciences and the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Rutgers University. His scientific interests include biogeochemical cycles, biophysics, the evolution of Earth systems, paleoecology, photosynthesis, and symbiosis. His current research efforts are directed toward understanding the coevolution of biological and physical systems. Falkowski's research work has included studies of phytoplankton nutrient acquisition and the relationships with light of both phytoplankton and corals. He has also studied the biophysical controls on ocean productivity and export production, and the importance of the nitrogen and iron cycles in ocean biogeochemistry. His research has also drawn in geoengineering, astrobiology, and the evolution of groups including phytoplankton and placental mammals.  He is also a co-author, with John Raven, of the influential textbook Aquatic Photosynthesis.

Chris Field is the Perry L. McCarty Director of the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment and the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies at Stanford University. Prior to his 2016 appointment at the Stanford Woods Institute, Field was a staff member at the Carnegie Institution for Science (1984-2002) and founding director of the Carnegie’s Department of Global Ecology (2002-2016). Field's research focuses on climate change, ranging from work on improving climate models to prospects for renewable energy systems and community organizations that can minimize the risk of a tragedy of the commons. He has been deeply involved with national and international-efforts to advance understanding of global ecology and climate change. Field was co-chair of Working Group II of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) (2008-2015), where he led the effort on “Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation” (2012), and “Climate Change 2014: Impacts, Adaptation, and Vulnerability (2014).

Larry Goulder is the Shuzo Nishihara Professor in Environmental and Resource Economics at Stanford University and Director of the Stanford Center for Environmental and Energy Policy Analysis. He is also a Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research, a Senior Fellow at Stanford's Precourt Institute for the Environment, a Research Associate at the National Bureau of Economic Research; and a University Fellow of Resources for the Future. Goulder's research covers a range of environmental issues, including green tax reform, the design of environmental tax systems and emissions trading policies, climate change policy, and comprehensive wealth measurement ("green" accounting). He has served on several advisory committees to the US Environmental Protection Agency’s Science Advisory Board and the California Air Resources Board, and as co-editor of the Journal of Environmental Economics and Management and the Review of Environmental Economics and Policy.

Rob Jackson is the Michelle and Kevin Douglas Provostial Professor and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment and at the Precourt Institute for Energy. He and his lab examine the many ways people affect the Earth. They seek basic scientific knowledge and use it to help shape policies and reduce the environmental footprint of global warming, energy extraction, and other issues. They're currently examining the effects of climate change and droughts on forest mortality and grassland ecosystems. They are also working to measure and reduce greenhouse gas emissions through the Global Carbon Project (, which Jackson chairs; examples of new research Rob leads include establishing a global network of methane tower measurements at more than 80 sites worldwide and measuring and reducing methane emissions from oil and gas wells, city streets, and homes and buildings.

Shaffiq Jaffer joined TOTAL in 2009, as the Vice President of Corporate Science and Technology Projects in North America (NA) with as mission to find and fund novel ideas and technologies that will lead to breakthroughs to meet future energy demand while addressing the climate challenges. He is engaged across the research ecosystem: academia, startups, and private research companies, focused on building long lasting relationships that create value for TOTAL and its partners. Prior to TOTAL, he has worked for P&G and Koch-Glitsch in research and engineering roles. He was educated in Canada at University of Alberta (BSc) and McMaster University (PhD) and is a Fellow of Canadian Academy of Engineering (FCAE).

David Lobell is a Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Earth System Science and the Gloria and Richard Kushel Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. He is also the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy and Research (SIEPR). His research focuses on agriculture and food security, specifically on generating and using unique datasets to study rural areas throughout the world. He has been recognized with a Macarthur Fellowship in 2013, a McMaster Fellowship from CSIRO in 2014, and the Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union in 2010. He also served as lead author for the food chapter and core writing team member for the Summary for Policymakers in the recent Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report.

Arun Majumdar is the Jay Precourt Provostial Chair Professor at Stanford University, a faculty member of the Departments of Mechanical Engineering and Materials Science and Engineering (by courtesy) and Co-Director of the Precourt Institute for Energy, which integrates and coordinates research and education activities across all seven Schools and the Hoover Institution at Stanford. He is also a faculty in Department of Photon Science at SLAC. Majumdar's research in the past has involved the science and engineering of nanoscale materials and devices, especially in the areas of energy conversion, transport and storage as well as biomolecular analysis. His current research focuses on electrochemical and thermochemical redox reactions that are fundamental to a sustainable energy future, multidimensional nanoscale imaging and microscopy, and a new effort to re-engineer the electricity grid using data science, including deep learning techniques. In 2009, Dr. Majumdar was nominated by President Obama and confirmed by the Senate to become the Founding Director of the Advanced Research Projects Agency - Energy (ARPA-E).

Ajay Mehta is the General Manager for New Energies Research & Technology at Shell. He leads a global team of over a hundred scientists and engineers dedicated to developing technology solutions to meet the demand for more and cleaner energy.  Over the course of his 24 year career at Shell, he has assumed a broad range of technical and leadership roles in Upstream, Operations, CO2 Mitigation, and Technology Management.  He is a subject matter expert in natural gas hydrates and has served as a Distinguished Lecturer for the Society of Petroleum Engineers.  He is a board member of the MIT Sustainability Initiative, Energy Advisory Board at the University of Houston, Carbon Leadership Board at Rice University and the Society of Asian Engineers & Scientists.  Ajay holds a BS in Chemical Engineering from the National Institute of Technology, Karnataka, India, a PhD in Chemical Engineering from the Colorado School of Mines, and an MBA from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Don Ort is the Robert Emerson Professor in Plant Biology and Crop Sciences at the University of Illinois. He is also Deputy Director at Realizing Photosynthetic Efficiency (RIPE), which was initially funded in 2012 by a five-year, $25 million grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. His research seeks to understand and improve plant growth and photosynthetic performance in changing environmental conditions, such as increasing CO2 temperature and drought. Don's research ranges from improving photosynthetic efficiency to the molecular and biochemical basis of environmental interactions with crop plants to ecological genomics. His research spans from the molecular to crop canopies in the field. Don earned his bachelor’s degree in biology from Wake Forest University and his doctorate in plant biochemistry from Michigan State University. He has served as the president of the American Society of Plant Biologists, the International Society of Photosynthesis Research, and the International Association of Plant Physiology.

Steve Pacala is the Frederick D. Petrie Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton University. Pacala was the Acting Director of the Princeton Environmental Institute from 2005 to 2006, and then served as its director from 2006 to 2014. He has worked on climate change, population ecology, and global interactions between the biosphere, atmosphere, and hydrosphere. He was a lead author on the climate stabilization wedge project with Robert Socolow. Professor Pacala received his B.A. in Biology from Dartmouth College in 1978 and his Ph.D. in Biology from Stanford University in 1982. He has taught at the University of Connecticut (1982-1992) and Princeton University (1992-Present). He was elected to the National Academy of Sciences in 2007 and received the Robert H. MacArthur Award from the Ecological Society of America in 2010. He also serves on the boards of the non-profits, Environmental Defense Fund and Climate Central. Pacala was elected as a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in 2003.

Sarah Saltzer is the Managing Director of the Stanford Center for Carbon Storage (SCCS) and the new Stanford Carbon Removal Initiative (SCRI). SCCS uses a multidisciplinary approach to address critical questions related to flow physics, monitoring, geochemistry, and simulation of the transport and fate of CO2 stored in geologic media. SCRI’s mission is to create a community of Stanford faculty and industry partners with interest in carbon management to address climate change. Saltzer has 25 years of experience at Chevron Corporation where she held a series of scientific, managerial, and executive roles. She has a diversity of experience in geological research and teaching, petroleum engineering on massive offshore fields, leading exploration teams, competitor analysis and business planning, and executive responsibilities for all business operations for Chevron’s multi-national environmental remediation company. Saltzer holds a Ph.D. from Stanford University, M.S. and B.S. from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and has published her work in peer-reviewed journals and corporate annual reports.

Jeremy Shears was appointed Chief Scientist for Biosciences at Shell in 2018 to lead the company’s strategic thinking and innovation agenda in bioscience. He works with experts within Shell, as well as with researchers from top universities and institutes around the world, to help the company stay at the forefront of energy innovation. Focus areas include bioenergy, Nature Based Solutions (natural ecosystems as carbon sinks) and subsurface microbiology. He is a member of the Shell Science Council. Prior to his current role, Jeremy was General Manager for the Biodomain R&D group in Shell Projects & Technology for nine years. He led technology development from early stage research through to commercial deployment at Shell’s technology centres in Houston, Amsterdam and Bangalore. He holds a PhD in Biochemistry from the University of Bristol and is a Fellow of both the Royal Society of Biology and the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Zara Summers is the Section Head of the Biosciences group in Corporate Strategic Research within ExxonMobil Research and Engineering located in New Jersey. Her group works on a wide range of projects including biofuels, bioconversions, bioremediation, microbial induced corrosion, and ecology of hydrocarbon environments. While at ExxonMobil she led many multidisciplinary projects before helping to form the Biosciences group that she now leads. She holds a PhD in Microbiology from University of Massachusetts Amherst with a focus on ecology and subsurface microbiology. Zara also has interest in microorganisms from extreme environments, and their distinctive capabilities. Before joining ExxonMobil in 2012, Zara taught undergraduates at Saint Thomas University and worked at the University of Minnesota capturing and characterizing elusive microbes in the bottom of an iron mine over a half mile underground.

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi

Gabrielle Wong-Parodi is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Earth System Science and Center Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment at Stanford University. Her research focuses on applying behavioral decision research methods to address challenges associated with global environmental change. She uses behavioral decision science approaches to create evidence-based strategies for informed decision making, with a particular focus on building resilience and promoting sustainability in the face of a changing climate. Wong-Parodi has a background in energy resources, climate change adaptation and mitigation, and risk perceptions of emerging technologies, such as unconventional shale gas development. She is a faculty affiliate at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and is the social science research liaison for the Climate Advocacy Lab. She received her B.S. in Psychology at the University of California Berkeley, and her M.A. and Ph.D. in Risk Perceptions and Communication from the University of California, Berkeley.