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Ruth S. DeFries

University Professor
Department: 
Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology Department
Office: 
10th Floor Schermerhorn Ext. 1200, Amsterdam Avenue New York, NY 10027
Email: 
rd2402@columbia.edu
Phone: 
212-851-1647
Fax: 
212-854-8188
Appointments
  • Co-director, Undergraduate Program in Sustainable Development
  • Member, Faculty Steering Committee, Columbia Global Centers | Mumbai
Biography

Ruth DeFries’ research examines human transformation of the landscape and its consequences for climate, biogeochemical cycling, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services that make our planet habitable. The work is based on the premise that land use change involves tradeoffs between human necessities such as food and unintended environmental consequences such as greenhouse gas emissions and habitat loss. A particular focus is tropical deforestation and its impacts on atmospheric carbon emissions and conservation. The research analyzes land use changes over broad scales through the lens of satellite observations. She is actively involved in linking scientific information into policy decisions.

Research & Other Works
Article
Fire emissions and regional air quality impacts from fires in oil palm, timber, and logging concessions in Indonesia
Article
Regional air quality impacts of future fire emissions in Sumatra and Kalimantan
Article
Factors associated with long-term species composition in dry tropical forests of Central India
Article
Effectiveness of Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) for reducing fires on oil palm concessions in Indonesia from 2012 to 2015
Article
Public health impacts of the severe haze in Equatorial Asia in September-October 2015: demonstration of a new framework for informing fire management strategies to reduce downwind smoke exposure
Article
Mapping Species Composition of Forests and Tree Plantations in Northeastern Costa Rica with an Integration of Hyperspectral and Multitemporal Landsat Imagery
Article
Land cover change interacts with drought severity to change fire regimes in Western Amazonia
Article
High-yield oil palm expansion spares land at the expense of forests in the Peruvian Amazon
Article
Biophysical and Socioeconomic Factors Associated with Forest Transitions at Multiple Spatial and Temporal Scales
Article
Anthropogenic Drivers of Ecosystem Change: an Overview
Article
Winter crop sensitivity to inter-annual climate variability in central India
Article
Sensitivity of crop cover to climate variability: Insights from two Indian agro-ecoregions
Article
Mapping cropping intensity of smallholder farms: A comparison of methods using multiple sensors
Article
El Niño and health risks from landscape fire emissions in southeast Asia
Article
North Tropical Atlantic influence on western Amazon fire season variability
Data from: Fragmentation increases wind disturbance impacts on forest structure and carbon stocks in a Western Amazonian landscape
Article
Is voluntary certification of tropical agricultural commodities achieving sustainability goals for small-scale producers? A review of the evidence