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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