Research Staff

Richard A. Houghton, Ph.D.

Acting President, Senior Scientist

George Masters Woodwell Chair for Global Ecology

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Richard A. Houghton
Dr. Houghton is an ecologist with interests in the role that terrestrial ecosystems play in climate change and the global carbon cycle. He coordinates WHRC efforts to understand the problems of global warming and climate change, especially the role biotic systems play in this accelerating process. Dr. Houghton has held positions as Assistant Scientist at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory and as Research Associate at Brookhaven National Laboratory. Dr. Houghton served as WHRC Acting Director from December of 2008 through June of 2011, and he was named Acting President of WHRC in 2013. He has held the George M. Woodwell Chair for Global Ecology since 2011. Along with other lead authors of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change reports, Dr. Houghton was a recipient of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize. In 2012, he was elected a Fellow of the American Geophysical Union. He earned his doctorate in ecology from the State University of New York at Stony Brook. In 1995 he received an Honorary Doctorate from the Faculty of Forest Science, University of Munich.

 

 

Scott Goetz, Ph.D.

Deputy Director, Senior Scientist

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Scott Goetz
Dr. Goetz’s research focuses on ecosystem responses to environmental change, including monitoring and modeling the linkages and feedbacks between forests and climate, land use change and disturbance. Much of this research makes use of satellite imagery. Before joining the Woods Hole Research Center in 2003, where he is now a senior scientist and deputy director, he was a member of the research faculty at the University of Maryland, where he maintains an adjunct faculty appointment. He also worked at the NASA Goddard Space Flight Center for 10 years and has authored, to date, more than 100 refereed journal publications and book chapters, and edited 3 special issue compilations. He has served on numerous professional panels, including for the US National Academy of Sciences, and is a member of the Science Steering Group of the North America Carbon Program and the Arctic Boreal Vulnerability Experiment. He is an Associate Editor of Remote Sensing of Environment and is on the editorial board of Environmental Research Letters. He is a past editorial board member of the Journal of Geophysical Research - Biogeosciences. He graduated from the Pennsylvania State University (BS), the University of California (MS), and the University of Maryland (PhD).

 

 

Alessandro Baccini, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist

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Alessandro Baccini
Dr. Baccini is a remote sensing scientist whose interests focus on the use of satellite data for the monitoring of forest carbon, land cover, land cover change and the effects of environmental change on the terrestrial carbon cycle at the regional and global scale. Before joining the Center he was a research associate at Boston University and worked at the Food and Agriculture Organization of United Nations for the Forest Resources Assessment 1990 and 2000 monitoring tropical deforestation. He received his doctorate from Boston University.

 

 

Jesse B. Bishop, M.S.

Research Associate

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Mr. Bishop uses remote sensing and GIS to monitor and assess forest ecosystems. During a break in his time at the Center, he focused on the spatial characterization of the geology and hydrology of eastern Nevada. For his graduate research, he used remote sensing to monitor forest restoration sites in New Zealand. He received degrees in forest science (B.S.F.) and natural resources (M.S.) from the University of New Hampshire.

 

 

I. Foster Brown, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

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Dr. Brown is an environmental geochemist whose research interests focus on global environmental change and sustainable development in the southwestern Amazon Basin. He coordinates the Center's program dealing with climate change and land use in the trinational southwestern Amazonia. Dr. Brown spent over twenty years as a faculty member of the Graduate Program in Environmental Geochemistry at the Federal Fluminense University in Niteroi, Brazil, and is currently on the faculty of the Federal University of Acre, Brazil. He earned his doctorate in environmental geochemistry at Northwestern University.

 

 

Ekaterina Bulygina, M.S.

Research Associate

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Ms. Bulygina manages the Center's Luce Laboratory of environmental chemistry. She has extensive experience in laboratory management and has worked at Moscow State University's museum of zoology and in the chemistry laboratory of the Upstate Fresh Water Institute, Syracuse, NY. Ms. Bulygina received her master's degree in ecology and hydrobiology from Moscow State University.

 

 

Glenn K. Bush, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist

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Dr. Bush is an environmental economist who specializes in welfare economics, resource valuation, and environmental cost-benefit analysis. His work has focused on quantitative valuation of forest conservation strategies for forest-adjacent households, as well as the microeconomic and social determinants of forest conservation. He is currently concerned with developing and testing combined econometric and spatial models on the drivers and determinants of land cover change. Dr. Bush has previously worked in Africa and in Central and Southeast Asia as a researcher, project manager, and consultant on natural resource management and conservation projects in the public and private sector. He has held positions with the UK Government Department for International Development, the Wildlife Conservation Society, and the Dian Fossey Gorilla Fund International. He obtained his M.Sc. in Agricultural Economics from the University of London, Wye College, and his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of Stirling, UK.

 

 

Oliver Cartus, Ph.D.

Research Associate

Dr. Cartus is a geographer whose research interests focus on the use of remote sensing for the mapping of the Earths land cover. He is particularly interested in the application of radar and interferometric radar for the large-scale mapping of forest biophysical parameters such as growing stock volume and biomass. Dr. Cartus holds a degree in geography and a doctorate in natural science from the Friedrich-Schiller-University in Jena, Germany.

 

 

Michael T. Coe, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist/Coordinator of the Amazon Group

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Michael Coe
Dr. Coe is an earth system scientist who specializes in understanding how human land cover change and land management decisions affect the energy and water cycles, and ultimately feedback to regional climate. He is currently participating in projects based in the Brazilian Amazon and savanna environments. He leads field research programs to collect data on how expanding agriculture changes evaporation, soil moisture, river discharge, and biochemical cycles. He and his colleagues combine field data with satellite observations and earth system computer models to better understand the scale of historical and potential future human impacts on tropical climate and ecosystems and help develop mitigation strategies. Dr. Coe previously spent seven years as a scientist at the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, University of Wisconsin-Madison and has been a visiting scientist at Lund University, Sweden, and the Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, Germany. He received his Ph.D. in Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. In 2014, Dr. Coe will be in residence as a Fulbright Scholar at the Federal University of Goiás, Brazil, continuing his work with colleagues there to understand how massive deforestation in the savanna regions of Brazil may affect the climate in the coming decades.

 

 

Craig T. Connolly

Research Assistant

 
Mr. Connolly works on projects related to carbon-climate feedbacks in Alaska and northeast Siberia. He is interested in how permafrost thaw affects carbon cycling in terrestrial and aquatic systems. Prior to joining WHRC, he studied the effect of sea level rise on ecosystem dynamics along the Hudson River as a summer fellow at the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. Mr. Connolly earned his B.A. in biology and environmental science at the College of the Holy Cross.

 

 

Tina A. Cormier, M.S.

Research Associate

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Tina Cormier
Ms. Cormier uses remote sensing and GIS to model species’ responses to changes in environmental conditions, such as climate change. She also develops materials for and conducts capacity building workshops in developing countries across the tropics and uses the materials to teach participants how to combine field measurements with remotely sensed data in order to monitor carbon in their forests. Before joining the Center, she worked on spatial-statistical modeling of vernal pool locations in Massachusetts, as well as regional evapotranspiration estimation and land cover classification in central Nevada. Ms. Cormier received her H.B.A. in Environmental Science from Saint Anselm College and her M.S. in Natural Resources from the University of New Hampshire.

 

 

Gregory J. Fiske, M.S.

GIS Manager/Research Associate

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Gregory Fiske
Mr. Fiske is a geographer interested in the use of Cartography and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to facilitate and communicate science. He manages the many technical aspects of the Woods Hole Research Center’s GIS activities. As a Research Associate, he applies his skills to various research projects, both within and outside the Center, that involve GIS and Remote Sensing techniques. Prior to joining the Center, Mr. Fiske worked at the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory in California.

 

 

Carol Franco, Ph.D.

Research Associate/Mexico-REDD Project Administrator

Carol Franco
Dr. Franco supports projects on forest mapping and monitoring and fosters climate change policies in Latin America. She provides logistical support, manages projects budgets and operational plans, and develops and implements REDD+ policy frameworks on the ground. Her research has focused on environmental and socio-economic policies, food security, and climate change policies. She has worked as the Carbon Finance Officer of the United Nations Development Program in the Dominican Republic, and prior to joining the Center, she was a Research Assistant Professor at the Institute for Sustainable Solutions at Portland (OR) State University. Dr. Franco received her Ph.D. from the State University of New York (SUNY) College of Environmental Science and Forestry.

 

 

Fabio Gonçalves, M.S.

Visiting Fellow

Mr. Gonçalves is an ecologist and remote sensing scientist with interest in the application of remote sensing approaches to characterize and monitor forest ecosystems. His current research focuses on the development of methods for estimating carbon stocks in tropical forests from 3-D measurements acquired by LiDAR and interferometric radar (InSAR). Prior to coming to the Center, Mr. Gonçalves spent three years as a graduate fellow at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory. He was also a CAPES/Fulbright Fellow at Oregon State University. He received his Master's in remote sensing from Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research (INPE).

 

 

Kevin Guay, B.S.

Research Assistant

Mr. Guay uses remote sensing and GIS to study carbon exchange in high-latitude regions, and he has been developing a new model to estimate global carbon fluxes based on land use and land change. He has used historic radar data and water quality measurements to investigate the relationship between rainfall and water quality in the New York Finger Lakes and remote sensing data to study deforestation and forest degradation in the Amazon. He has worked in the engineering department at the Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, where he programmed various oceanographic instruments. Mr. Guay earned his B.S. in Computer Science and a B.A. in Environmental Studies from Hobart College.

 

 

Robert Max Holmes, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist

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RM Holmes
Dr. Holmes is an earth system scientist with broad interests in the responses and feedbacks of coupled land-ocean systems to environmental and global change. Most of his current research focuses on large rivers and their watersheds and addresses how climate change and other disturbances are impacting the cycles of water and chemicals in the environment. Dr. Holmes has several ongoing projects in the Arctic (field sites in Russia, Canada, and Alaska) and has recently begun working in Africa and Asia (Congo, Ganges, Brahmaputra, and Yangtze watersheds). He has also studied desert streams in the southwestern United States, stream/riparian ecosystems in France, and estuaries in Massachusetts. He is strongly committed to integrating education and outreach into his research projects, particularly by exposing K-12 and undergraduate students to the excitement of scientific research.

 

 

Holly Hughes, B.S.

Research Assistant

Ms. Hughes works on the Center's carbon cycling research program in the Howland, Maine forest (www.howlandforest.org), partnering with many collaborators including the U.S. Forest Service, the University of Maine, and Queen’s University. Previously, Hughes managed a soil warming project in Howland where she studied the effects of soil warming on carbon flux through the forest floor, as well as other environmental indicators. Prior to joining the Center staff, she worked on a research project for Rutgers University designed to help farmers reduce their use of chemicals. She received a B.S. in natural resources with a concentration in soil science from the University of Maine.

 

 

Patrick Jantz, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Jantz studies the relationship between human activities and changes in land use and land cover using geographic information systems (GIS) and spatial analytical tools. His primary interests include the ecosystem impacts of land conversion for residential development, climate change effects on the composition and function of eastern U.S. forests, and the use of data driven climate and land change scenarios to inform management of parks and protected areas. He received his B.S. in Biology from the University of New Mexico and his master’s and Ph.D. degrees in Environmental Science & Management from the Bren School at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

 

Josef Kellndorfer, Ph.D.

Senior Scientist/Coordinator of the REDD Group

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Josef Kellndorfer
Dr. Kellndorfer’s research focuses on the monitoring and assessment of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, and the dissemination of Earth observation findings to policy makers through education and capacity building. Using geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing, and modeling, he studies land-use, land cover and climate change on a regional and global scale. His projects include carbon and biomass mapping of the United States, mapping forest cover across the tropical forested regions of Africa, Latin America and Asia through the generation of consistent data sets of high-resolution, cloud-free radar imagery. Before joining the Center, Kellndorfer was a research scientist with the Radiation Laboratory in the Department of Electrical Engineering and Computer Science at the University of Michigan. He holds a diploma degree in physical geography and a doctorate in geosciences from the Ludwig-Maximilians-University in Munich, Germany. He serves on various expert working groups within NASA, the Group on Earth Observation, and GOFC-GOLD addressing forest carbon measurements in vegetation from remote sensing with existing and future remote sensing and field measurements.

 

 

Melaine Kermarc, M.Sc.

Equateur (DRC) Project Manager

Mr. Kermarc manages the Center’s Reduced Emission from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) pilot project in Equateur Province of the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Prior to joining WHRC, he carried out research on organic farming in Bhutan, as well as wildlife conservation in South Africa. He obtained his B.Sc. in Ecology from the University Aix-Marseille II, France and his M.Sc. in Development Practice from Trinity College/UCD, Ireland. His Master’s thesis explored the potential of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) to support conservation and development in Rwanda.

 

Wendy Kingerlee, B.S.

Research Assistant/Amazon Program Administrator

Wendy Kingerlee
Ms. Kingerlee is responsible for coordination of the Center’s Amazon Program. She provides project administration, logistical support, communication, and collaboration to the Amazon team and its Brazilian counterpart, Instituto de Pesquisa Ambiental da Amazônia (IPAM). Before joining the Amazon program, she worked as a research assistant in the Center’s soil carbon program. Ms. Kingerlee has also worked for the Agriculture Department in the County of Santa Cruz, California. She received her B.S. in Plant and Soil Science from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst.

 

Nadine T. Laporte, Ph.D.

Associate Scientist

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Nadine Laporte
Dr. Laporte is a biologist whose research centers on the applications of satellite imagery to tropical forest ecosystems, including vegetation & carbon mapping, land-use change, and deforestation causes and consequences on carbon and biodiversity. She has been involved in numerous environmental projects in Central Africa over the past 20 years, working with in-country scientists, foresters, and international conservation organizations to develop integrated forest monitoring systems and promote forest conservation. She received her doctorate in tropical biogeography from l'Université Paul Sabatier in Toulouse, France. Before joining the Woods Hole Research Center, she worked at the Joint Research Center in Italy, the NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center and the University of Maryland. She serves also on various expert working groups within NASA, UN-REDD, and the World Bank, among others, addressing forest carbon monitoring systems from remote sensing and field measurements to help Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) as part of United Nations climate change policy.

 

 

Paul A. Lefebvre, M.A.

Research Associate

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Paul Lefebvre
Paul Lefebvre is a specialist in Geographic Information Systems and field instrumentation, who has worked in the Center’s Amazon program since 1995. From 1995 to 1998 he lived in Brazil while helping to establish IPAM's Remote Sensing and GIS laboratory. He is now responsible for setting up and maintaining many of the monitoring instruments used at our field stations in Brazil, and for training field personnel. He holds a Master of Arts degree in Geography from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

 

 

Marcia N. Macedo, Ph.D.

Research Associate

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Dr. Macedo is a landscape ecologist interested in understanding the causes of human-induced land change and its consequences for aquatic ecosystems. She combines remote sensing, field observations, and statistical models to examine how land use and land management influence the connectivity and ecological function of tropical streams at multiple scales. Her current research focuses on the land use dynamics and ecological tradeoffs associated with agricultural expansion and intensification in the Amazon. Dr. Macedo earned her M.Sc. in Sustainable Development & Conservation Biology from the University of Maryland and her Ph.D. in Ecology, Evolution, & Environmental Biology from Columbia University.

 

 

Susan M. Natali, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist

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Dr. Natali’s research examines the response of terrestrial ecosystems to a changing environment, with an emphasis on feedbacks to carbon cycling from northern high latitude systems. While a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Florida, she worked on permafrost ecosystems, establishing a large-scale warming experiment in interior Alaska. That project tests hypotheses about feedbacks to the global carbon cycle as a result of warming air and soil temperatures and thawing permafrost. More recently, she established a tundra drying experiment to examine interactive effects of permafrost thaw and changes in soil moisture on ecosystem carbon exchange. Dr. Natali was a National Science Foundation Polar Programs Postdoctoral Research Fellow. She holds a B.S. from Villanova University and a Ph.D. from Stony Brook University.

 

 

Prajjwal Panday, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Panday is a geographer with research interests that focus on utilizing satellite remote sensing, field-based observations, and process-based modeling aimed at understanding terrestrial and hydrological processes across various spatiotemporal scales. His thesis focused on understanding cryospheric, hydrological, ecological, and climatological processes and trends in the Hindu Kush-Himalayan region in Central Asia. He is also interested in both the social and ecological vulnerability of such environments to environmental and climatic changes. He earned his M.Sc. in Environmental Sciences from the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry and his Ph.D. from the Graduate School of Geography at Clark University.

 

 

Johanne Pelletier, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow

Dr. Pelletier is an ecologist with interests in carbon fluxes from land-cover change and forest conservation. Before joining the Center, she worked in Panama, where she studied emissions from land-use/land-cover change in the REDD+ context. She has studied various aspects of MRV systems for REDD+ including national reference emission levels, avoided deforestation scenarios, uncertainty, and data availability. At the local level, she has looked at the dynamics of forest intervention using remote sensing and forest carbon inventories. She has also worked on forest conservation with local communities in Panama's protected area. Dr. Pelletier earned her Ph.D. from McGill University and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute.

 

 

Amanda E. W. Poston, B.A.

Africa and Pantropical Project Administrator

Ms. Poston manages budgets and provides administrative and logistic support for the Center’s Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and forest Degradation (REDD) project in the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Equateur Province. Before joining the Center, she was a grants manager for the University of the Virgin Islands’ Division of Science and Mathematics undergraduate programs. She has lived in France and in Madagascar, where she worked at the Malagasy Institute for the Conservation of Tropical Environments. Ms. Poston earned her B.A. in International Relations from Boston University.

 

 

Kathleen Savage, M.Sc.

Research Associate

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Kathleen Savage
Ms. Savage is currently working in the Center's carbon cycling program. She obtained a B.Sc. degree and an M.Sc. degree in Geography at York University and McGill University, respectively. Her thesis work examined the exchange of carbon dioxide and methane in boreal forest soils. Following her graduate studies, she has worked in northern Manitoba examining net ecosystem exchange in boreal wetlands.

 

 

Robert G.M. Spencer, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist

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Dr. Spencer is a biogeochemist whose research focuses on organic matter, especially dissolved organic matter (DOM) in aquatic ecosystems, which plays a multifaceted role in the environment. Dr. Spencer’s research broadly aims to examine the influence of hydrology, ecosystem processing, surface water quality, land-use and land management changes and global climate change on the sources, transformations and fate of organic matter in terrestrial and aquatic environments. His current research is focused on a broad range of environments from the tropics to the Arctic, from soils and glaciers through rivers and estuaries and into the ocean. Dr. Spencer earned his doctorate from the Universities of Newcastle and Edinburgh, UK.

 

 

Thomas A. Stone, M.A.

Scientist Emeritus

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Thomas Stone
Mr. Stone is an environmental geologist who uses remote-sensing technology to map vegetation and to determine rates of land use change. He uses satellite imagery and GIS data to determine the rates of deforestation in Siberia, Amazonia, Panama, and in the northeastern US. The results of this work assist in the determination of biotic contributions to the global climate change problem and provide information for land use planning. Before joining the Center, Mr. Stone held a research position in remote sensing at the Ecosystems Center of the Marine Biological Laboratory in Woods Hole. He holds a master's degree in earth sciences from Dartmouth College.

 

 

Emma Suddick, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist

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Dr. Suddick is a biogeochemist whose research focuses on the interface between terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. The fundamental aim of her research is to examine the impacts of climate and land-use change on the biogeochemical cycling of carbon and nitrogen within these ecosystems. Dr. Suddick’s current research interests include investigating the role that agricultural systems play in climate change and water quality, as well as determining the contribution agricultural management practices have upon climatically active trace gas emissions and carbon sequestration on a regional and national scale. Prior to joining the staff of the Center, she was a postdoctoral research fellow at the University of California, Davis. Dr. Suddick received her doctorate from the University of Aberdeen, U.K.

 

 

Wayne S. Walker, Ph.D.

Assistant Scientist

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Wayne Walker
Dr. Walker is an ecologist and remote sensing specialist interested in applications of satellite imagery to the assessment and monitoring of temperate and tropical ecosystems at regional to global scales. His research focuses on measuring and mapping forest structural attributes, land cover/land use change and terrestrial carbon stocks in support of habitat management, ecosystem conservation and carbon-cycle science. He is committed to building institutional capacity in the tools and techniques used to measure and monitor forests, working in collaboration with governments, NGOs and indigenous communities across the tropics. Walker holds degrees in forest ecology (M.S.) and remote sensing (Ph.D.) from the University of Michigan.

 

 

Scott Zolkos, B.A.

Research Assistant

Mr. Zolkos assists with GIS and remote sensing studies of forest productivity dynamics and works with the Global Rivers research team. Before joining the Center, he worked for the Buzzards Bay Coalition’s Water Quality Monitoring Program, and he assisted NOAA with benthic habitat mapping south of the U.S. Virgin Islands. Mr. Zolkos studied aquatic biogeochemistry as a student at Sea Education Association (SEA) Semester’s Oceans and Climate program. He earned his B.A. in environmental science and geology from Middlebury College.

 

 

Portraits by Gigi Gatewood.