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Connecting the Dots 2011 Speaker Bios

Stacey Bent
TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, Chemical Engineering

Stacey F. Bent is the Department Chair of Chemical Engineering and the Jagdeep and Roshni Singh Professor in the School of Engineering at Stanford University, where she is appointed Professor of Chemical Engineering and Professor, by courtesy, of Chemistry, of Materials Science and Engineering, and of Electrical Engineering. Professor Bent serves as the Director of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy and a senior fellow in the Precourt Institute of Energy. Professor Bent obtained her B.S. degree in chemical engineering from UC Berkeley and her Ph.D. degree in chemistry from Stanford. After carrying out postdoctoral work at AT&T Bell Laboratories, she joined the faculty of the Chemistry Department at New York University. She moved to Stanford University in 1998. Professor Bent’s research is focused on understanding surface and interfacial chemistry and materials synthesis, and applying this knowledge to a range of problems in sustainable energy, semiconductor processing, and nanotechnology. Her group currently studies new materials and processes for electronics, solar cells and solar fuels, and catalysts.

As the Director of the TomKat Center for Sustainable Energy, Professor Bent oversees the center’s mission to make human electricity and transportation systems more sustainable for the long term. The center also aims to educate tomorrow’s energy leaders, through outreach events, course grants, and summer internship programs.


Rosamond Naylor
Rosamond Naylor
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Earth System Science

Rosamond Naylor is the Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment, William Wrigley Professor in Earth Science, the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies and the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and Associate Professor of Economics (by courtesy) at Stanford University. She received her B.A. in Economics and Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado, her M.Sc. in Economics from the London School of Economics, and her Ph.D. in applied economics from Stanford University. Her research focuses on economic and biophysical dimensions of food security and environmental impacts of crop and animal production. She has been involved in many field-level research projects around the world and has published widely on issues related to intensive crop production, aquaculture and livestock systems, biofuels, climate change, food price volatility, and food policy analysis. At Stanford, Naylor teaches courses on the World Food Economy, Human-Environment Interactions, and Sustainable Agriculture.

Naylor currently serves on the Scientific Advisory Board for the Beijer Institute in Stockholm, is a Science Advisor for United Nation's Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon's initiative on Sustainable Development (Sustainable Agriculture section), and trustee of The Nature Conservancy California Chapter. Additionally, she serves on the editorial board of the journals Global Food Security and Journal on Food Security.


David Lobell
Center on Food Security and the Environment, Earth System Science

David Lobell is an Associate Professor in Environmental Earth System Science and Deputy Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment at Stanford University. His research focuses on identifying opportunities to raise crop yields in major agricultural regions, with a particular emphasis on adaptation to climate change. His current projects span Africa, South Asia, Mexico, and the United States, and involve a range of tools including remote sensing, GIS, and crop and climate models.

Lobell's work is motivated by questions such as: What investments are most effective at raising global crop yields, in order to increase food production without expansion of agricultural lands? Will yield gains keep pace with global demand for crop products, given current levels of investment? And, what direct or indirect effects will efforts to raise crop productivity have on other components of the Earth System, such as climate? Answering these questions requires an understanding of the complex factors that limit crop yields throughout the world, and the links between agriculture and the broader Earth System.

Prior to his current appointment, Dr. Lobell was a Senior Research Scholar at FSE from 2008-2009, and a Lawrence Post-doctoral Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory from 2005-2007. He received a PhD in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University in 2005, and a Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics, Magna Cum Laude from Brown University in 2000.


Pam Matson
Pam Matson
Dean of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences

At Stanford, Matson is the dean of the School of Earth, Energy & Environmental Sciences, a senior fellow at the Woods Institute for Environment, and co-leads the Initiative on Environment and Sustainability, an effort that brings together faculty from around the university to help solve critical resource and environment challenges of the century. She is also the scientific director of the Leopold Leadership Program, a program that provides leadership and communications training to environmental scientists and analysts.

Matson is an interdisciplinary Earth scientist who works to reconcile the needs of people and the planet. Her research addresses a range of environment and sustainability issues, including sustainability of agricultural systems; vulnerability of particular people and places to climate change; the consequences of tropical deforestation on atmosphere, climate and water systems; and the environmental consequences of global change in the nitrogen and carbon cycles. With multi-disciplinary teams of researchers, managers, and decision makers, she has worked to develop agricultural approaches that reduce environmental impacts while maintaining livelihoods and human wellbeing.

Matson is the author of numerous scientific publications and books, including the National Research Council volume titled Our Common Journey: A Transition toward Sustainability and Seeds of Sustainability: Lessons from the Birthplace of the Green Revolution. A MacArthur Fellow and a Fellow of the National Academy of Sciences as well as the American Academy of Arts and Science and the American Association for the Advancement of Science, she is the founding co-chair of the National Academies Roundtable on Science and Technology for Sustainability and a past president of the Ecological Society of America.


Chris Field
Chris Field
Professor of Biology, Professor of Environmental Earth System Science

Chris Field is the founding director of the Carnegie Institution's Department of Global Ecology. He also holds two faculty positions at Stanford University: the Melvin and Joan Lane Professor for Interdisciplinary Environmental Studies, and professor of environmental Earth system science. He is co-chair of Working Group 2 of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which in 2012 led the effort on the IPCC Special Report, "Managing the Risks of Extreme Events and Disasters to Advance Climate Change Adaptation." The IPCC Fifth Assessment Report was released on March 31, 2014.

Field's research emphasizes impacts of climate change, from the molecular to the global scale. He has, for two decades, led major experiments on responses of California grassland to multifactor global change. He has been deeply involved with national- and international-scale efforts to advance science and assessment related to global ecology and climate change. He is a recipient of a Heinz Award and a member of the National Academy of Sciences.

He is a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and the Ecological Society of America.


Buzz Thompson
Buzz Thompson
Natural Resources Law, Director, Woods Institute for the Environment

Buzz Thompson, Natural Resources Law; Director, Woods Institute for the Environment Buzz focuses on the sustainable use of natural resources and the effective reform of regulatory institutions. He has published articles on such diverse topics as water markets, fisheries management, biodiversity protection, land conservation, the use of economics and market tools in environmental regulation, and cognitive barriers to resource management.


Mariano-Florentino Cuellar
Mariano-Florentino Cuellar
Professor of Law, Deane F. Johnson Faculty Scholar, Stanford Law School

Food insecurity affects hundreds of millions of people around the world, creating the potential for instability, violence, and adverse health affects. Professor Cuellar will discuss the importance of understanding the connections between food security, institutions, and the broader international security environment. He will review how problems involving access to food and nutrition can exacerbate a variety of domestic and international security challenges, including violence, migration, and infectious disease, and will survey how these linkages between food, security, and institutions can play out in societies facing disruptions in food security. He will also explore how an advanced industrialized country like the United States also demonstrates the potential impact of institutions on the food system and international security, and how political, legal, and bureaucratic factors in the United States sometimes obscure the potential security-related consequences of agricultural policies, highlighting the significance of domestic institutional factors on the international system.

Professor Cuellar is also a faculty member in the Center for International Security and Cooperation at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies. His research and teaching focus on administrative law, executive power, and how organizations implement critical regulatory, public safety, migration, and international security responsibilities in a changing world.