Holly Gibbs is a David H. Smith Conservation Research Fellow in the Center on Food Security and Environment. Her research focuses on quantifying the ripple effects of globalized economic drivers on tropical forest conservation and food security. Dr. Gibbs develops statistical and GIS models to quantify and predict shifting drivers, patterns and consequences of tropical deforestation and agricultural expansion. In particular, she is working to better integrate land use science and economics to quantify and map the indirect effects of U.S. biofuels and climate policies. Much of this research aims to reconcile forest conservation, climate change and food security through improved policy and economic incentives.
She earned her Ph.D. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment (SAGE) where a DOE Global Change Environmental Fellowship supported her studies. Her dissertation research quantified shifting pathways of tropical land use and their implications for carbon emissions. Throughout her Ph.D. she worked closely with policy makers, business leaders and environmental groups in support of the UNFCCC initiative to Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD). Prior to moving to Madison, Dr. Gibbs worked as a Post-Masters Research Associate in Oak Ridge National Laboratory's Environmental Sciences Division where she led remote-sensing and GIS research for global carbon and water cycle projects. She received a B.S. of Distinction in Natural Resources and M.S. in Environmental Science from The Ohio State University.