Curran, Lisa

Ph.D Princeton 1994

Lisa’s interdisciplinary studies center on natural resource extraction by transnational firms and the political ecology of land use primarily in Indonesia and Brazil. Lisa employs diverse methods to assess the ecological and social impacts of company practices with the shifting discourse promoted by the State, international institutions, conservation NGOs and donor agencies. Critiques evaluate market-based incentives for conservation and national parks, community-based forest management, private sector certification and development agencies’ efforts geared toward ‘sustainable forest management’.

Her current research group - working in Asian, African and Latin American tropical ecosystems - examines the socio-economic and political drivers of agribusiness coupled with community responses and change in livelihoods and land use. Long-term empirical measurements on indirect ecological effects (e.g., forest productivity, hydrology, water quality, droughts and fire) are conducted as well. A major component involves quantification of carbon sources/sinks and assessments of initiatives for carbon payments from donors, investment banks with NGOs under voluntary markets and UN Reduced Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) pilot projects.

Curriculum vitae

Selected Publications: 

Balch, J.K.,* T.J. Massad, P. M. Brando, D. C. Nepstad, L. M. Curran. 2013. Effects of high frequency understory fires on early plant succession in southeastern Amazonian forests. Phil. Trans. of the Royal Society. In press.

Carlson, K.M.,* L.M. Curran, G. P. Asner, A. M. Pittman, S.N. Trigg, J.M. Adeney. 2012. Carbon emissions from forest conversion by Kalimantan oil palm plantations, 1990-2020. Nature Climate Change. doi:10.1038/nclimate1702 Published online 07 October 2012.

Carlson, K. M.,* L.M. Curran, D. Ratnasari, A. M. Pittman, B. S. Soares-Filho, G.P. Asner, S. N. Trigg, D. L. A. Gaveau, D. Lawrence, H.O. Rodrigues. 2012. Committed C emissions, deforestation, and community land conversion from oil palm plantation expansion in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Proc. of Nat. Acad. Scsi. 109: 7559-7564.Published online April 2012.

Gaveau, D.L.A.,* L. M. Curran, G.D. Paoli, K.M. Carlson, P.Wells, A. Besse-Rimba, D. Ratnasari, N. Leader-Williams. 2012. Examining protected area effectiveness in Sumatra: importance of regulations governing unprotected lands. Conservation Letters. 5:142–148.

Wich,* S., D. L. A. Gaveau,…L.M.Curran et al.2012.Understanding the impacts of land-use change policies on a threatened species: Is there a future for the Bornean orang-utan? PLoS One 7(11):e49142s.

Paoli,G.D.,* K.M. Carlson, A. Hooijer, S.E. Page, L.M. Curran, P.L. Wells, R. Morrison, J. Jauhiainen, A.McDonald Pittman, D. Gilbert, D. Lawrence. 2011. Policy perils of ignoring uncertainty in oil palm research. Proc. of Nat. Acad. Sci. 108: E218.

Balch, J. K.,* D. C. Nepstad, L. M. Curran, P. M. Brando, O. Portela, P. Guilherme, J. D. Reuning-Scherer, O. de Carvalho, Jr. 2011. Size, species, and fire characteristics predict tree and liana mortality from experimental understory fires in Mato Grosso, Brazil. Forest Ecol & Management 261:68-77.

Ponette-Gonzalez, A.,* K. Weathers, L.M. Curran. 2010. Land cover, rain and fog seasonality, and El Niño Southern Oscillation alter water inputs to a tropical montane landscape in Veracruz, Mexico. Global Change Biology 16:946-963.

Ponette-Gonzalez, A.,* K. Weathers, L.M. Curran. 2010. Tropical land-cover change alters biogeochemical inputs to ecosystems in a Mexican montane landscape. Ecol. Applications 20:1805-1819.

Carlson, K.* and L. M. Curran, 2009. REDD pilot project scenarios: Are costs and benefits altered by spatial scale? Environmental Research Letters.

Balch, J.K.,* D. C. Nepstad, and L. M. Curran, 2009. Pattern and process: Fire-initiated grass invasion at Amazon transitional forest edges. In: Fire Ecology of Tropical Ecosystems, Ed M. Cochrane.

Balch, J.K.,* D. C. Nepstad, P. M. Brando, L. M. Curran, O. Portela, O. de Carvalho Jr., and P. Lefebvre, 2008. Negative fire feedback in a transitional forest of southern Amazonia. Global Change Biology 14: 2276-2287.

Cannon, C. H.,* L. M. Curran, A. J. Marshall, and M. Leighton, 2007. Long-term reproductive behavior of woody plants across seven Bornean forest types in the Gunung Palung National Park (Indonesia): supra-annual synchrony, temporal productivity and fruiting diversity. Ecology Letters 10:956-969.

Paoli, G. D.,* and L. M. Curran, 2007. Soil nutrients limit aboveground productivity in mature lowland tropical forests of Southwestern Borneo. Ecosystems 10:503-518.

Gullison, R.E, P. Frumhoff, J. Canadell, C. B. Field, D.C. Nepstad, K. Hayhoe, R. Avissar, L.M. Curran, P. Friedlingsten, C.D. Jones and C. Nobre. 2007. Tropical forests and climate policy. Science 316:985-986.

Curran, L.M. and S. D. Trigg. 2006. Sustainability science from space: Quantifying forest disturbance and land use in the Amazon. Proc. of Nat. Acad. Sci. 103:12663-12664.

Soares-Filho, B., D. C. Nepstad , L. M. Curran et al., 2006. Modelling conservation in the Amazon basin. Nature 440:520-523.

Santilli, M., P. M. Moutino, S. Schwartzman, D. C. Nepstad, L. M. Curran, and C. Nobre. 2005. Tropical deforestation and the Kyoto Protocol. Climatic Change 71:267-276.

Soares-Filho, Britaldo Silveira, Nepstad, Daniel Curtis, Curran, Lisa et al. 2005. Cenários de desmatamento para a Amazônia. Estudos Avançados 19:137-152.

Curran, L. M., S. Trigg, A. McDonald, D. Astiani, Y. M. Hardiono, P. Siregar, I. Caniago, and E. Kasischke. 2004. Lowland forest loss in protected areas of Indonesian Borneo. Science 303:1000-1003. SOM:

Barber, C. V., E. Mathews, D. Brown, T. H. Brown, L. M. Curran, C. Plume, and E. Selig. 2002. The State of the Forest: Indonesia. Forest Watch International/ Global Forest Watch/World Resources Institute. 119 pp. Also published in Bahasa Indonesia, Keadaan Hutan Indonesia 131 pp.

Curran, L. M., I. Caniago, G. D. Paoli,* D. Astiani,* M. Kusneti, M. Leighton, C. E. Nirarita, and H. Haeruman. 1999. Impact of El Niño and logging on canopy tree recruitment in Borneo. Science 286:2184-2188.

* denotes graduate students