Lisa is the Roger and Cynthia Lang Professor in Environmental Anthropology and Senior Fellow at the Woods Institute for the Environment. From 2001-2009, she was Professor of Tropical Resources and John Musser Director of the Tropical Resources Institute at Yale University’s School of Forestry and Environmental Studies. From 1996-2001, she held an interdisciplinary faculty position at the School of Natural Resources and Environment, Southeast Asian Studies and International Institute and Department of Biology at the University of Michigan.  

She received her A.B. with honors from Harvard University, Ph.D from Princeton University and held a Mercer Post-doctoral Fellowship at Harvard University. She has spent over 25 years in the South and Southeast Asian tropics conducting scientific research, training and outreach and policy studies.  Lisa served as a Visiting Research Fellow at the East-West Center’s program in Environmental Change, Vulnerability and Governance, Aldo Leopold Leadership Fellow, and Marie Tharp Fellow at the Earth Institute of Columbia University. Currently, she is a MacArthur Fellow (2007-2012), External Faculty at the Santa Fe Institute (2003-present) and serves on NASA’s Earth Science Advisory Board, as well as governing boards of the Tropical Forest Foundation, The Forest Dialogue and Forest Integrity Network under Transparency International’s Corruption Watch Program.

Lisa’s current interdisciplinary programs examine the effects of land use change, climate, drought and fire on carbon dynamics and biodiversity; and impacts of governmental policies and industrial practices on ecosystems and rural livelihoods in Asian and Latin American tropical forests.