Gund Fellow, Research Assistant Professor, Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources

Gillian Galford is an earth systems scientist interested in land-cover and land-use change in the tropics and its impacts on ecosystems services, particularly carbon and nitrogen fluxes. She has used remote sensing and ecosystems modeling to estimate historical and future greenhouse gas emissions. She has worked on carbon and nitrogen dynamics in a range of settings, from the large-scale soybean farms of Mato Grosso, Brazil, to small-holder agricultural systems of Malawi and East Africa undergoing the 21st century African Green Revolution.

In addition to these research projects, Gillian is the lead author of the Vermont Climate Assessment and teaches courses at the Gund Institute. Previously, she was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Earth Institute of Columbia University.

Gillian Galford in the News


  • Macedo, M.N., R.S. DeFries, D.C. Morton, C.M. Stickler, G.L. Galford, Y.E. Shimabukuro (2012). Decoupling of deforestation and soy production in the southern Amazon during the late 2000s. PNAS.
  • Galford, G.L., J.M. Melillo, D.W. Kicklighter, J.F. Mustard, T.W. Cronin, C.E.P. Cerri, C.C. Cerri (2011). Carbon emissions and uptake from 105 years of land-cover and land-use change at the agricultural frontier of the Brazilian Amazon. Ecological Applications.
  • Galford, G.L., J.M. Melillo, D.W. Kicklighter, T.W. Cronin, C.E.P. Cerri, J.F. Mustard, C.C. Cerri (2010). Estimating greenhouse gas emissions from land-cover and land-use change: Future scenarios of deforestation and agricultural management. PNAS 107:19649-19654.
  • Galford, G.L., J.M. Melillo, J.F. Mustard, C.E.P. Cerri, C.C. Cerri (2010). The Amazon frontier of land-use change: croplands and consequences for greenhouse gas emissions. Earth Interactions 14:14
  • Galford, G.L., J.F. Mustard, J. Melillo, A. Gendrin, C.C. Cerri, C.E.P. Cerri (2008). Wavelet analysis of MODIS time series to detect expansion and intensification of row-crop agriculture in Brazil. Remote Sensing of Environment, 112:576-587.

Awards and Recognition

  • Sustainability Faculty Fellow, 2012-13
  • Earth Institute Fellowship ($55,000) 2010
  • NASA Earth and Space Science Fellowship ($23,000 annually) 2006-09
  • Stanley Watson Graduate Fellow (Tuition + fees, stipend) 2004-06
  • Graduate Fellowship Award, Brown University (Tuition + fees, stipend) Washington University Eliot Scholar (Half tuition annually) 2000-2004
  • C. Werner Memorial Scholarship for Academic Achievement ($500) Astronaut Scholarship Foundation Scholarship ($8,000) 2003
  • Target All-Around Scholarship ($10,000)b 2001-02
  • Portland Area Community Employees (PACE) Scholarship ($5,000) 2001-03
  • Harriet W. Sheridan Center Teaching Certificate I & II, Brown University 2006-07
  • Women’s Leadership Award, Washington University Women’s Society 2004
  • The Pathfinder Program in Environmental Sustainability 2000-04
  • Women’s Leadership Training Institute 2002
  • Peer Advisor of the Year, Washington University 2001-02
  • Washington University Eliot Scholar 2000-04

Associations and Affiliations

  • Committee Member | UVM Food Systems Steering Committee July 2013-present
  • Committee Member | RSENR Community Sustainability Committee May 2013-present
  • Journal reviewer | Remote Sensing of Environment, Climate Change, Environmental Research Letters
  • Panel reviewer | EPA STAR, NASA LCLUC, NASA Carbon Cycle
  • Symposium organizer | Nitrogen and the African Environment. The Earth Institute 2010
  • Co-Founder | MBL Community Garden, coordinated and lead development and construction
  • Chair | Geodyssey (Earth & Planetary Sciences Geology Club) September, 2008 2001-2004 Founded club, organized field trips and collaborated with other campus groups for education and outreach on campus.
  • President | Washington University Outing Club
  • Board of Directors and Leadership Training Director |The Wilderness Project
  • Field Supervisor | Amigos de las Americas, Paraguay. 2000. Coordinated public health and environmental education projects in rural communities. Coordinated supply deliveries to each community with Paraguayan sponsoring agencies. Created and fostered relationships with local supporters to aid project sustainability. Supervised 10 volunteers for 8 weeks. Arranged volunteer housing, food, and emergency transportation. Conducted weekly assessments of volunteer safety, health and project progress. Completed performance evaluations.
  • Board Member | Portland Training Chapter of Amigos de las Americas. 1999-2000
  • Volunteer | Amigos de las Americas, Dominican Republic. Summer 1998
  • Promoted public health, community sanitation and environmental education based on community- identified goals.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Land-cover and land-use change, ecosystems ecology, biogeochemistry, nitrogen and carbon storage and cycling, remote sensing, ecosystems modeling, environmental sustainability


  • PhD, Biological & Environmental Sciences, Brown University
  • MSc, Biological & Environmental Sciences, Brown University
  • BA, Earth & Planetary Sciences, Environmental Studies, Washington University


  • 802 656-2906
Office Location:

Johnson House, 617 Main Street