Dr. Gillian L. Galford is a Research Associate Professor in the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources, as well as a Fellow of the Gund Institute for Environment at the University of Vermont. Gillian serves as Coordinator of the Geospatial Technologies Minor.
As an ecosystems ecologist and earth system scientist, Gillian studies land-cover and land-use change in the tropics and its impacts, particularly on greenhouse gas emissions and the water cycle. Gillian works across scales, from plot level studies on farms to regional analyses through remote sensing and ecosystems modeling. Land cover changes of interest include deforestation in the Amazon and hurricane damage to Cuban mangroves—and associated impacts on the environment. In Brazilian agroecosystems, Gillian studies the bottom-up impacts of land use management on large commercial farms to inform sustainable practices. In smallholder farming settings like Malawi and Vermont, USA, her work focuses on resilience in the face of increased precipitation variability. Gillian leads the Vermont Climate Assessment and collaborates with state and national level sustained assessments.
Strong partnerships and collaborations are a hallmark of Gillian’s work. Her colleagues represent universities in the USA, Brazil and Cuba, NGOs (Imflora, Ceres, IFPRI), international research organizations (CCAFS, IPAM) and government institutions (USAID, Vermont agencies). Gillian maintains active research projects funded by NASA, NSF, USDA and private foundations.
Gillian holds a B.A. in Earth & Planetary Sciences with a double major in Environmental Studies (social science track) from Washington University in St. Louis. She holds a Ph.D. from Brown University where she studied ecosystems ecology and remote sensing through the Brown-MBL Joint Program with a focus on remote sensing and ecosystems ecology through the Brown-MBL Joint Program in Environmental Science and Biology. Previously, Gillian was a Postdoctoral Research Fellow at the Earth Institute of Columbia University and the Woods Hole Research Center.