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Lydia Olander

Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division
Environmental Sciences and Policy
Box 90335, Durham, NC 27708-0328
2117 Campus Drive, Rm 212, Durham, NC 27708


Lydia Olander directs the Ecosystem Services Program at the Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions at Duke University. She leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership, supporting efforts to integrate ecosystem services into decision making, studies environmental markets and mitigation, and sustainable infrastructure, and is working to expand engaged interdisciplinary sustainability science in academia.  She directs a new Environment Impact Fellows leadership training program for doctoral students at Duke. She also serves on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board and the secretariat of The Bridge Collaborative. She has published in a wide range of professional journals including Integrated Environmental Assessment and Management, Ecosystems, Biogeochemistry, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Forest Ecology and Management, Earth Interactions, Environmental Research Letters, Global Environmental Politics, Environmental Management, The Environmental Law Reporter, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Advances in Agronomy, Global Change Biology, Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, Ecosystem Services, Ecological Indicators, Nature Sustainability, and BioScience.

Prior to joining the Nicholas Institute, she spent a year as an AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow working with Senator Joseph Lieberman on environmental and energy issues. Before that she was a researcher with the Carnegie Institution of Washington’s Department of Global Ecology, where she studied the biogeochemical impacts of logging in the Brazilian Amazon and utilized remote sensing to extrapolate regional impacts. She received her PhD from Stanford University, where she studied nutrient cycling in tropical forests, and earned a master’s degree in forest science from Yale University.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Adjunct Professor in the Environmental Sciences and Policy Division · 2020 - Present Environmental Sciences and Policy, Nicholas School of the Environment

Education, Training & Certifications

Stanford University · 2002 Ph.D.