David Lobell

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David Lobell, PhD

  • Professor, Earth System Science
  • Senior Fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies
  • Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment
  • Senior Fellow at the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (SIEPR)
  • Affiliate, Precourt Institute of Energy

Energy and Environment Building
473 Via Ortega
Stanford CA 94305

(650) 721-6207 (voice)

Biography

David Lobell is the Benjamin M. Page Professor at Stanford University in the Department of Earth System Science and the Gloria and Richard Kushel Director of the Center on Food Security and the Environment. He is also the William Wrigley Senior Fellow at the Stanford Woods Institute for the Environment, and a senior fellow at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies (FSI) and the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy and Research (SIEPR).

Lobell's research focuses on agriculture and food security, specifically on generating and using unique datasets to study rural areas throughout the world. His early research focused on climate change risks and adaptations in cropping systems, and he served on the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) Fifth Assessment Report as lead author for the food chapter and core writing team member for the Summary for Policymakers. More recent work has developed new techniques to measure progress on sustainable development goals and study the impacts of climate-smart practices in agriculture. His work has been recognized with various awards, including the Macelwane Medal from the American Geophysical Union (2010), a Macarthur Fellowship (2013), the National Academy of Sciences Prize in Food and Agriculture Sciences (2022) and election to the National Academy of Sciences (2023).

Prior to his Stanford appointment, Lobell was a Lawrence Post-doctoral Fellow at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. He holds a PhD in Geological and Environmental Sciences from Stanford University and a Sc.B. in Applied Mathematics from Brown University.

Current research

In The News

Francis Fukuyama, Anja Manuel, Jared Dunnmon, David Lobell, and Nathaniel Persily discuss the impact of artificial intelligence during a panel held at the Freeman Spogli Institute for International Studies at Stanford University.
News

Weighing AI’s Impact on the Global Order and Security

At a gathering for alumni, the Ford Dorsey Master's in International Policy program hosted four experts to discuss the ramifications of AI on global security, the environment, and political systems.
cover link Weighing AI’s Impact on the Global Order and Security
Local people on rice terraces at Longji, Guilin, China.
News

Less air pollution leads to higher crop yields, Stanford-led study shows

New analysis shows crop yields could increase by about 25% in China and up to 10% in other parts of the world if emissions of a common air pollutant decreased by about half.
cover link Less air pollution leads to higher crop yields, Stanford-led study shows
Green corn and soybean field
News

Lasering In on Corn Fields

Mapping crops around the globe is key to estimating production and developing targeted management strategies. New research utilized data from NASA's Global Ecosystem Dynamics Investigation (GEDI) technology and developed an algorithm to distinguish between maize and other crops with high accuracy and produce crop maps across the globe.
cover link Lasering In on Corn Fields