Robert Heilmayr is an assistant professor of environmental and ecological economics at the University of California, Santa Barbara's Environmental Studies Program and the Bren School of Environmental Science and Management. Robert combines methods of causal inference from economics with data made possible through advances in Earth observation to answer questions about how society conserves nature. Robert received his B.A. from Claremont McKenna College, and an M.A. in Economics and a Ph.D. in Environment and Resources from Stanford University. Robert’s research has been published in top scientific journals, including Science, the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the Journal of the Association of Environmental and Resource Economists, and Nature Climate Change. He serves as the director of the Environmental Markets Lab’s Land and Freshwater Program, and strives to translate his research into action through participation in policy processes (e.g. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, UN Forum on Sustainability Standards).
Telecoupling of land use systems, Land governance, Land change trade-offs for ecosystem services and biodiversity , Land management systems
A new study published in Science finds that between 90 and 99 percent of all deforestation in the tropics is driven directly or indirectly by agriculture. Yet only half to two-thirds of this results in the expansion of active agricultural production on the deforested land.
Robert Heilmayr, Cristian Echeverría and Eric F. Lambin have a paper in Nature Sustainability showing that poorly designed payments for afforestation can undermine carbon benefits, and can have negative impacts on biodiversity.
Robert Heilmayr, Kim Carlson, and Jason Jon Benedict have a new paper in Environmental Research Letters on deforestation spillovers from RSPO certification in Indonesia. The paper provides some interesting evidence to suggest that eco-certification can strengthen compliance with government land use restrictions.
A major reduction in global deforestation is needed to mitigate climate change and biodiversity loss. Recent private sector commitments aim to eliminate deforestation from a company’s operations or supply chain, but they fall short on several fronts. Lead author GLP Fellow Eric Lambin and GLP Member Robert Heilmayr review current supply-chain initiatives, their effectiveness, and the challenges they face, and go on to identify knowledge gaps for complementary public–private policies.