Benjamin Z. Houlton


Benjamin Houlton studied chemistry (B.S.) and environmental engineering (M.S.) before receiving his doctorate in ecology and evolutionary biology from Princeton University in 2005. He then spent two years working as a postdoctoral scholar at Stanford University and the Carnegie Institution for Science, Department of Global Ecology, where he also forged collaborations with CSIRO's Division of Marine and Atmospheric Research in Australia. Currently, a Professor of Global Environmental Studies at the University of California – Davis, Ben holds the distinction of Chancellor's Fellow and is Director of the UC Davis John Muir Institute of the Environment. Ben’s research interests include ecosystem processes, climate change and the growing risks of human alterations to the global carbon, nitrogen, phosphorus cycles for enhanced energy and food production. At the Muir Institute, Ben catalyzes research discovery across more than 300 faculty-experts from all of UC Davis’s colleges and professional schools with the goal of devising innovative solutions to the environmental sustainability challenges of the 21st century. Most recently, Ben has been spear-heading the new “OneClimate” initiative, which envisions a inter-disciplinary, team-based approach to reduce greenhouse gas pollution and help people and ecosystems adapt to an uncertain climate future. Ben's research has appeared in leading scientific journals such as, Science, Nature, and the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences and been covered by news media including Scientific American , Newsweek, Quartz, New York Times, The Christian Science Monitor, Discovery News, MSNBC/Today, Science, Nature, and BBC's "The Naked Scientists". He has appeared as a guest on NPR's "Morning Edition", MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes" and frequently on local TV and radio shows.