Lydia Olander directs the Ecosystem Services Program at Duke's Nicholas Institute for Environmental Policy Solutions. She co-leads Duke’s Ecosystem Services Working Group; and leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership which is currently coordinating the Federal Resource Management and Ecosystem Services Project. She also works on environmental markets and mitigation, including forestry and agricultural based climate mitigation; wetland, stream and endangered species mitigation; and water quality trading.  

Lydia joined the Nicholas Institute after spending a year as an AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow working with Senator Joseph Lieberman on environmental and energy issues. Before moving to Washington, D.C., 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. She has published in a wide range of professional journals including Ecosystems, Biogeochemistry, Soil Biology and Biochemistry, Forest Ecology and Management, Earth Interactions, and Environmental Research Letters, Global Environmental Politics, Environmental Management, The Environmental Law Reporter, Current Opinion in Environmental Sustainability, Advances in Agronomy and Global Change Biology, and Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment.

School Division

Environmental Sciences & Policy


  • Ph.D., Stanford University (2002)

Selected Publications

  • Robertson, M; BenDor, TK; Lave, R; Riggsbee, A; Ruhl, JB; Doyle, MFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12, no. 3 ( ): 186 - 193