Lydia Olander

Lydia Olander

Adjunct Associate Professor

Primary Appointment

Nicholas Institute

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.

In The News


Olander, Lydia, and Lorraine Maltby. “Mainstreaming ecosystem services into decision making.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12, no. 10 (December 2014): 539–539.
Tallis, Heather, and Jane Lubchenco. “Working together: A call for inclusive conservation.” Nature 515, no. 7525 (November 2014): 27–28.
Olander, Lydia P., Eva Wollenberg, Francesco N. Tubiello, and Martin Herold. “Synthesis and Review: Advancing agricultural greenhouse gas quantification.” Environmental Research Letters 9, no. 7 (July 1, 2014): 075003–075003.
Salzman, J., C. Arnold, R. Garcia, K. Hirokawa, K. Jowers, J. LeJava, M. Peloso, and L. Olander. “The Most Important Current Research Questions in Urban Ecosystem Services.” Duke Environmental Law & Policy Forum, 2014, 1–47.
Robertson, M., T. K. BenDor, R. Lave, A. Riggsbee, J. B. Ruhl, and M. Doyle. “Stacking ecosystem services.” Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 12, no. 3 (January 1, 2014): 186–93.

Recent Grants


ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 593: Independent Studies and Projects)
ENVIRON 590: Special Topics (ENVIRON 590: Special Topics)
ENVIRON 899: Master's Project (ENVIRON 899: Master's Project)
ENVIRON 634: Introduction to Ecosystem Services and Methods for Quantification (ENVIRON 634: Introduction to Ecosystem Services and Methods for Quantification)
ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects (ENVIRON 997: Duke Environmental Leadership: Independent Studies and Projects)

Contact Information

2117 Campus Drive, Rm 212
Durham, NC 27708
Box 90335
Durham, NC 27708-0328


Ph.D., Stanford University (2002)