Lydia Olander, Ph.D.

Director of Nature-Based Resilience White House Council on Environmental Quality


Lydia Olander directs the Ecosystem Services Program at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability at Duke University. She is an adjunct professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. She leads the National Ecosystem Services Partnership, supporting efforts to integrate ecosystem services into decision making, studies environmental markets and mitigation, climate mitigation and resilience from natural and working lands, and sustainable infrastructure, and is working to expand engaged interdisciplinary sustainability science in academia. She also serves on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Environmental Advisory Board and the secretariat of The Bridge Collaborative. She has published in a wide range of professional journals including Integrated Environmental Assessment and ManagementEcosystemsBiogeochemistrySoil Biology and BiochemistryForest Ecology and ManagementEarth InteractionsEnvironmental Research LettersGlobal Environmental PoliticsEnvironmental ManagementThe Environmental Law ReporterCurrent Opinion in Environmental SustainabilityAdvances in AgronomyGlobal Change BiologyFrontiers in Ecology and the EnvironmentEcosystem ServicesEcological IndicatorsNature Sustainability, and BioScience.

Prior to joining the Nicholas Institute, she spent a year as an AAAS Congressional Science and Technology Fellow working with Senator Joseph Lieberman on environmental and energy issues. Before that 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.

Lydia Olander, Ph.D.

Podcast Appearances

What happens when a nation focuses on addressing the critical challenges posed by climate change by investing in nature? That’s what we’re talking ......
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