MacArthur Fellows Program

Pamela A. Matson

Ecologist | Class of 1995

Berekeley, California
42 at time of award
Published July 1, 1995

About Pamela's Work

Pamela Matson is an ecologist specializing in the interactions between the biosphere and the atmosphere.

Matson pioneered much of the research in the role of land-use changes on global warming, through analyzing the effects of greenhouse gas emissions resulting from tropical deforestation.  Her work has been widely published in journals such as Ecology, the Journal of Geophysical Research, and Science.  Matson studies biogeochemical and ecological processes in forest and agricultural systems. Collaborating with hydrologists, geographers, economists, and agronomists, she carries out interdisciplinary studies of intensive agricultural fertilization and other land-use changes in the tightly linked, land-coast-sea system, currently focused on the Yaqui Basin, Sonora, Mexico.


Matson was a research scientist at the NASA/Ames Research Center (1983-1993) and a professor of ecosystem ecology at the University of California, Berkeley (1993-1997).  Since 1993, she has been affiliated with Stanford University where she is the Richard and Rhoda Goldman Professor of Environmental Studies in the Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences, the Chester Naramore Dean of the School of Earth Sciences, and the co-director of the Center for Environmental Science and Policy at the Institute of International Studies.

Matson received a B.S. (1975) from the University of Wisconsin, an M.S. (1980) from Indiana University, and a Ph.D. (1983) from Oregon State University.

Last updated January 1, 2005

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