Current Research

Faculty Fellows Research

Pardee Center Faculty Research Fellows lead two- or three-year interdisciplinary research projects that are aligned with the Center’s mission and interests in topics related to improvements in the human condition over the long-term. The Pardee Center provides “seed funding” for project support and in most cases works with the Faculty Research Fellows to seek additional external funding for continuation of the research. The Faculty Research Fellows produce Pardee Center publications and lead seminars or other events related to their research. READ MORE.

Pardee Center Research

MadisonParkEnhancing Energy Efficiency for Urban Housing
This multi-disciplinary research project aims to identify the factors that drive energy use and determine effective programs that can achieve greater energy efficiency, while considering residents’ comfort levels and desired energy-use needs.

Coupled Human and Natural Systems
Humanity is both highly dependent on and an integral part of the natural systems in which we live. This study of coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) looks at the dynamic interactions between people and natural systems and seeks to highlight the implications of important trade-offs that policymakers face when making decisions related to natural resource management and development. This research program also will create decision analysis tools that policymakers can use to inform such decisions.

The Future of Energy Systems in Developing Countries
This project examines the plausible pathways for achieving energy security in a select number of developing countries based on a variety of factors, including political and societal conditions, available technology, financing mechanisms, and geographic realities.

Climate Impacts, Food Security, and Multiple Breadbasket Failures
This project seeks to understand the potential consequences of crop productivity failures in the world’s major breadbasket regions.

GEGIGlobal Economic Governance Initiative (GEGI)
A research program of the Center for Finance, Law & Policy; the Frederick S. Pardee Center for the Study of the Longer-Range Future; and the Frederick S. Pardee School of Global Studies. The GEGI was founded in 2008 to advance policy-relevant knowledge about governance for financial stability, human development, and the environment.

fellowsGraduate Summer Fellows Program 
The Pardee Graduate Summer Fellows Program provides outstanding master’s and doctoral students at Boston University an opportunity for intensive interdisciplinary research and writing on topics that are aligned with the broad research interests of the center.

Faculty Fellows Research

Gallagher_0822Prof. Kevin P. Gallagher, Pardee School of Global Studies
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)
Pardee Center Task Force on Trade, Investment, and Climate Policy
The Pardee Task Force on Trade, Investment, and Climate Policy will comprise an interdisciplinary group of experts who will examine the extent to which proposed trade and investment treaties are compatible with global climate change goals, and will articulate a series of policy recommendations to ensure that progressive climate policy is incorporated into trade and investment treaties. Specifically, the Task Force will examine the extent to which the Trans-Atlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and bi-lateral investment treaties (BITs) between the U.S. and India, and the U.S. and China present opportunities and barriers to advancing progressive climate change policies among the parties. The group will produce a Pardee Center Task Force Report to be published in late 2016.



Prof. Jillian Goldfarb, Mechanical Engineering, Materials Science & Engineering
Prof. Wendy Heiger-Bernays, Environmental Health
Prof. David Glick, Political Science
Faculty Research Fellows (2016-2019)
Integrating Science, Health and Policy to Engineer Global Sustainable Water Access
Global sustainable water management efforts are hampered by technological limitations, insufficient health risk assessments, and untenable policy solutions that lack public support. Access to pathogen-free water is a challenge in rapidly urbanized developing nations where underdeveloped infrastructure encourages water stagnation and microorganism growth. Compounding these issues, both industrialized and developing cities suffer water scarcity (an early implication of climate change) and are investigating water resource management solutions such as greywater reuse, but technological failure of greywater reuse systems could lead to widespread microbial contamination. The team will develop novel materials and processes for the degradation of microorganisms in water for household to industrial scale use in developing and industrialized urban areas. Laboratory results will inform a risk assessment model to predict the impact our technology would have to reduce human health risk due to pathogen exposure. They will perform original survey, interview, and case study research to understand factors influencing support for water reuse policies, and gauge the ability to sway public opinion with information about technological developments that protect both human health and water resources across developing and industrialized populations.



Prof. Sucharita Gopal, Earth & Environment
Prof. Les Kaufman, Biology
Prof. Bruce Anderson, Earth & Environment
Prof. Susan Foster, Public Health
Faculty Research Fellows (2015-2018)
Climate Change and Health Issues in Cambodia and India
This research will explore the connections between climate change and human health impacts in India and Cambodia to help inform policies that may be developed to address related issues. The project will include a meta-analysis of the literature from multiple fields that have examined the connections between climate change and disease, and an analysis of monthly temperature extremes in each country over the past 40 years. This work will provide an understanding of the frequency and distribution of extreme heat in India over that period. Once the research is complete, a workshop in India will potentially be held in collaboration with in-country partners to present the findings. The workshop would facilitate further collaborative research programs between BU and in-country scholars on the health impacts of climate changes, leading to better informed policy decisions the areas of public health and related fields.


Prof. Joseph Harris, Sociology
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)
First Conference on Global Health and the Social Sciences (Fall 2017)
The project will convene the First National Conference on Global Health and the Social Sciences, bringing together anthropologists, sociologists, and political scientists working on global health from around the nation and world. The conference is intended to expose participants to colleagues from other disciplines, to new ideas, and to provide the opportunity for scholars to create new research pathways and chart new agendas in conference sessions with both disciplinary and interdisciplinary themes.


Prof. Lucy Hutyra, Earth & Environment
Prof. Pamela Templer, Biology
Faculty Research Fellows (2015-2018)
Boston Nitrogen Deposition Study
This project will establish the first urban nitrogen monitoring stations (in the City of Boston) as part of the National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP). Specifically, the project team will establish a new NADP site on the BU campus along with several other sampling sites throughout the city of Boston, and convert a recently established monitoring site at the Arnold Arboretum to a long-term one. This new urban monitoring network fits well within a larger biogeochemistry research program at Boston University, which is seeking to establish a mechanistic understanding of sources and transformations of emissions and deposition of nitrogen within the City of Boston to enable predictions of future atmospheric nitrogen deposition rates.


Richard B. Primack, Biology
Faculty Research Fellow (2016-2019)
Establishing a Pardee Center Working Group on Leaf Emergence and Fall (LEaF)
Warming temperatures are lengthening growing seasons in temperate ecosystems for most trees and shrubs—leaves are emerging earlier in spring and fall later in autumn. These seasonal shifts in leaf activity affect ecological relationships (e.g., species invasions and temporal mismatches among plants, insects, and birds), ecosystem processes (seasonal fluxes of carbon and water), and economic activities (e.g., urban tree investment and tourism to view fall foliage). These impacts, in turn, have important implications for policies regarding forestry, climate change mitigation and adaptation, and economic planning. The Pardee Leaf Emergence and Fall (LEaF) Working Group will gather researchers from multiple departments at Boston University and neighboring institutions, all of whom study some aspect of the timing of leaf-out and leaf-fall, and facilitate dialogues with policy and management experts to accomplish three goals: (1) identify opportunities for interdisciplinary and synthetic collaboration; (2) articulate a research agenda that addresses critical needs and provides research support to graduate students and postdoctoral researchers address these needs; and (3) communicate insights gained from these activities through at least three peer-reviewed articles and several presentations and dialogues with land managers, policy makers, and other scientists.


Prof. Ian Sue Wing, Earth & Environment
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)
Sustainable Energy Transitions Research
Prof. Ian Sue Wing will assist the Pardee Center in pursuing collaborative research partnerships on sustainable energy transitions.

Prof. Min Ye, Pardee School of Global Studies
Faculty Research Fellow (2015-2018)
China’s Silk Road Diplomacy: Studying and Shaping China’s Long-Term Economic Footprints in Asia and Beyond
This project will establish a coordinated, multidisciplinary, policy-relevant program of research on the impacts of various aspects of China’s Silk Road Diplomacy in other developing countries in Asia and elsewhere. This effort will include fieldwork in China, annual workshops, and development of sustainable networks of scholars and practitioners who will collectively identify important issues and policy-relevant insights related to the management of China’s economic footprint.