Andrew Read
Andrew Read, a professor of marine biology, directs the Duke Marine Lab in Beaufort, N.C. His research focuses on the effects of human activities on marine vertebrates, particularly marine mammals, seabirds and sea turtles. He can discuss the process of hurricane recovery.

Katie Warnell
Katie Warnell is a senior policy associate for the ecosystem services program at Duke’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability. Warnell conducts modeling and literature-based research on climate resilience and adaptation and ecosystem services in coastal areas. She is a graduate of Duke University’s Master of Environment Management program.


Avner Vengosh
Avner Vengosh is a Duke University distinguished professor of environmental quality. He has documented environmental issues related to the energy-water nexus including hydraulic fracturing, coal mining and coal ash. Vengosh has also studied local and global groundwater contamination. His current research focuses on the environmental implications and water use changes induced from the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy.

Environmental Law

Ryke Longest
Ryke Longest is a clinical professor at Duke Law and the Nicholas School of the Environment and co-director of the Duke Environmental Law and Policy Clinic. He previously worked at the North Carolina Department of Justice, where he helped negotiate and lead the state’s implementation of two multimillion-dollar settlement agreements aimed at reducing the adverse impacts from swine farming in North Carolina. Longest also advised environmental agencies who regulated swine and poultry farms and litigated enforcement actions against more than a dozen animal waste facilities.


Timothy Johnson
Timothy Johnson is a professor of the practice of energy and the environment in the Nicholas School of the Environment. He studies energy systems planning, with a focus on electricity generation, transportation and the built environment.

Daniel Vermeer
Daniel Vermeeris the founder and director of Duke University’s Center for Energy, Development and the Global Environment (EDGE), which focuses on the intersection of urgent global environmental challenges – including climate change, energy transition, biodiversity loss, water sustainability and ocean health – and business strategy.

Energy Economics

Brian Murray
Brian Murray interim director of the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability, is widely recognized for his work on the economics of energy policy, particularly as it relates to efforts to mitigate climate change risk. Murray is also a research professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment and the Sanford School of Public Policy. He was a convening lead author of the previous Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report on greenhouse gas mitigation from land use change.

Environmental Justice

Ryan Emanuel
Ryan Emanuel is a hydrologist and community-engaged scholar from North Carolina. He studies ecohydrology, biogeosciences, environmental justice and Indigenous rights. His group at the Nicholas School of the Environment also partners with Native American Tribes and other communities to understand climate change and related environmental changes through the lenses of environmental justice and Indigenous rights.

Environmental Markets

Jackson Ewing
Jackson Ewingholds a joint appointment as a senior fellow at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability and an adjunct associate professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. Ewing is an expert in international climate finance, environmental markets, climate change cooperation and competition between the United States and China.


Lee Ferguson
Lee Ferguson is an environmental analytical chemist in Duke’s Pratt School of Engineering and one of the lead scientists investigating PFAS contamination in North Carolina drinking water sources and the associated program to search for other potential pollutants. Ferguson can talk about the effects of flooding and the dangers lurking for contamination from sources such as chemical plants, hog farms and sewer treatment systems.

Heat Policy

Ashley Ward
Ashley Ward is director of the Heat Policy Innovation Hub at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment & Sustainability. She focuses on engaging communities to identify and address climate, environmental and health issues while helping them develop long-term, sustainable strategies relevant to their needs. Ward is coauthor of an April 2023 report that evaluates states’ treatment of extreme heat risks in their hazard mitigation plans.

Human Health

Drew Shindell
Drew Shindell distinguished professor of earth science, researches how climate change and air pollution affect human health, food security and the economy globally and strategies to decrease these impacts. Shindell has testified before Congress, chairs the science advisory panel to the international Climate and Clean Air Coalition, was lead author on the UN’s 2018 Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change report and serves on the US EPA’s Science Advisory Board.


Sarah Bermeo
Sarah Bermeo is an associate professor of public policy and political science in the Sanford School at Duke University and faculty affiliate in the Duke Center for International Development. Her current research examines the intersection of climate change and other drivers of migration – particularly in Central America, the use of foreign aid for climate change mitigation and adaptation, and the governance of international institutions for public goods such as climate change. She is a frequent commentator in national and international news outlets and a contributor to Brookings Future Development blog.

Plant Life

Paul Manos
Paul Manos is a professor of biology at Duke University who studies woody plants. Manos is working toward understanding the exchange of genes that occurs during oak tree hybridization, which could be an adaptive response to climate change.

Sheng-Yang He
Sheng-Yang He, a professor of biology, studies plant-microbe interactions, including how climatic conditions impact plant disease and immunity and how plants select and maintain beneficial microbiomes. His lab’s aim is to help develop long-term solutions to promote plant health and global food security.


Elizabeth Albright
Elizabeth Albright, an associate professor of the practice of environmental science and policy methods in Duke’s Nicholas School of the Environment, studies how policy decisions are made in response to extreme climatic events. Albright can also discuss how such events affect people’s viewpoints and perceptions of climate change.

Kay Jowers
Kay Jowers is director for Just Environments at Duke University’s Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability and the Kenan Institute for Ethics. Her work focuses on analyzing state regulatory and policy approaches to addressing environmental issues and engages with environmental equity, ethics, and justice in particular. She co-directs the Environmental Justice Lab, a computational social science lab collaborating with community co-researchers, students and faculty on policy-relevant research.

Elizabeth Losos
Elizabeth Losos is an executive in residence at the Nicholas Institute for Energy, Environment and Sustainability and adjunct professor at the Nicholas School of the Environment. Losos co-leads the Resilience Roadmap, a national project that offers recommendations to inform the Biden-Harris administration’s resilience agenda. She also leads a team exploring policies and programs to mitigate the climate, environment and social risks from large-scale infrastructure projects in the transportation and energy sectors.

Sara A. Sutherland
Sara A. Sutherland, an environmental economist in the Sanford School of Public Policy, researches in part the political economy of natural resource management, with a focus on fisheries and water management. Sutherland collaborates with state agencies to tackle environmental issues in North Carolina. This includes projects to inform legislatures on the economic value of North Carolina’s natural resources including commercial fisheries and seagrass. Her current work analyzes the effects of environmental procedures and rules on wildfire mitigation and endangered species.

Erika Weinthal
Erika Weinthal is a professor of environmental policy and public policy and a member of the Bass Society of Fellows at Duke University. She specializes in global environmental politics and environmental security with an emphasis on water and energy. Current areas of research include (1) global environmental politics, (2) environmental conflict and peacebuilding, (3) the political economy of the resource curse, and (4) climate change adaptation. Weinthal’s research spans multiple geographic regions, including the Soviet successor states, the Middle East, South Asia, East Africa and North America.


Luke Parsons
Luke Parsonsis a research scientist and lecturer in the division of earth and climate sciences in the Nicholas School of the Environment, where he studies climate and air pollution impacts on human health and well-being.

Risk Analysis

Mark Borsuk
Mark Borsuk is a professor of civil and environmental engineering with expertise in risk analysis, decision theory and integrated assessment modeling, with applications in climate change, solar geoengineering, health effects, ecosystem services and industrial accidents caused by natural events such as hurricanes, floods and earthquakes.

Societal Issues

Geoffrey Henderson
Geoffrey Henderson is a postdoctoral associate at Duke’s Sanford School of Public Policy, where he examines how to make democracy work better in the context of major societal problems like climate change. His current research looks at state- and federal-level coalitions of environmental and labor groups advocating for policies to address climate change.


Mark Wiesner
Mark Wiesner, a professor of civil and environmental engineering, can talk about the effects of climate change on water treatment infrastructure, challenges to water supply following extreme events like flooding, and technologies for providing water under scarcity.


Toddi Steelman
Toddi Steelman is the dean of the Nicholas School of the Environment at Duke University and past president of the International Association of Wildland Fire. A social scientist working at the intersection of science, policy and decision-making, her research focuses on understanding community responses to wildfire, risk and crisis communication, wildland fire policy and governance, and how communities and agencies interact for more effective management of large, jurisdictionally complex wildfires.