Elsa Ordway

Elsa Ordway

Co-Director, Center for Tropical Research; Co-Director, Congo Basin Institute

Assistant Professor, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

410K Botany Building
Los Angeles, CA 90095

Lab Website

Congo Basin Institute

Elsa Ordway is Co-Director of both the Center for Tropical Research and the Congo Basin Institute. She joined UCLA as an Assistant Professor in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology in 2021. She joined the Institute of the Environment and Sustainability as Affiliated Faculty in 2022. Before that, she was a Harvard University Center for the Environment Postdoctoral Fellow. Elsa earned a PhD in Earth System Science from Stanford University in 2018 and a Master’s in Conservation Biology from Columbia University in 2013 and has published articles on a range of issues relating to forest ecosystems and global change since then. 

Elsa’s research group examines social-ecological systems in forested regions in the context of two globally pressing challenges: climate change and increasing demands for land to accommodate food, fuel, and fiber production for ten billion people. How we choose to address these challenges will have far-reaching impacts on ecological processes, biodiversity, and society. Combining remote sensing, field observations, models, and socioeconomic analyses, we integrate theory and methods from ecology, earth science, economics, and land system science to gain new insight into pattern and process across scales in forests. We are primarily working in forested systems in the tropics and California. 

We work closely with collaborators at the Congo Basin Institute and the NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory Carbon Cycle & Ecosystems group.   


Recent Publications