Nobel Prize Summit

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SETO Karen Seto photo

Karen Seto is the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at the Yale School of the Environment.

Karen Seto is the Frederick C. Hixon Professor of Geography and Urbanization Science at the Yale School of the Environment. Her central research focus is how urbanisation will affect the planet. A geographer by training, she integrates remote sensing, field interviews, and modeling methods to study urbanisation and land change, future urban land expansion, and the environmental consequences of urbanisation at scale. She has pioneered methods to reconstruct historical land-use and to develop empirical models to explain and forecast the expansion of urban areas. She has extensive fieldwork experience in Asia, especially China and India, where she has conducted research for more than 20 and 10 years, respectively. Her research has generated new knowledge on the links between urbanisation and food systems, the effects of urban expansion on biodiversity and cropland loss, urban energy use and emissions, and urban mitigation of climate change. She is co-leading and co-led the urban mitigation chapter for the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change 6th and 5th Assessment Reports. She chaired the US National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s workshop with the Chinese Academy of Sciences on advancing urban sustainability in China and the United States. From 2000 to 2008, she was faculty at Stanford University, where she held joint appointments in the Woods Institute for the Environment and the School of Earth Sciences. She is an elected member of the US National Academy of Sciences and the Connecticut Academy of Science and Engineering and a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science.