Senior Research Scientist
Cheryl A. Palm is the Science and Research Director of the Millennium Villages Project and a Senior Research Scientist at the Earth Institute at Columbia University. A prominent tropical ecologist, Dr. Palm served as Principal Research Scientist of the Tropical Soil Biology and Fertility Program in Nairobi, Kenya from 1991-2001. She has served on the faculties of North Carolina State University, Colorado State University and the University of California, Berkeley and also lived and conducted soil sciences research in Kalimantan, Indonesia and Yurimaguas, Peru. She was elected a Fellow of the American Society of Agronomists in 2005. Dr. Palm's research produced the first science-based quantification of the release of plant nutrients from organic sources such as leaves and manures, and the most extensive quantification of carbon and biomass losses from tropical deforestation and sequestration by alternative systems in the Brazilian and Peruvian Amazon, Indonesia and the Congo Basin. Presently, Dr. Palm is leading a major study comparing the agricultural and environmental differences between tropical and temperate regions, the crosscutting project linking food, ecology, nutrition and health. Dr. Palm received a Ph.D. in soil science from North Carolina State University after completing her bachelor's and master's degrees in zoology and working for several years as an ecosystem ecologist at The Ecosystems Center in Woods Hole.