Bernardo “Bernie” Bastien-Olvera

Bernie Bastien-Olvera wins Kinsella Memorial Prize

Bernie Bastien-Olvera's interdisciplinary work explores the impact of climate change on ecosystems, biodiversity policy and human well-being

Bernardo “Bernie” Bastien-Olvera, a recent Ph.D. graduate from the Geography Graduate Group at UC Davis and scholar in Environmental Science & Policy, has won the Kinsella Memorial Prize for his doctoral research on climate-driven impacts on global ecosystems and their effects on human well-being. The award recognizes a graduate student whose Ph.D. dissertation is of high quality, original, involves more than one field of study, and aligns with the mission of the College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. Bastien-Olvera’s dissertation included creating a model of the interactions between climate, economics, and ecosystems to estimate metrics such as the social cost of carbon. By the time he completed his Ph.D., Bastien-Olvera had three peer-reviewed published papers related to this doctoral research, including one published in the journal Nature Sustainability. Last year, he and his wife also produced a video documentary series on climate change that was broadcast on public television stations in Mexico.

Frances C. Moore, associate professor of Environmental Science and Policy, was Bastien-Olvera’s advisor and praised his interdisciplinary work that “directly addresses important policy questions” around climate change costs and biodiversity policy. “During his time at Davis, Bernie excelled in every way – as a student, scholar, student leader – while completing highly-original research spanning multiple disciplines,” Moore wrote in a nomination letter.

Bastien-Olvera's achievement highlights the Geography Graduate Group and department's commitment to interdisciplinary work that addresses pressing issues, such as climate change, and related social/ecolonic costs. Bastien-Olvera's innovative research serves as an excellent example of the high-quality scholarship produced by students in the program. His work demonstrates the importance of bringing together diverse fields of study to address complex issues in environmental science. The department is proud to have had Bastien-Olvera as a student and looks forward to seeing the impact he will continue to make in his postdoctoral work at Scripps Institution of Oceanography at the University of California, San Diego.

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