Authors & Members

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Timmons Roberts is Ittleson Professor of Sociology and Environmental Studies at Brown University. He taught at the College of William and Mary and directed its Program in Environmental Science and Policy (2001-2009), and held a joint appointment in Latin American studies and sociology and co-directed the Environmental Studies program at Tulane University (1991-2001). He was a James Martin 21st Century Professor at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute in 2006-2007, and a research fellow at the College of William and Mary’s Institute for the Theory and Practice of International Relations in 2008-2009.  In 1992 he earned a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in Sociology’s Program in comparative international development. He holds a BA in biology (with research in tropical and temperate ecology) from Kenyon College. Timmons co-founded the Climate and Development Lab in 2010. He is also co-founder of AidData.org. Timmons is part of an international effort to produce a quantum leap in transparency in climate finance, and foreign aid more broadly. He is a leader in Rhode Island’s efforts to plan for how to adapt to climate changes, serving on the RI Climate Change Commission, created in 2010 by legislation written by him and his Brown students. Most recently, he was appointed to the Board on Environmental Change and Society of the National Academy of Sciences.

Phone: (401) 863-3449 | Timmons_Roberts(at)brown.edu

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David Ciplet is a Ph.D. Candidate and Researcher at Brown University in the Department of Sociology and the Center for Environmental Studies.  He is co-director and co-founder of the Climate and Development Lab. Ciplet has conducted international fieldwork and publishing on issues of inequality and social change in UN climate change politics since 2009. He is co-author of the book manuscript, Power in a Warming World: The New Geopolitics of Climate Change, with Timmons Roberts and Mizan Khan, under advanced contract with MIT Press. Ciplet’s dissertation explores the processes through which advocacy networks translate claims about climate-induced crises into political action. His articles are published in journals including Global Environmental PoliticsSocial Movement Studies, Review and the Journal of Sustainability Education. He is also lead author of eight policy reports published by organizations including the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and the International Institute for Environment and Development, several of which he has co-authored with his students.

Ciplet also works extensively on local issues of environmental health and justice, and has more than a decade of experience engaging with community partners to influence policies related to waste, energy, food and climate change.  He has a background as an educator in diverse contexts, and his greatest passion is facilitating transformational learning experiences for students through an engaged, applied and experiential approach.

Email: David_Ciplet@brown.edu

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Guy Edwards is a Research Fellow at the Center for Environmental Studies, Brown University, and co-director and co-founder of the Climate and Development Lab. He also manages the Lab’s research project on the politics of climate change in Latin America. Along with co-author, Professor Timmons Roberts, he is currently writing a book on Latin American leadership on climate change for MIT Press. He has also written various academic papers, policy briefs and op-eds for a number of different publications. As co-founder of Intercambio Climático and formerly co-editor of the website, Guy has worked closely with the Latin American Platform on Climate and the Latin American office of the Climate and Development Knowledge Network. He has also worked for the Overseas Development Institute, the consultancy River Path Associates and as the resident manager of the Huaorani Ecolodge in the Ecuadorian Amazon.

Email: guy_edwards@brown.edu

Alison Kirsch-1Alison Kirsch is a junior at Brown University working toward a B.A. in Environmental Studies. Her interests lie in investigating how to create successful societal and policy responses to climate change in Latin America and the United States. She has worked as a Sustainability Intern with the Brown Office of Energy and Environment, and with multiple departments at the national nonprofit Keep America Beautiful. Alison has also been active in various grassroots environmental campaigns. Her research with the Climate Development Lab focuses on climate change negotiations in regards to Chile, as well as the debate surrounding fossil fuel subsidies.

Email: alison_kirsch@brown.edu

AlexAlex Durand is a sophomore at Brown pursuing a degree in environmental studies and community health.  After working for years on local grassroots environmental action campaigns, she became involved in the Climate and Development Lab to tackle climate change on an international level.   Alex is interested in the intersection of public health and climate change.  Her research with the CDL focuses on climate and health in small island developing states and the scale-up climate finance period.

Email: alexis_durand@brown.edu

Sophie purdomSophie Purdom is a sophomore at Brown University double concentrating in Environmental Studies and Public Policy. Before joining the Climate and Development Lab, Sophie interned at the Providence Office of Sustainability where she worked on writing the Sustainable Providence Plan and on an urban farming initiative that repurposes vacant lots as community farms. In 2012, Sophie led her high school to earning the prestigious international Green Flag Award for reducing the school’s energy budget by nearly 20% in addition to successful composting, recycling, storm water and waste water reduction campaigns. Sophie is a Henry David Thoreau Scholar. She is interested in researching triple bottom line sustainable business valuation at COP19.

Email: sophie_purdom@brown.edu

OliviaOlivia Santiago (Los Altos, California) is a current sophomore concentrating in Environmental Sciences. She is interested in identity politics in developing island nation states as well as food security issues in the climate negotiations. At Brown, she is a current Royce Fellow for Sport and Society and traveled to Trinidad and Tobago during the summer of 2013 to work on sport for development projects. Olivia is also a member of the Brown women’s water polo team.

Email: olivia_santiago@brown.edu

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Maria Camila Bustos is currently a second year student at Brown University. She is concentrating in International Relations and Environmental Studies.  Camila is interested in climate change politics in Latin America as well as environmental justice issues, particularly surrounding indigenous communities. Her research focuses on melting glaciers in the Andes and its impacts on vulnerable communities.  She is part of the Brown Divest Coal campaign and the Brown Immigrant Rights Coalition.

Email: maria_bustos@brown.edu

BrynaBryna Cofrin-Shaw is a senior Environmental Studies concentrator at Brown University. She is interested in studying the relevance of religion, ethics, gender and literature within social justice-minded environmentalism. Bryna worked closely with grassroots environmental movements in 2011 as an intern for New England Climate Summer, and worked with engineers and environmental scientists in Latin America in 2012 as an intern at Ecuador’s Ministry of Agriculture. Her research at COP19 will focus on gender and representation within civil society groups.

Email: bryna_cofrin-shaw@brown.edu

KeithKeith Madden is a senior at Brown University from Lincolnshire, Illinois. He is concentrating in Environmental Studies and International Relations, and has been a member of the Brown Climate and Development Lab since 2011.  Keith is interested in international environmental politics, Latin America, and environmental ethics.  He is conducting a senior honors thesis in Environmental Studies about the concept of Rights of Nature that was codified in Ecuador.  He spent January through May 2013 studying abroad in Ecuador, enrolled at Universidad San Francisco de Quito (USFQ) and interning with El Fondo Ambiental Nacional.  He has also spent summers with the Illinois Natural History Survey, the Sierra Club, and the Environmental Law Institute.  His research with the Climate and Development Lab focuses on the role of the South American ALBA countries and their environmental outlook in climate negotiations as well as the equity concerns of the Least-developed countries (LDC) group.

Email: keith_madden@brown.edu

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Michael Warren Murphy is a second year doctoral student in the Department of Sociology at Brown University. As an NSF IGERT Fellow in the Graduate Program of Development, run through the Watson Institute, Michael is interested in issues of environment and culture, as well as, adaptation and inequality in the Global South.

Email: mwm@brown.edu

PaolaPaola Eisner is a Texan double concentrating in International Relations and Environmental Studies at Brown University and completing her B.F.A. in Illustration at the Rhode Island School of Design. She will be researching Costa Rica as a climate negotiator as well as the effects of shifting trade relations on climate change negotiations at COP19. Paola has worked and/or interned for the US Embassy in Argentina, the State Department’s Legal Advisor’s Office, the R.I. Attorney General’s Office, and as a Piedmont Environmental Fellow for the PEC. In addition to her work as a researcher for the CDL, Paola is currently employed as a Science Center Animator. She will be working as a researcher with Professor Kellner to use drone reconnaissance to conduct conservation research in tropical forests next spring. Her thesis in coastal management law, “The Open Beaches: From Watershed to Wipeout” will be available in Volume VII Issue 1 of the Washington Undergraduate Law Review in January 2014.

Email: paola_eisner@brown.edu