Research Scientist, NASA

Lola Fatoyinbo is a research physical scientist in the Biospheric Sciences Lab at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center where she studies forest and wetland ecology using Satellite and airborne data and images. Her research is focused on forest carbon and ecosystem service mapping in 2 and 3 dimensions, to support both fundamental research in carbon, biodiversity and climate change science, as well as to support conservation and reforestation efforts.

Lola received her doctorate in environmental sciences with a focus on forest ecology and dynamics of mangrove wetlands. After her Ph.D., she received a NASA Postdoctoral Program fellowship at the Caltech-Jet Propulsion Laboratory, where her primary research focus was on developing new applications of 3-dimensional Satellite datasets to quantify mangrove forest extent, height, and biomass across Africa and then worldwide.

Since 2010, she has worked in Goddard’s Biospheric Sciences Laboratory where her research is focused on characterizing the vulnerability and response of coastal ecosystems to disturbances from land use and climate change; LiDAR and SAR remote sensing of upland and coastal ecosystem structure and Carbon stocks; Using science to support the UN Sustainable Development Goals and Conservation; New instrument and new technology development, airborne and field campaigns, applications of carbon monitoring and ecosystem services accounting. In addition to her research projects, she is involved in science communication and training the next generation of scientists, having mentored over 30 NASA interns, NASA postdoctoral Fellows, and visiting scientists. In 2012 she was the recipient of the Presidential Early Career Award in Science and Engineering for her efforts on merging scientific priorities with advanced technology to develop innovative remote-sensing instrumentation for carbon-cycle and ecosystems science.