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ESF’s Dr. Tristan Brown Honored with Exemplary Researcher Award

Syracuse, N.Y. – May 14, 2024 – Dr. Tristan Brown in the Department of Sustainable Resources Management, was named Exemplary Researcher for 2024-25 at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF). The College’s Exemplary Researcher Award recognizes successful, currently active researchers with exemplary research activity, publication record, and a graduate/undergraduate student mentorship program.

“Dr. Brown represents the epitome of dedication and excellence in environmental research, advancing our knowledge and commitment to bioeconomy pathways and technologies,” said President Joanie Mahoney. “We congratulate Tristan on this well-deserved honor.”

The Exemplary Researcher selection process recognizes the exceptional work of ESF’s academic community members, who are nominated by their peers. These nominations are reviewed by the Committee on Research and Scholarship, considering three key factors: the impact of their publications and citations, their success in securing external funding, and their dedication to mentoring students, particularly at the graduate level.

Brown joined ESF's Department of Sustainable Resources Management in 2014. In addition to teaching, he is the director of the Bioeconomy Development Institute. His research analyzes the carbon abatement costs of decarbonization pathways under different policy and legal scenarios.

He works in transdisciplinary research groups that utilize life cycle assessment, techno-economic analysis, and systems analysis of bioeconomy pathways and technologies to determine their barriers and opportunities as part of the transition to a net-zero economy.

During his tenure at ESF, he has authored or co-authored 25 refereed articles and three book chapters on techno-economic analysis, uncertainty analysis, and policy analysis of renewable energy pathways with collaborators from the fields of agronomy, economics, engineering, law, and management.

Brown has served as the principal investigator on $2.3 million of externally funded grants, and the co-principal investigator on $14.9 million of externally funded grants. He has also advised government officials in policymaking and law enforcement at the international, federal, and state levels on U.S. energy policy, and developed state policies in support of statutory decarbonization targets.

Brown shares his expertise with his colleagues and peers and has had appointments on several boards and advisory groups including Energy Vision’s Board of Directors, NYSERDA’s Anaerobic Digestion Project Steering Group, NYS Climate Action Council’s Agriculture and Forestry Advisory Panel, Bioeconomy Subgroup, and NYS Climate Action Council’s Energy-Intensive and Trade-Exposed Industries Advisory Panel.


The SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry (ESF) is dedicated to the study of the environment, developing renewable technologies, and building a sustainable and resilient future through design, policy, and management of the environment and natural resources. Members of the College community share a passion for protecting the health of the planet and a deep commitment to the rigorous application of science to improve the way humans interact with the world. The College offers academic programs ranging from the associate of applied science to the Doctor of Philosophy. ESF students live, study and do research on the main campus in Syracuse, N.Y., and on 25,000 acres of field stations in a variety of ecosystems across the state.