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What We Do

We study the interactions between food production, food security, and the environment using a range of modern tools. The work is motivated by questions such as:

  • What investments are most effective at raising global crop yields, in order to increase food production without expansion of agricultural lands?
  • Which innovations and interventions are currently working best?
  • What direct or indirect effects will efforts to raise crop productivity have on other components of the Earth System, such as climate?

Answering these requires an understanding of the complex factors that limit crop yields throughout the world, and the links between agriculture and the broader Earth System.

Mission Statement

To advance the science that guides investment in food security and crop productivity, and to effectively communicate this science to a broad audience.



Lee, Jihyeon, Nina R. Brooks, Fahim Tajwar, Marshall Burke, Stefano Ermon, et al. 2021. “Scalable Deep Learning to Identify Brick Kilns and Aid Regulatory Capacity.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 118 (17).

Deines, Jillian M., Rinkal Patel, Sang-Zi Liang, Walter Dado, and David B. Lobell. 2021. “A Million Kernels of Truth: Insights into Scalable Satellite Maize Yield Mapping and Yield Gap Analysis from an Extensive Ground Dataset in the US Corn.” REMOTE SENSING OF ENVIRONMENT 253.

Burke, Marshall, Anne Driscoll, David B. Lobell, and Stefano Ermon. 2021. “Using Satellite Imagery to Understand and Promote Sustainable Development.” Science (New York, N.Y.) 371 (6535).