Kristina Anderson-Teixeira is a forest ecologist at the Smithsonian's National Zoo and Conservation Biology Institute and at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. She leads the Ecosystems & Climate Research Program for the Forest Global Earth Observatory (ForestGEO), which is a global network of scientists and forest research sites dedicated to advancing long-term study of the world's forests, and the world's only forest monitoring network making standardized measurements in all the world's major forest biomes. Anderson-Teixeira's research focuses on interactions of forest ecosystems worldwide with Earth's changing climate.
Along with collaborators at the Smithsonian and around the world, Anderson-Teixeira's research shows how forests worldwide are responding to climate change and other anthropogenic pressures. Highlights include findings that larger trees are more vulnerable to drought, that climate change is altering forest recovery following disturbances such as fires, and that warming spring temperatures alter the timing but not total growth of temperate deciduous trees. She has also developed the Global Forest Carbon Database (ForC), which is the largest database of ground-based measurements of forest carbon stocks and fluxes. ForC has been useful for describing global patterns in forest carbon and improving forest carbon accouning for forest-based climate change mitigatiton efforts, including the guidelines of the U.N.'s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).
Anderson-Teixeira earned her Bachelor of Science in biology from Wheaton College in 2002, and her doctorate from the University of New Mexico in 2007, where she studied under James H. Brown. She conducted postdoctoral research with Marcy E. Litvak at the University of New Mexico from 2007-2008, and with Evan H. DeLucia at the University of Illinois from 2008-2012. In 2012, she moved to her current position at the Smithsonian. In 2019, Anderson-Teixeira received the Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers -- the highest honor bestowed by the U.S. government on outstanding scientists and engineers who are beginning their independent research careers and show exceptional promise for leadership in science and technology.
Anderson-Teixeira's work is motivated by her recognition that forests are invaluable for both biodiversity protection and climate regulation. She hopes that her research will serve to better understand and protect forests in the current era of global change.
Forest ecosystem ecology.