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Gregory Asner

Gregory Asner

Director, Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science

Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science
Arizona State University
PO Box 875302
Tempe, AZ 85287-5302


  • Senior Sustainability Scientist, Global Institute of Sustainability and Innovation
  • Director, Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science
  • Professor, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences
  • Professor, School of Earth and Space Exploration, College of Liberal Arts and Sciences


Greg Asner is the director of ASU's Center for Global Discovery and Conservation Science. He serves on the faculty of the School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning and the School of Earth and Space Exploration. Asner is an ecologist recognized for his exploratory and applied research on ecosystems and climate change at regional to global scales. His research spans the areas of spatial ecology and biodiversity, terrestrial carbon cycle, animal-habitat interactions, and climate change. He develops scientific approaches and technologies for investigation and conservation assessments of large ecoregions. Asner has published hundreds of scientific articles and has served in numerous national and international programs with NASA, the U.S. State Department, and the United Nations. He is a recipient of multiple scientific and sustainability awards and is an elected member of the U.S. National Academy of Sciences.


  • PhD, Biology, University of Colorado, 1997
  • MS, Geography, University of Colorado, 1995
  • BS, Engineering, University of Colorado, 1991


Journal Articles


Anderson, C. M., G. P. Asner and E. F. Lambin. 2019. Lack of association between deforestation and either sustainability commitments or fines in private concessions in the Peruvian Amazon. Forest Policy and Economics 104(Jul):1-8. DOI: 10.1016/j.forpol.2019.03.010. (link )

Brodrick, P. G., L. D. Anderegg and G. P. Asner. 2019. Forest drought resistance at large geographic scales. Geophysical Research Letters 46(5):2752-2760. DOI: 10.1029/2018GL081108. (link )

Davies, A. B. and G. P. Asner. 2019. Elephants limit aboveground carbon gains in African savannas. Global Change Biology 25(4):1368-1382. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14585. (link )

Davies, A. B., F. Oram, M. Ancrenaz and G. P. Asner. 2019. Combining behavioural and LiDAR data to reveal relationships between canopy structure and orangutan nest site selection in disturbed forests. Biological Conservation 232(Apr):97-107. DOI: 10.1016/j.biocon.2019.01.032. (link )

Dinerstein, E., C. Vynne, E. Sala, A. R. Joshi, S. Fernando, J. Mayorga, D. Olson, G. P. Asner, J. E. Baillie, N. D. Burgess, . , R. F. Noss, Y. P. Zhang, A. Baccini, T. Birch, N. Hahn, L. N. Joppa and E. Wikramanayake. 2019. A Global Deal for Nature: Guiding principles, milestones, and targets. Science Advances 5(4):eaaw2869. DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aaw2869. (link )

Draper, F. C., G. P. Asner, E. N. Honorio Coronado, T. R. Baker, R. Garcia Villacorta, N. Pitman, P. V. Fine, O. L. Phillips, R. Zarate Gomez, C. A. Amasifuén Guerra, M. Flores Arevalo, R. Vasquez-Martinez, R. Brienen, A. Monteagudo-Mendoza, L. A. Torres Montenegro, E. Valderrama Sandoval, K. H. Roucoux, F. Ramirez Arevalo, I. Mesones Acuy, J. del Aquila-Pasquei, X. Tagle Casapia, G. Flores Llampazo, M. Corrales Medina, J. Reyna Huaymacari and C. Baraloto. 2019. Dominant tree species drive beta diversity patterns in western Amazonia. Ecology 100(4):e02636. DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2636. (link )

Draper, F. C., C. Baraloto, P. G. Brodrick, O. L. Phillips, R. Vasquez-Martinez, E. N. Honorio Coronado, T. R. Baker, R. Zarate Gomez, C. A. Amasifuén Guerra, M. Flores Arevalo, R. Garcia Villacorta, P. V. Fine, L. Freitas, A. Monteagudo Mendoza, R. Brienen and G. P. Asner. 2019. Imaging spectroscopy predicts variable distance decay across contrasting Amazonian tree communities. Journal of Ecology 107(2):696-710. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.13067. (link )

Fauset, S., M. Gloor, N. M. Fyllas, O. L. Phillips, G. P. Asner, T. R. Baker, L. P. Bentley, R. Brienen, B. Christoffersen, J. del Aquila-Pasquei, C. Doughty, T. R. Feldpausch, D. R. Gailbraith, R. C. Goodman, C. A. Girardin, E. N. Honorio Coronado, A. Monteagudo, N. Salinas, A. Shenkin, J. E. Silva-Espejo, G. van der Heijden, R. Vasquez-Martinez, E. Alvarez-Davila, L. Arroyo, J. G. Barroso, F. Brown, W. Castro, F. Cornejo Valverde, N. Davila Cardozo, A. Di Fiore, T. Erwin, I. Huamantupa-Chuquimaco, P. Nunez Vargas, D. Neill, N. Pallqui Camacho, A. Parada Gutierrez, J. Peacock, N. Pitman, A. Prieto, Z. Restrepo, A. Rudas, C. A. Quesada, M. Silveira, J. Stropp, J. Terborgh, S. A. Vieira and Y. Malhi. 2019. Individual-based modeling of Amazon forests suggests that climate controls productivity while traits control demography. Frontiers in Earth Science 7:Art. 83. DOI: 10.3389/feart.2019.00083. (link )

Foo, S. A. and G. P. Asner. 2019. Scaling up coral reef restoration using remote sensing technology. Frontiers in Marine Science 6:79. DOI: 10.3389/fmars.2019.00079. (link )

Francis, E. J. and G. P. Asner. 2019. High-resolution mapping of redwood (Sequoia sempervirens) distributions in three Californian forests. Remote Sensing 113:Art. 351. DOI: 10.3390/rs11030351. (link )

Jeronimo, S. M., V. R. Kane, D. J. Churchill, J. A. Lutz, M. P. North, G. P. Asner and J. F. Franklin. 2019. Forest structure and pattern vary by climate and landform across active-fire landscapes in the montane Sierra Nevada. Forest Ecology and Management 437(Apr):70-86. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2019.01.033. (link )

Mayoral, C., M. van Breugel, B. L. Turner, G. P. Asner, N. R. Vaughn and J. S. Hall. 2019. Effect of microsite quality and species composition on tree growth: A semi-empirical modeling approach. Forest Ecology and Management 432(Jan):534-545. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.09.047. (link )

Mograbi, P. J., E. T. Witkowski, B. F. Erasmus, G. P. Asner, J. T. Fisher, R. Mathieu and K. J. Wessels. 2019. Fuelwood extraction intensity drives compensatory regrowth in African savanna communal lands. Land Degradation & Development 30(2):190-201. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.3210. (link )

Rodriguez-Veiga, P., S. Quegan, J. Carreiras, H. J. Persson, J. E. Fransson, A. Hoscilo, D. Ziotkowski, K. Sterenczak, S. Lohberger, M. Stangel, A. Berninger, F. Siegert, V. Avitabile, M. Herold, S. Mermoz, A. Bouvet, T. Toan, N. Carvalhais, M. Santoro, O. Cartus, Y. Rauste, R. Mathieu, G. P. Asner, C. Thiel, C. Pathe, C. Schmullius, F. M. Seifert, K. Tansey and H. Balzter. 2019. Forest biomass retrieval approaches from earth observation in different biomes. International Journal of Applied Earth Observation and Geoinformation 77(May):53-68. DOI: 10.1016/j.jag.2018.12.008. (link )

Staver, A. C., G. P. Asner, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe, S. A. Levin and I. P. Smit. 2019. Spatial patterning among savanna trees in high-resolution, spatially extensive data. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(22):10681-10685. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1819391116. (link )

Wieczynski, D. J., B. Boyle, V. Buzzard, S. M. Duran, A. N. Henderson, C. M. Hulshof, A. J. Kerkhoff, M. C. McCathy, S. T. Michaletz, N. G. Swenson, G. P. Asner, L. P. Bentley, B. J. Enquist and V. M. Savage. 2019. Climate shapes and shifts functional biodiversity in forests worldwide. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America 116(2):587-592. DOI: 10.1073/pnas.1813723116. (link )


Ambrose, A. R., W. L. Baxter, R. E. Martin, E. Francis, G. P. Asner, K. R. Nydick and T. E. Dawson. 2018. Leaf- and crown-level adjustments help giant sequoias maintain favorable water status during severe drought. Forest Ecology and Management 419-420(Jul):257-267. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.01.012. (link )

Anderson, C. M., G. P. Asner, W. Llactayo and E. F. Lambin. 2018. Overlapping land allocations reduce deforestation in Peru. Land Use Policy 79(Dec):174-178. DOI: 10.1016/j.landusepol.2018.08.002. (link )

Chadwick, K. D. and G. P. Asner. 2018. Landscape evolution and nutrient rejuvenation reflected in Amazon forest canopy chemistry. Ecology Letters 21(7):978-988. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12963. (link )

Doughty, C. E., P. E. Santos-Andrade, A. Shenkin, G. R. Goldsmith, L. P. Bentley, B. Blonder, S. Diaz, N. Salinas, B. J. Enquist, R. E. Martin, G. P. Asner and Y. Malhi. 2018. Tropical forest leaves may darken in response to climate change. Nature Ecology & Evolution 2(Dec):1918-1924. DOI: 10.1038/s41559-018-0716-y. (link )

Graves, S. J., T. Caughlin, G. P. Asner and S. A. Bohlman. 2018. A tree-based approach to biomass estimation from remote sensing data in a tropical agricultural landscape. Remote Sensing of Environment 218(Dec):32-43. DOI: 10.1016/j.rse.2018.09.009. (link )

Hughes, R. F., G. P. Asner, J. A. Baldwin, J. Mascaro, L. K. Bufil and D. E. Knapp. 2018. Estimating aboveground carbon density across forest landscapes of Hawaii: Combining FIA plot-derived estimates and airborne LiDAR. Forest Ecology and Management 424(Sep):323-337. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.04.053. (link )

Jucker, T., G. P. Asner, M. Dalponte, P. G. Brodrick, C. D. Philipson, N. R. Vaughn, Y. Teh, C. Brelsford, D. F. Burslem, N. J. Deere, R. M. Ewers, J. Kvasnica, S. L. Lewis, Y. Malhi, S. Milne, R. Nilus, M. Pfeifer, O. L. Phillips, L. Qie, N. Renneboog, G. Reynolds, T. Riutta, M. J. Struebig and M. Svatek. 2018. Estimating aboveground carbon density and its uncertainty in Borneo’s structurally complex tropical forests using airborne laser scanning. Biogeosciences 15(12):3811-3830. DOI: 10.5194/bg-15-3811-2018. (link )

Mahlangu, P., R. Mathieu, K. J. Wessels, L. Naidoo, M. Verstraete, G. Asner and R. Main. 2018. Indirect estimation of structural parameters in South African forests using MISR-HR and LiDAR remote sensing data. Remote Sensing 10(10):1537. DOI: 10.3390/rs10101537. (link )

Martin, R. E., G. P. Asner, E. Francis, A. Ambrose, W. Baxter, A. J. Das, N. R. Vaughn, T. Paz-Kagan, T. Dawson, K. Nydick and N. L. Stephenson. 2018. Remote measurement of canopy water content in giant sequoias (Sequoiadendron giganteum) during drought.. Forest Ecology and Management 419-420(Jul):279=290. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2017.12.002. (link )

Nydick, K. R., N. L. Stephenson, A. R. Ambrose, G. P. Asner, W. L. Baxter, A. J. Das, T. Dawson, R. E. Martin and T. Paz-Kagan. 2018. Leaf to landscape responses of giant sequoia to hotter drought: An introduction and synthesis for the special section. Forest Ecology and Management 419-420(Jul):249-156. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2018.03.028. (link )

Paz-Kagan, T., N. R. Vaughn, R. E. Martin, P. G. Brodrick, N. L. Stephenson, A. J. Das, K. R. Nydick and G. P. Asner. 2018. Landscape-scale variation in canopy water content of giant sequoias during drought. Forest Ecology and Management 419-420(Jul):291-304. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2017.11.018. (link )

Sloan, S., J. C. Zamora Pereira, G. Labbate, G. P. Asner and P. Imbach. 2018. The cost and distribution of forest conservation for national emissions reductions. Global Environmental Change 53(Nov):39-51. DOI: 10.1016/j.gloenvcha.2018.09.002. (link )

Vaughn, N. R., G. P. Asner, P. G. Brodrick, R. E. Martin, J. W. Heckler, D. E. Knapp and R. F. Hughes. 2018. An approach for high-resolution mapping of Hawaiian Metrosideros forest mortality using laser-guided imaging spectroscopy. Remote Sensing 10(4):502. DOI: 10.3390/rs10040502. (link )


Hall, S. J. and G. P. Asner. 2007. Biological invasion alters regional nitrogen-oxide emissions from tropical rainforests. Global Change Biology 13(10):2143-2160. DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2486.2007.01410.x. (link )


Hall, S. J., G. P. Asner and K. Kitayama. 2004. Substrate, climate, and land use controls over soil N dynamics and N-oxide emissions in Borneo. Biogeochemistry 70(1):27-58. DOI: 10.1023/B:BIOG.0000049335.68897.87. (link )