PhD - Energy and Resources (UC Berkeley)
MS - Physics (Northwestern University)
BS - Physics (Penn State University)
Professor Bailis’s research interests focus on sustainability, resource use, and environmental change in the developing world. He explores these issues principally, though not exclusively, in the context of energy. He became interested in the intersection of energy, society, and environment while working as a teacher in the US Peace Corps in a remote community in northwestern Kenya. He uses an interdisciplinary approach that places equal emphasis on qualitative and quantitative methods across a range of scales, from local to regional and global. Past research efforts explored the social ecology of Kenya’s charcoal commodity chain and examined the health and welfare implications of household energy choices in the developing world. He continues to be involved in household energy research. More recently, Bailis’ research has explored the social and environmental sustainability of novel biofuel crops such as Jatropha curcas and Salicornia bigelovii. Members of his research group have conducted fieldwork on those crops in Brazil, India, and Mexico. He also supervises doctoral students researching a range of related topics including climate change adaptation in forest-dependent communities India, indigenous opposition to petroleum concessions in Peru, and benefit flows in carbon offset markets. He has recently joined a collaboration with Luephana University in Lüneburg Germany. This project, a “Platform for Sustainable Biokerosene Production” will analyze and advance existing concepts of sustainable plant oil production and to put them into practice.