Michael Puma

Senior Research Scientist

Dr. Puma currently serves as the Director of the Center for Climate Systems Research, a part of the Columbia Climate School at Columbia University, which is co-located with the NASA Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The center, comprising over 40 scientists and staff, collaborates closely with NASA on climate science, exoplanet research, and climate impact studies. As a Senior Research Scientist, Dr. Puma's primary research focuses on global food security, human migration, and hydro-climatology. His particular interest lies in comprehending the vulnerability of complex socioeconomic systems, specifically the global food system, to unpredictable events such as megadroughts, volcanic eruptions, conflicts, as well as governmental and market failures. By examining the trade-offs and synergies between efficiency and resilience, his goal is to identify strategies that promote the long-term sustainability and stability of these systems, fostering a balanced, efficient, and resilient global food system. Furthermore, Dr. Puma actively contributes to the advancement of theories and quantitative modeling pertaining to human migration, with a specific emphasis on understanding its drivers and impacts in relation to food insecurity. His work delves into the intricate mechanisms that govern the behavior of these systems, providing valuable insights for policy-making and decision-making processes. In an integrated and comprehensive approach, he addresses the challenges of global food security and human migration. Dr. Puma has secured funding from various institutions, including NASA, the National Science Foundation, the European Commission, the US Department of Defense, DARPA, and the United Nations Development Programme.