Laura Schmitt Olabisi

Laura  Schmitt Olabisi
  • Associate Professor
  • Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Food Security Policy
  • Environmental Science and Policy Program



I am a participatory modeler exploring the sustainability of complex systems with human and environmental components. I work directly with stakeholders, using participatory model-building techniques to foster adaptive learning about the dynamics of coupled human-natural systems, and to integrate stakeholder knowledge with academic knowledge. The models I build incorporate feedback and non-linear dynamics, and typically include biophysical, social, and human behavioral components. My work therefore addresses the complexity, interdisciplinarity, and engagement aspects of sustainability research. I work predominantly around problems related to agriculture, climate change, and food security, but the modeling tools I use may be applied in a wide range of contexts. My past and present research has addressed soil erosion, population growth, greenhouse gas emissions, water sustainability, energy use, deforestation, adoption of organic/sustainable agricultural techniques, and human health. 


  • Participatory modeling
  • sustainability of complex systems with human and environmental components