Ludmila Rattis Ph.D.

  • Assistant Scientist

Dr. Ludmila Rattis studies how biodiversity and food production can be balanced in a changing world, specifically focusing on the impact of deforestation on local climate. Working jointly with Woodwell Climate Research Center and our sister organization IPAM Amazônia, she studies the Amazon rainforest and the Cerrado region, both of which are dynamic biomes experiencing deforestation. Dr. Rattis works on the Brazilian agricultural frontier to research the limits of agricultural intensification and how to balance food production resources in a context of changing land use and climate.

Above left: Analyzing bark thickness in the Brazilian Cerrado. Photo by Alessandro Kelvin. Above right: A fire experiment at the Tanguro ranch research station in the Brazilian Amazon. Photo by Dr. Paulo Brando.

After earning a bachelor’s degree in biology and her master’s in entomology, Dr. Rattis completed her Ph.D. in ecology and developed a focus on landscape ecology. She spent a year and a half working at the Tanguro Field Station in an area in Brazil known as the arc of deforestation, after which she spent 18 months working at Woodwell’s campus. Since returning to Brazil in 2018, Dr. Rattis has worked to raise funding and engage relevant stakeholders—such as those in the financial sector, farmers, and banks—to support more research on the limits on agriculture intensification.

Motivated by her love for the diversity of the Amazon and the Cerrado, Dr. Rattis is now the manager of the Tanguro Field Station. She was named one of Nexo Journal’s “Ten Brazilian Scientists You Must Know” in 2019 and received the Marcio Ayres award for the best scientific paper published by a young scientist in Perspectives in Ecology and Conservation between 2016-2018. She co-advises a master’s student and two undergraduate students and supports four postdocs working at IPAM and Woodwell. Dr. Rattis is also writing a book about agriculture and sustainability in Brazil.

Outside of her research, Dr. Rattis raises chickens and enjoys growing vegetables and trekking.

We study how changes in climate and land use impact people's lives. This science only makes sense if it starts and ends on the ground, talking to the people, who are part of both the problem and the solution.

Selected Publications

Amazon wildfires: Scenes from a foreseeable disaster

Brando P., M. Macedo, D. Silvério, L. Rattis, L. Paolucci, A. Alencar, M. Coe, and C. Amorim (2020). Flora.


Droughts, Wildfires, and Forest Carbon Stocks: A Pantropical Synthesis

Brando P.M., L. Paolucci, E. Ordway, C. Ummenhofer, H. Hartmann, M. Cattau, L. Rattis, V. Medjibe, M.T. Coe, and J. Balch (2019). Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences.


Lowland tapirs facilitate seed dispersal in degraded Amazonian forests

Paolucci, L. N., R. L. Pereira, L. Rattis, D. V. Silvério, N. C. S. Marques, M. N. Macedo, and P. M. Brando (2019). Biotropica.