Peter Frumhoff Ph.D.

  • Senior Science Policy Advisor
Peter Frumhoff

Dr. Peter Frumhoff’s expertise is in global change ecology and a passion for bringing robust science to bear on informing public understanding and motivating public policies. His research addresses multiple topics at climate science and policy nexus—from the role of forests in climate mitigation to the climate responsibilities of the fossil fuel industry to the governance of solar geoengineering research. He takes great care to bring researchers together across disciplines to conduct and communicate actionable science.

Before joining the Center, Dr. Frumhoff served as the Director of Science and Policy and Chief Climate Scientist at the Union of Concerned Scientists. There, he led major climate research initiatives, guided science, equity, and innovation fellowships and served as senior liaison between the scientific community, policymakers, funders, and the media. He was a lead author on the fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), and on the IPCC Special Report on Land Use, Land-Use Change and Forestry. He has also served on the board of various climate and ecological organizations and has taught at Stanford University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy at Tufts University and the University of Maryland.

In addition to his work at Woodwell, Dr. Frumhoff teaches at Harvard University and serves on committees at the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine. Scientists, he believes, have a responsibility to not only conduct research, but to communicate their findings and advocate on issues to ensure policy debates are well-informed. If climate change wasn’t such a pressing concern, Dr. Frumhoff says he would return to doing curiosity-driven field research in one of his favorite ecosystems, tropical forests.


Charred standing trunks in a burned boreal forest

Changing Boreal Fire Regimes

Understanding intensifying boreal fire regimes and their role in driving climate change

Selected Publications

Research Priorities for Climate Litigation

Wentz, J., D. Merner, B. Franta, A. Lehmen, & P.C. Frumhoff (2022). Earth's Future.


Escalating carbon emissions from North American boreal forest wildfires and the climate mitigation potential of boreal fire management

Phillips, C. B. Rogers, M. Elder, S. Cooperdock, M. Moubara, J.T. Randerson and P.C. Frumhoff (2022). Science Advances.


Increasing mitigation ambition to meet the Paris Agreement’s temperature goal avoids substantial heat-related mortality in U.S. cities

Lo, Y.T.E., D. Mitchell, A. Gasparrini, A.M. Vicedo-Cabrera, K. L. Ebi, P.C. Frumhoff, R. J. Millar, W. Roberts, F. Sera, S. Sparrow, P. Uhe and G. Williams (2019). Science Advances.