Timothy Bowles, PhD

Position: Environmental Lead

Tim Bowles is an Assistant Professor of Agroecology and Sustainable Agricultural Systems in the Department of Environmental, Science, Policy and Management at UC Berkeley. He received his PhD in Ecology from UC Davis and was a USDA AFRI Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of New Hampshire working in soil biogeochemistry before joining UC Berkeley in 2017. The primary question motivating his research is: How can reliance on biodiversity and ecological processes create productive, resilient, and healthy agricultural systems? His lab’s research focuses on carbon, nitrogen, and water dynamics and plant-microbe interactions in agricultural systems and how systems management can improve soil-based ecosystem services. This work draws on approaches from agroecology, biogeochemistry, and microbial ecology with support from USDA, NSF, CDFA, WSARE and other programs. Through extensive collaboration with researchers in social science, policy, and economics, as well as extension and advocacy organizations, his lab also examines and addresses the barriers and opportunities for transitioning to agroecologically based production systems. He currently serves as the co-associate director of the Berkeley Food Institute.

“I am really excited about this project because markets are one of the most important influences on how farmers are able to use more ecologically-based production methods that benefit climate and people. I am very interested to learn and study how investments in school food that connects with California producers can best accelerate the rapid transition to more sustainable food production that we need. Working with this highly interdisciplinary team and with strong state partners will help connect research that would otherwise often be siloed.”

Dr. Bowles will lead the environmental impacts evaluation component of the project, coordinate with other team members, contribute to project reports, and write publications.