Matthew D. Potts

Matthew D. Potts, PhD

Chief Science Officer

Forest Management + Biodiversity

Dr. Matthew Potts leads Carbon Direct’s international science team in their work on decarbonizing the global economy.

Specifically, Dr. Potts helps clients assess high quality carbon removal from managed landscapes and works to ensure climate actions are just and equitable. He also works closely with Carbon Direct’s technology team to integrate science, software and product.

Background & Bio

Dr. Potts draws on his interdisciplinary background with formal training in mathematics, ecology, and economics to inform his work in nature and community based climate solutions.

Dr. Potts has over two decades of experience in resource management issues in low- and middle-income countries. Though currently on leave from UC Berkeley, this expertise supports his work as the S.J. Hall Professor in Forest Economics at the Department of Environmental Science, Policy, & Management and as the Associate Director for Sustainable Development, Blum Center for Developing Economies, where he leads an interdisciplinary lab that focuses on the co-production by human and natural systems of ecosystem services and natural pathways for carbon sequestration.

Dr. Potts recently served as a coordinating lead author on the Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment.


Ph.D. Applied Mathematics 2001

Harvard University

A.M. Applied Mathematics 1999

Harvard University

B.S. Mathematics 1996

University of Michigan


NRT-AI: Digital Transformation of Development (DToD), $3,000,000 (2021-2026)

US National Science Foundation

INCLUDES Alliance: Broadening Career Pathways in Food, Energy, and Water Systems with and within Native American Communities (Native FEWS Alliance), $7,071,915 (2021-2026)

US National Science Foundation

Coordinating Lead Author, Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services, Land Degradation and Restoration Assessment (2015-2018)

Publications and Features