Keith Paustian, PhD.

Senior Research Scientist

Natural Resource Ecology Lab

Fields of Expertise

Ecosystem Dynamics

Areas of Interest

Terrestrial greenhouse gas cycling in agriculture and forestry, Land use changes


Keith Paustian is University Distinguished Professor in the Department of Soil and Crop Sciences and Senior Research Scientist at the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory at Colorado State University. A major focus of his work involves modeling, field measurement and development of assessment tools for soil carbon sequestration and greenhouse gas emissions from soils. He has published over 250 journal articles and book chapters. Previous and current research activities include development models and inventory methodology used to estimate US soil C and N2O emissions that are reported annually by EPA to the UNFCCC; development of a web-based tool (COMET-FarmTM) for estimating on-farm greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and carbon sequestration used by USDA and project-scale systems for GHG assessment of sustainable land management projects in developing countries. He also serves as project director for the Bioenergy Alliance Network of the Rockies (BANR –, a consortium of universities, industry and government, researching the potential for sustainable bioenergy production from beetle-kill trees and forest residues. Professional service activities include Coordinating Lead Author for the IPCC 2006 National Greenhouse Gas Inventory Methods and the IPCC 2003 Good Practice Guidance for LULUCF, serving on two National Academy of Sciences panel (2010, 2018) dealing with land use and greenhouse gas measurement issues, and was a member of the US Carbon Cycle Science Steering Group, which provides expert input to Federal Agencies involved in climate and carbon cycle research. He also served on the Voluntary Carbon Standard Steering Committee for Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use (AFOLU) and on numerous other national and international committees involving climate and carbon cycle research. He is a Fellow of the Soil Science Society of America and 2015 recipient of the Soil Science Society of America’s Outstanding Research Award.