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Wildfires have taken an ever-growing toll on California and other states in recent years. For a list of UCLA experts on the causes of wildfires, their environmental and economic impact, and their effect on physical and mental health, see the topic links below.

Click an expert’s name for a more detailed biography and contact information.

Stephanie Pincetl

Pincetl is professor-in-residence at the UCLA Institute of the Environment and founding director of the California Center for Sustainable Communities at UCLA. She is an expert on land use, energy policy, environmental politics, growth management and the interaction between wildlife and urban areas. Pincetl has studied in depth how suburban encroachment on undeveloped areas, the state’s aging electrical infrastructure, poor forest management and other factors contribute to wildfires in California. See her five videos addressing these and other wildfire-related topics.

Glen MacDonald

MacDonald is the John Muir Professor of Geography at UCLA and an expert on the environmental consequences of climate change. His research has focused water resources, drought and how climate change fuels California’s wildfires.

Daniel Swain

Daniel Swain, a climate scientist with the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, studies how global warming affects the character and causes of regional climate extremes, including the atmospheric phenomena that increase the risk of severe wildfires.

Alex Hall

Hall is a professor of atmospheric and oceanic sciences and a member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability. An atmospheric physicist, he has studied the frequency and intensity of Santa Ana winds and their effect on Southern California wildfires.

Brad Shaffer

Shaffer is a distinguished professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and faculty director for the UCLA La Kretz Center for California Conservation Science. He is an expert is on biodiversity, ecology and conservation biology and has studied the long-term ecological effects of wildfires.

Morgan Tingley

Tingley, an associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology and a member of the UCLA Institute of the Environment and Sustainability, is an expert on the impact of wildfires on biodiversity and the post-fire management of forests.

Jerry Nickelsburg

Nickelsburg, a senior economist with the UCLA Anderson Forecast, is an expert on the California economy who can comment on the economic impact of natural disasters like earthquakes and wildfires.

Click an expert’s name for a more detailed biography and contact information.

Dr. Eric Kleerup

Kleerup, an associate professor at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is a pulmonolgist who focuses on asthma, chronic cough, and pulmonary diseases. He has addressed how wildfires affect air quality and what precautions people can take to limit exposure to smoke and other fire-generated toxins in the air.

Dr. Mark Morocco

Morocco, an associate clinical professor of emergency medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is an expert on how breathing smoky air affects respiratory health.

Dr. John Belperio

Belperio, an associate professor of pulmonary and critical care medicine at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA, is an authority on lung disease and pulmonary health who can comment on the harmful effects of wildfire smoke on the respiratory system.

Dr. Christopher Cooper

Cooper, a professor of medicine and physiology and an expert on pulmonary health, can comment on how fires affect a person’s lungs and respiratory system.

Yifang Zhu

Yifang Zhu is a professor of environmental health sciences at the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health whose research focuses on environmental exposures and air pollution. She can comment on the particulate matter in wildfire smoke.

Click an expert’s name for a more detailed biography and contact information.

Emanuel Maidenberg

Maidenberg is a clinical professor of psychiatry and biobehavioral sciences at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and an expert on the stress and anxiety caused by man-made and natural disasters, including earthquakes and wildfires.

Melissa Brymer

Brymer is the director of terrorism and disaster programs at the UCLA–Duke National Center for Child Traumatic Stress and an expert on the ways in which children deal with stress following disasters.

Vickie Mays

Mays is a professor of psychology and a clinical psychologist with expertise on the impact of man-made and natural disasters.

 

UCLA's Stephanie Pincetl on facts and myths about wildfires:

See more videos of Picetl discussing the factors that contribute to wildfires in California.

UCLA Newsroom stories on wildfires:

► Expert Q&A: Wildfires and Californias electrical grid
► Risk of massive wildfires continues to grow
► Expert Q&A: Air quality during and after wildfires
► How wildfires affect plant and animal recovery
► UCLA experts explain why California burns
► Research puts wildfire risk into historical context