Dr. Barford’s work focuses on environmental systems, including agriculture. Recent projects include a study of energy use on Wisconsin farms, an agro-economic analysis of biomass production for heat and electric power generation, and a study of infrastructure needed to support a biomass-based energy sector in Wisconsin. These projects reflect ongoing interest in environmental decision-support and data-constrained minimal models, and have been enhanced by collaborations with the Computational Ecology and Environmental Science Group at Microsoft Research (Cambridge, UK), IBM Research, and The Nature Conservancy.
During her post-doctoral work, Dr. Barford studied forest carbon cycling, and her synthesis of biometric and atmospheric methods of measuring forest carbon balance appeared in Science (23 November, 2001). In her Ph.D. thesis, Barford measured nitrogen stable isotope effects of denitrification and applied the results to track N2O production in agriculture and wastewater.
Barford is a native of central Illinois. She completed her B.A. in Biology and M.S. in Ecology at Boston University, and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering at Harvard University. Dr. Barford held a post-doc in Atmospheric Chemistry at Harvard before coming to UW-Madison.