Martin C. Heller

Senior Research Specialist, Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan

Martin Heller is a research specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems (CSS) at University of Michigan. His research interests broadly pan sustainable food systems, with recent activity in linking health and environmental impact of diet, and assessing the environmental impacts and potential mitigation strategies of food waste. He has conducted life cycle assessment studies of short rotation woody biomass energy crops (upstate NY DOE willow demonstration project), a large-scale vertically integrated US organic dairy (Aurora Organic Dairy), and as part of an international team, a comprehensive, spatially-explicit study of US dairy production for Dairy Research Institute. He also developed a seminal report on Life Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U. S. Food System. As a researcher at the C.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at Michigan State University, Marty investigated the ecological services provided by pasture-based and confinement-based dairies, and developed a “community food profile” intended to frame for a general audience the opportunities of a community-based food system. He received a BS in chemical engineering from Michigan State and a PhD, also in chemical engineering, at the University of Colorado at Boulder. He grew up on a traditional livestock farm in southeast Michigan.


  • –present
    Research Specialist, Center for Sustainable Systems, University of Michigan