Rebecca Ann Efroymson

Rebecca A Efroymson

Distinguished Scientist

Rebecca Efroymson is a Distinguished Scientist in the Environmental Sciences Division at Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL).

Rebecca conducts research and assessments in environmental science, and her recent research on the energy transition includes energy justice. She organized a workshop on climate and energy justice in the southern US and has co-produced (with stakeholders) justice metrics for siting bioenergy. She is a consultant on Just Transitions for the multi-agency and philanthropy-funded Net Zero World Initiative. She is working on a program to improve energy generation in rural and remote US communities.

For over a decade, Rebecca's research has addressed bioenergy sustainability, especially environmental effects such as water quality and quantity, biodiversity, pesticide use, land-use change, and ecosystem services and valuation. Part of that research has been on algal biofuels. She coordinated a multi-agency study of environmental effects of potential biomass production for biofuel and bioproducts in the US. She developed a causal analysis framework for land-use change.

Rebecca Efroymson developed ecological risk assessment frameworks for wind energy facilities, petroleum exploration and production, and rare species. She conducted ecological risk assessments for military training and testing, as well as historical chemical contamination at Department of Energy facilities and coauthored a book on the latter topic.

She is a former Editor-in-chief of Environmental Management and is a fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS). Before coming to ORNL, she was a AAAS Science, Engineering, and Diplomacy Fellow at the US Agency for International Development. She has an M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Toxicology from Cornell University and a B.A. in Biology and English from LaSalle University.


Elected to rank of AAAS Fellow by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (2008)

DOE Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy-Energy Rock Star Award (2017); Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Sciences Division Science Serving Society Team Award for Billion Ton report, volume 1 (2016); Special Event Award for algae chapter of Billion Ton report, volume 1 (2016); Holroyd (Science Alumni) Award Winner, LaSalle University (2014); Oak Ridge National Laboratory Environmental Sciences Division Distinguished Scientific Achievement Award (2002); National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship awardee (1988-1991); Cornell University Olin and A. D. White graduate fellowships awardee (1987-1992)

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