US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
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John Parrotta

John A. Parrotta

Program Leader, International Forest Science Issues
1400 Independence Ave., SW
District of Columbia
United States

Phone: 703-605-4178
Fax: 202-205-1530
Contact John A. Parrotta

Curriculum vitae (67 KB PDF)

Current Research

Traditional forest-related knowledge and practices (global); adaptation of forests and people to climate change; relationship between forest management, biodiversity and climate change mitigation (REDD+), the role of forests in food security and nutrition.

Research Interests

traditional forest-related knowledge in tropical regions; forest ecosystem restoration in the tropics; impacts of reforestation and afforestation on biodiversity at site and landscape scales; forests and human health

Past Research

tropical forest ecology; tropical silviculture; tropical forest restoration; ecology and management of medicinal plant resources.


  • Yale University, Tropical forest ecology and management , 1987
  • University of Aberdeen (UK), Ecology , 1981
  • Merrimack College, Biology , 1980
  • Merrimack College, Chemistry , 1980

Professional Experience

  • National Research Program Leader, International Science Issues, US Forest Service, Research & Development branch, Washington, DC
    2000 - Current
    John Parrotta is the Research Program Leader for International Science Issues, providing scientific advice to develop U.S. policy positions in international forest policy forums, including the Convention on Biological Diversity and the United Nations Forum on Forests, and other international programs and initiatives related to forest science and sustainable forest management. A significant part of his work is conducted in collaboration with the International Union of Forest Research Organizations (of which the U.S. Forest Service is the largest member). He has served in a number of leadership positions in IUFRO, and is currently Vice President for Task Forces, Special Programmes, Projects and IUFRO-led Initiatives (2014-2019). John received B.A. and B.S. degrees (in Biology and Chemistry) from Merrimack College in 1980, an M.Sc. in Ecology from the University of Aberdeen (UK) in 1981, and his Ph.D. in tropical forest ecology and silviculture from Yale University in 1987. He is a member of the Society of Ecological Restoration, the Commonwealth Forestry Association, and the Society of Ethnobotanists, and currently serves on the editorial boards of several professional journals, including Restoration Ecology, Forest Ecology and Management, and the International Journal of Biodiversity Science and Management. Prior to assuming his current position in the WO in 2000, John held positions as a Research Forester at the Forest Service’s International Institute of Tropical Forestry in Puerto Rico from 1991-2000, and as a research scientist at the University of Puerto Rico from 1987-1990. In these positions, his research focused on tropical forest restoration, ecological dynamics of plantations and other managed forest systems, tropical silviculture, tropical forest floristics and phenology, and non-wood tropical forest products (medicinal plants) in Puerto Rico, Brazil (Amazon and Atlantic forest regions), and India. He is the author of several books, scientific journal volumes, and over 150 other research publications.

Professional Organizations

  • International Union of Forest Research Organizations (IUFRO), Various Positions (1993 - Current)

Awards & Recognition

  • U.S. Department of State, Bureau of Oceans and International Environment. Group Superior Honor Award, 2012
    "for extraordinary efforts to advance and protect U.S. interests during the 11th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity which furthered efforts to promote the conservation of biological diversity worldwide"
  • U.S. Department of State. Meritorious Honor Award , 2011
    “For extraordinary efforts to advance U.S. interests during the 10th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity and further the conservation of biological diversity worldwide”
  • International Union of Forestry Research Organizations (IUFRO) Distinguished Service Award (2010),, 2010
    In recognition of achievements for strengthening IUFRO’s activities on traditional forest knowledge and providing outstanding services as Chair of the IUFRO World Congress 2010 Scientific Committee.

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Last updated on : 10/23/2015