Picture of Susan Cordell
Susan Cordell

Director, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
60 Nowelo Street
Hilo, HI 96720-6805

current research

Long-term research: how ecosystem structure, function, dynamics, and composition respond to stressors and change.

Enhancing platforms for research, monitoring and science exchange.

Restoration Ecology: Restoring ecosystem services in the Anthropocene.

Ecosystem level impacts of invasive species on Hawaiian forest ecosystems.

Biocultural Science and Stewardship.

research interest

Ecophysiology, Restoration Ecology, Functional Ecology, Tropical Dry Ecosystems, Grass Invasions, Hawaiian Ecosystems

Future Research

Continue developing research and collaborating with local communities to advance effective conservation, preservation, and restoration-related land management efforts.


These research themes represent an articulation of future Institute research and our vision to continue developing next generation understanding of landscape change, testing of conservation based tools, facilitating the production of knowledge to improve the ecological condition of native ecosystems of the Pacific, enhance the sustainability of resource use in our region, and maintain the quality of life for those in our Pacific community. Institute Scientists have identified research themes as representing the frontiers of natural resources science and management in Hawai‘i and the US Affiliated Pacific, but also frontiers in tropical ecology and natural resources science broadly.


  • University of Hawaii Botany Ph.D. 1999
  • University of Hawaii Botany M.S. 1996
  • Santa Barbara Aquatic Biology B.A. 1987

Professional Experience

  • USDA Forest Service, Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry
    Research Ecologist
    2000 - Current

Professional Organizations

  • Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation Member (2012 - Current)
  • IUCN Species Survival Commission Member (2011 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America Member (2007 - Current)
  • Organization for Tropical Studies Officeholder (2004 - Current)
  • American Geophysical Union Member (2003 - Current)
  • Society for Ecological Restoration Member (2000 - Current)
  • Botanical Society of America Member (1994 - Current)


Priority Research Areas

  • Climate Change
  • Forest Disturbances

The sites listed below are external or third-party sites which the Forest Service has provided for reference only.
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