Pete standing in front of autumn trees
Assistant Professor
Environmental Studies

Office: SEEC S106E

Office Hours

Mondays from 9 - 11am

Please sign-up online to schedule a meeting with Pete.

*Office hours will be virtual

Affiliated Departments

Environment and Society Program, Institute of Behavioral Science
Research Fellow, Governors’ Climate and Forests Task Force


Ph.D. Environmental Sciences – University of East Anglia, UK
M.Sc. Applied Ecology and Conservation – University of East Anglia, UK
B.A. Zoology – University of Cambridge, UK

Research Interests & Biography

Dr. Newton is an interdisciplinary scientist, working at the intersection of natural and social sciences. His research aims to understand of how governance interventions affect synergies and trade-offs between different outcomes in socio-environmental systems. He works principally in agricultural and forest landscapes, studying the potential and actual impact of policies and programs that aim to conserve forests, enhance food system sustainability, and improve rural livelihoods. He works largely in Brazil and the US, but his research has also taken him to Indonesia, Mozambique, Uganda, and Vietnam.

Dr. Newton has published his research in environment, development, and interdisciplinary academic journals. He has also engaged extensively with non-academic communities: for example, he has given a talk at TEDx Boulder, and has provided testimony to the Colorado House Select Committee on Climate Responsibility.

A Note to Prospective Graduate Students

I am always interested in working with talented, motivated, and hard-working undergraduate and graduate students.

If you are considering applying to the ENVS Ph.D. program and are interested in working with me, please send me an email with

  • CV or resume,
  • 1-2 page statement of interest, which indicates: why you want to pursue a Ph.D. in Environmental Studies; why my research group would be a good fit; the sorts of research questions and topics you are interested in working on; and relevant experience,
  • Copies of any publications (e.g. papers, posters, reports) you have authored or co-authored.

Please note that since most of the research I am involved in involves fieldwork outside of the U.S., I do not usually admit a) M.S. students, or b) Ph.D. students who do not have some post-graduate experience working internationally.

A Note to Prospective ENVS Honors Undergraduate Students

If you are an undergraduate student already in the ENVS program and you are interested in working with me on an honors thesis research project, please send me an email with a) a CV or resume, and b) a brief (half-page) outline of your honors thesis research idea.

I am willing and able to advise Honors students on projects that relate to food systems, forests, and/or rural livelihoods. Students could collect new data using surveys, or use existing quantitative datasets. They could analyze data using statistical modelling, or GIS.