Tawny Mata, Ph.D.
Scientific Program Consultant


Dr. Tawny Mata joined FFAR in February 2016 to pursue her commitment to promoting the value of food and agriculture science to the improvement of human and environmental health.

As Dr. Mata pursued a lifelong goal of contributing to conservation through ecological research, she realized that she drew the most satisfaction working at the interface of the research community and the general public and began pursuing numerous opportunities to increase outreach and inclusivity in science. In 2013, Dr. Mata became an American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Science and Technology Policy Fellow at the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), Office of the Chief Scientist. At USDA, Dr. Mata managed a diverse and fast-paced portfolio including domestic and international work in climate change, pollinator health, open data, food security, and plant breeding, among other topics. During her tenure at USDA as an AAAS Fellow and later as the Partnership Coordinator for the U.S. Pollinator Health Task Force, Dr. Mata was central to several major products, including the National Strategy to Promote the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators and associated Pollinator Research Action Plan, the report Climate Change, Global Food Security and the U.S. Food System, and the launch of the USDA Regional Climate Hubs.

Dr. Mata received her B.A. in Biology from Pomona College, her Ph.D. in Ecology from the University of California at Davis, and conducted postgraduate research at Michigan State University. When not preaching the potential for science to serve society, Dr. Mata enjoys baking, cycling, and hanging out with her dogs, Rocky and Oscar.

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