Matthew Hayek is an environmental scientist and a Farmed Animal Law & Policy Fellow at the Harvard Animal Law & Policy Program. His research concerns greenhouse gas emissions from agricultural activities, including those from the lifecycle of farmed animals. His current project explores the tradeoffs and synergies between mitigating farmed animals’ environmental footprint and providing for their humane treatment. He is interested in using quantitative tools to empower food system stakeholders, thereby enabling them to more clearly visualize the environmental constraints and burdens associated with food production transitions within their areas of interest.
Matthew holds a dual Bachelor’s Degree from Wesleyan University in Physics and in Science and Society, an interdisciplinary major covering the history, philosophy, and social studies of science. He received his PhD in Environmental Science and Engineering at Harvard University in the School of Engineering and Applied Sciences, where he developed techniques to numerically and statistically model ecosystem exchange rates of greenhouse gases in old growth Amazon rain forests, techniques that are highly relevant to modeling emissions from agricultural ecosystems. During his PhD studies, he has also spoken at various venues on the impacts of animal agriculture including Greenovate Boston, Princeton University, the Massachusetts Departmental of Environmental Protection, and right here at Harvard Law School.