Martin Heller

Research Specialist with the Center for Sustainable Systems

Martin Heller most recent research interest involves integrating nutritional information into environmental impact assessments of food and diet.  He has conducted life cycle assessment studies of short rotation woody biomass energy crops (upstate NY DOE willow demonstration project), a large-scale vertically integrated US organic dairy (Aurora Organic Dairy), and as part of an international team, a comprehensive, spatially-explicit study of US dairy production for Dairy Research Institute.  He also developed a seminal report onLife Cycle-Based Sustainability Indicators for Assessment of the U. S. Food System.  As a researcher at theC.S. Mott Group for Sustainable Food Systems at MSU, Marty investigated the ecological services provided by pasture-based and confinement-based dairies, and developed a “community food profile” intended to frame for a general audience the opportunities of a community-based food system.  He received a BS in chemical engineering from Michigan State and a PhD, also in chemical engineering, at the University of Colorado at Boulder.

Marty has spent much of the past 10 years growing organic vegetables, starting and managing market farms/CSAs.  Through a local non-profit, he is currently developing a Farmer Residency program to assist new farmers in gaining farm management experience.  He grew up on a traditional livestock farm in southeast Michigan.