Research in the Montane Forest Dynamics Lab focuses on the interaction between ecosystem processes, climate variability and human activities in forested systems.
We have studied the influence of climate and land use history on fire regimes in the Appalachian Mountains, the Pacific Northwest and Mongolia and have developed millennial-length climate reconstructions for the Mid-Atlantic Region using the tree rings of ancient eastern redcedar (collected in West Virginia). We have also explored the relative impacts of climate variability and harvest strategies on carbon sequestration by eastern deciduous forests. In collaboration with the National Park Service, we are exploring the plant diversity on the cliffs of the New River Gorge.
Our research has been published in journals such as BioScience, Climatic Change, Ecological Applications, Journal of Biogeography, Professional Geographer and Water Resources Research and has been supported by generous grants from organizations such as the National Science Foundation, the National Geographic Society, USDA Forest Service, USDI National Park Service, and the Joint Fire Sciences Program.
News and Events
- PhD Student Kristen De Graauw awarded the prestigious Provost Fellowship at WVU!
- BBC Mundo!
- The Hemlock Legacy Project (HeLP) in Science Now!
- Seriously?! The Economist?! I am so proud!
- Our project Pluvials, Droughts, Energetics and the Mongol Empire” was just awarded a $1.4M grant from the National Science Foundation Dynamics of Coupled Natural Human Systems!!!
- Read about our project in Science
- Cool video about our work on the Climate and Ecology of the Mongol Empire (CEME)
- “Reign Check: Abundant Rainfall May Have Spurred Expansion of Ghengis Khan’s Empire” – see our new project in Scientific American!
- Amy Hessl is now a SeriusXM radio star. Check out her interview on National Geographic Weekend about her recent discoveries in Mongolia.