Research in the Montane Forest Dynamics Lab focuses on the interaction between climate variability, ecosystem processes, and human activities in forested systems.
We are currently leading a multi-disciplinary project on the human ecology of the Mongol Empire of the 13th century using tree rings, lake sediments, historical documents, and ecosystem modeling.
We have also 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 of climate for the Mid-Atlantic Region using the tree rings of ancient eastern redcedar (collected in West Virginia). We have 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, Journal of Climate, 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
- PNAS paper “Pluvials, Droughts, the Mongol Empire and Modern Mongolia” is out and getting crazy press.
- Former PhD student Tom Saladyga’s research highlighted on the cover of Ecosystems!
- PhD Student Kristen De Graauw awarded the prestigious Mountains of Excellence Fellowship at WVU!
- 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)