Assistant Professor - Wildland Resources
My research is focused on understanding the ecology of Intermountain forest types, and applying that knowledge to effective management and silvicultural applications. I am actively involved in a large range of research projects that span topics such as disturbance ecology (fire, bark beetles, anthropogenic), regeneration ecology (natural and silvicultural), dendrochronology, and invasive insects.
Current Graduate Students
I am interested in the disturbance-vegetation-climate interactions of important forest types of the western U.S. I am analyzing the differences between the climatic drivers of fire occurrence in ponderosa and non-ponderosa forest types. I am also interested in varying fire regime characteristics in woodland versus montane forest types.
I am interested in quaking aspen population dynamics and possible decline on Cedar Mountain, Utah. My project will conduct a ~10-year assessment of aspen health on Cedar Mountain, and build predictive decline tools based on recent aspen ring-width growth and leaf area-sapwood area relationships.
I am pursuing a Masters in Ecology and am broadly interested in forest disturbances and recovery dynamics. My thesis focuses on quantifying the ecological impact and response of aspen to a stand-replacing mechanical treatment method to determine future feasibility of implementation.
I am interested in invasion ecology and insect dispersal. The goal of my project is to quantify fine-scale dispersal of the invasive balsam woolly adelgid in subalpine fir stands of northern Utah in order to inform future management.
My research interests broadly encompass the intersection of insects, plants, and climate. Currently, I am seeking a Master's in Forest Ecology, and my thesis work involves quantifying tree and stand-level damage from infestations of an invasive forest insect (balsam woolly adelgid) on its true fir hosts and modeling infestation severity via forest stand metrics.
Completed Graduate Students
I am interested in the quantitative silviculture of high-elevation Engelmann spruce and subalpine fir forests. I am developing a stand density management diagram for this important spruce-fir type. Given the large amount of recent spruce mortality, I will also be looking for patterns in Engelmann spruce seedling recruitment to build an establishment model for the Forest Vegetation Simulator.
I am interested in analyzing the tree-ring data for a disjunct population of managed ponderosa so that we can identify the species response to climate and relate these findings to the ponderosa’s current geographic distribution. By understanding how density influences ponderosa’s climate response we can also suggest management techniques which could improve the resistance and resilience of current populations