NC State University
Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources
Area(s) of Expertise
My research focuses on landscape change: how landscapes have changed, how they will change, and why it matters. Specifically, my research examines how management and natural disturbances generate or reduce resilience. Resilience can be expressed in many ways; I focus on managed resilience (our social capacity to mitigate undesirable change), biological resilience (plant and animal abundance on the landscape), functional resilience (carbon dynamics, ecosystem processes, and broad-scale disturbance regimes) and spatial resilience (the spatial distribution of managed, biological, and functional components).
My research is data-driven and deploys advanced technology to forecast landscape change. Climate change is an area of particular focus and I have studied how climatic changes over the next 50-100 years will affect forests throughout the world. Results indicate that we can expect regeneration failure of many tree species, migration limitations to range expansion, and increased disturbance intensity and extent. My results also suggest that proactive management could ameliorate many of the worst effects of climate change and greater reliance on such ‘managed resilience’ may become essential in the near-term.