Professor, Ecosystem Science and Management
My research interests are primarily in the fields of forest pathology and disturbance ecology. I study how disease-causing organisms interact with their physical and biological environments in forest ecosystems, and how forest management practices and climate change can affect those interactions.
I have two main areas of research: 1) stand dynamics (stand age and size structure, species composition, recruitment and mortality rates) resulting from biotic disturbance agents; 2) epidemiology and population genetics of forest pathogens and resultant impacts of forest management practices.
Current projects include the following:
- Changes in distribution of western spruce budworm and the relationship with climate change
- Reconstruction of fire regimes in the wintering ground of the Bathurst caribou herd and relationships with climate change and lichen abundance.
- Sensitivity of western red cedar to climate variables, and interaction of climate with outbreaks of western hemlock looper.
- Predicting decay and degrade rates in standing trees killed by mountain pine beetle, and tree fall rate in beetle-killed trees.
- Examination of the distribution and severity of past outbreaks of Dothistroma septosporum in northwestern B.C. and relationships with past climate.
- Evolutionary and genetic basis for variation in secondary metabolite production in lodgepole pine in defense agains Dothistroma septosporum.
- Site and climate factors that influence epidemiology and disease severity of red band needle blight, caused by Dothistroma septosporum.
- Genotypic and phenotypic diversity of Geocaulon lividum and the influence on severity of disease caused by Cronartium comandra.