In our research group we address five related questions.

  1. How do interactions between climate variables, forest disturbances, and forest management practices influence forest dynamics, and the spatial distribution of forest ecosystem services, such as timber production, at a landscape scale?
  2. How does the composition and structure of mixedwood forests influence the resistance and resilience of these systems to landscape disturbances, and climate change?
  3. Are direct or indirect climate drivers likely to be the most important determinants of forest dynamics in northern mixedwood forests?
  4. How does the structure of mixedwood forests at a landscape scale influence the spread and impact of abiotic (fire), and biotic (insects) disturbances.
  5. How can forest management practices be improved to increase the resistance and/or resilience of these systems while maintaining a viable and long-term economic base?

These questions improve our fundamental ecological understanding of how niche space, disturbances, and landscape structure interact to determine community composition and population dynamics.  My research also addresses fundamental questions of how biological diversity and community composition influence the resilience of ecological systems to disturbances and regional environmental shifts such as climate change.