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 defence against 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.