Located at Wilfrid Laurier University in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada, the Forest Ecology Research Group examines the functional basis of plant species distributions. Trade-offs between stress tolerance and performance contribute strongly to species distributions and may provide a more general basis for species range sizes and patterns of local distribution. We focus on forest ecosystems including tropical, temperate and boreal forests.
Dispersal of the FERG team has begun and we are excited about the coming field season! We are working at sites from Northeastern British Columbia to Inuvik, Northwest Territories asking questions about the impact of climate warming and permafrost thaw on the function and structure of high latitude boreal forests and the recovery of these forests following wildfire. Here is a slideshow of some of our work from last summer.
Congratulations to Ana Sniderhan (PhD) and Alison White (MSc) who received their degrees this month. Ana has joined the Global Water Futures team and Alison has taken a Forest Intern position with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry. We are very proud of both of you!
Congratulations to both Alison White and Katherine Standen! Ali defended her MSc in February and has just accepted a job with Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry’s Southern Region Resources Information & Analysis Unit as a Forest Analyst Intern – way to go Ali! In the same week Katherine Standen had a hugely successful PhD proposal defence and qualifying exam and is now sleeping a little easier. The rest of us have been hard at work getting ready for another big field season studying fire ecology, impacts of permafrost thaw on plant communities, and subarctic forest ecohydrology… field crews depart on June 4!
We are delighted to welcome Dr. Katherine Dearborn to the lab! Katherine recently completed her PhD at Queen’s University focusing on plant community composition and dynamics across alpine treelines in the Yukon. You can check out her research here. Katherine will be focusing her efforts on the Scotty Creek Forest Dynamics Plot, both understanding patterns and processes in this boreal peatland and also putting this into the global context of the Smithsonian Institute’s ForestGEO network.
Ana’s work focused on the growth-climate responses of black spruce in Northwestern Canada with a strong emphasis on the role of changing permafrost conditions on these responses. As an added bonus, Ana’s second paper was accepted for publication the same week she submitted her thesis revisions! Ana has joined Laurier’s Global Water Futures team as the Ecosystem Resilience Research Associate.
FERG is very proud of Katie Black whose MSc research has been recognized through the Medal of Academic Excellence, which she will be awarded at the Fall Convocation at Laurier. Katie’s research has focused on the implications of shrub expansion on the low arctic tundra. Well done, Katie!
Congratulations to FERG PhD student Katherine Standen was successful in her NSERC CGS-D application providing funding for her studies for the next three years. Katherine’s work focuses on the implications of permafrost thaw for plant community composition and function in subarctic boreal forests.