Forest Ecology, Soils & Silviculture Laboratory 

Forest Regeneration and Restoration

Dr. Douglass Jacobs’ research focuses on development of forest trees during juvenile stages, with emphasis on temperate deciduous species. He is among the principal investigators comprising the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center at Purdue University.  With international colleagues, Dr. Jacobs has developed new methods of seedling nursery propagation, physiological testing, and plantation establishment to improve success of reforestation and restoration projects.

Ecology and Natural Resources

Dr. Michael Saunders’ main research emphasis includes: 1) the development of silvicultural systems that increase the range of variability within natural stands and/or emulate natural disturbance regimes within a given region, 2) improvement of growth and yields within intensively managed systems, and 3) the influence of silviculture on wildlife habitat requirements.  He also is involved in projects concerning precommercial thinning in spruce-fir stands within the Northeast and improvement of growth and yield models in the eastern U.S.

Forestry & Natural Resources/Biological Science

Dr. Jeff Dukes and his research group seek to address environmental challenges through ecological research and outreach. Their research currently focuses on three themes: understanding how ecosystems respond to climate and atmospheric change, understanding and minimizing the impacts of invasive species on ecosystems, and exploring the ecological consequences of switching our energy supply from fossil fuels to biofuels. Dukes has a particular interest in understanding how changes in climate and the atmosphere will affect the success and impact of invasive species.

Forest Ecology

Dr. Mike Jenkins' research focuses on the interactions between disturbance and abiotic factors and their synergistic influence on ecosystem structure and function. Specifically, he is interested in how human-induced changes to native disturbance regimes and species pools have altered the distributions, interactions, and coexistence of species through changes in ecological processes. His current research projects include exotic disease effects on nutrient cycling, invasion dynamics of exotic plants following the restoration of native disturbance regimes, long-term response of understory plant communities to chronic herbivory, and acid deposition and soil chemistry as drivers of species distribution in high-elevation spruce-fir forests.