2019 Year in Review: Research
 



 



2019 Year in Review: The Research

Forestry and Natural Resources faculty and staff are divided into nine research groups: aquatic sciences, digital natural resources, ecology of natural resources, forest science, genetics, hardwood products innovation, natural resources social sciences, quantitative ecology and wildlife science.

Specialties include fisheries biology, aquaculture, aquatic animal nutrition, aquatic animal physiology, aquatic toxicology, remote sensing, modeling of natural resources, geographic information science, natural resource informatics decision, support systems, spatial analysis, landscape, and physiology population community.

2019 saw several significant research impacts by FNR faculty and staff members and students, including multiple publications, speaking engagements and media mentions.

Breakthroughs

  • Dr. Guofan Shao’s research group made a breakthrough in automated tree measurements with stereoscopic photography taken on the ground. A manuscript was accepted by the Journal of Forestry and a disclosure has been filed at Purdue. They have acquired multiple datasets with unmanned aerial systems (UAS) for McCormick Woods and Martell Forest, based on which they developed algorithms for automated tree canopy and tree height quantifications.
  • Dr. Robert Swihart’s research group made a breakthrough regarding human manipulation in forested ecosystems and how they can alter rodent-acorn interactions and the regeneration process in oak forests.
    • Rodents act as predators and dispersers of acorns and are key agents of regeneration in oak forests. Swihart’s group discovered two ways in which human manipulation of forested ecosystems can alter rodent-acorn interactions and thus the regeneration process. First, they found in an island system that forested area had a positive indirect effect on the effectiveness with which rodents dispersed acorns, due to loss of large- bodied mammals and reduced competition for acorns (Zeng et al. 2019, Journal of Ecology). Second, in collaboration with Mike Saunders, they found that prescribed fire led to increased acorn survival by increasing perceived habitat riskiness for rodents up to 2 years post-fire (Greenler et al. 2019, Ecological Applications). Both findings illustrate cascading effects of human modification on the critical ecosystem process of seed dispersal, and the latter result suggests that prescribed fire in conjunction with group shelterwood harvests may tilt the rodent-acorn conditional mutualism in favor of oak regeneration.

Featured Work / In The Media

Students in the Media

Speaking Engagements

Breakthroughs in research are not just to be kept in the confines of the lab, they are meant to impact the world. Several Purdue faculty and staff members and students spread the word about their work through speaking engagements across the globe in 2019.
  • Dr. Songlin Fei presented “Unleash the Power of FIA data – opportunities, challenges and future directions” and “Spatial patterns and dynamics of forest invasion” at the FIA Stakeholders meeting in November.
  • Dr. Guofan Shao was co-author on two presentations at the 2019 FIA National Conference in Knoxville, Tennessee in November:
    • “Using UAS imagery for automated tree canopy measurements for a red oak plantation” – with Aishwarya Chandrasekaran.
    • “Rapid DBH Computation with off-the-shelf stereo camera” – with Nick Eliopoulos.
  • Postdoctoral research assistant Elizabeth LaRue talked about “Forest structural diversity and plant invasion dynamics across North America” at the FIA National Conference.
  • Dr. Jeff Dukes spoke on “From the growth chamber to the globe: how our assumptions about plants influence on projections of future climate” at the Purdue Center for Plant Biology’s Plant Science Symposium on Sept. 6.
  • Dukes also spoke at the first Indiana Stormwater management Task Force meeting (Aug. 27) (Twitter Post)
  • Dr. Marisol Sepulveda taught an intensive 32-hour theoretical and practice course in Colombia called “Techniques of Management and Diagnosis in Fish” in partnership with Universidad de Magdalena. (Twitter Post)
  • Extension forester Lenny Farlee spoke at the annual Tree Inc. Terre Haute meeting.
  • Anna Erwin
    Anna Erwin
  • Postdoc Anna Erwin presented on “differential risk perceptions and adaptations across ag actors in the receiving basin of a large-scale water transfer project called Majes Siguas” at the Sustainability and Development Conference in Ann Arbor, Michigan, in October. She also presented a poster on “how intersectional identities influence adaptation” at the Arequipa Nexus Institute.
  • Several students, faculty and staff members participated in the Climate Strike teach-in and panel discussion on campus in September.
  • Dr. Pranay Ranjan spoke at the Soil and Water Conservation Society convention in July.
    • “What helps or hinders Non-Operating Landowners from taking steps toward with conservation: mixed methods from implementing a trial conservation program.” He also shared this presentation at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
    • “Farmer engagement using precision approach to conservation planning: what do we know?”
    • “Understanding conversation practice adoptions: Review of 35 years of literature and next steps for research” – moderated by Dr. Linda Prokopy and including PhD Sarah Church.
    • He also presented a paper “Factors influencing use of online decision support tools for farmers and advisors in the Midwestern United States” alongside Jackie Getson and Dr. Linda Prokopy.
  • PhD Sarah Church presented on “The role of systems thinking in early adopter conservation behaviors: implications for middle adopters” at both the Soil and Water Conservation Society convention and the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management. She also shared “What is successful watershed management: an in-depth evaluation of the National Water Quality Initiative” at the Soil and Water Conservation Society convention.
  • Church presented a poster titled “Common Ground Common Water: Film as a Tool for Shared Understanding of Water Resource Protection”. She also was listed as co-author on a paper with Dr. Linda Prokopy, Laura Esman and Jackie Getson titled “Results of the USDA-NIFA Climate and Water Portfolio Synthesis.”
  • Church also was part of a roundtable on “Sense of place in working landscapes: troubles and opportunities,” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
  • Dr. Tomas Höök’s Purdue Fish Ecology Lab was part of nine presentations at the International Association for Great Lakes Research conference in June. Master’s degree student Scott Koenigbauer presented a poster on cisco egg size, Taylor Senegal’s poster shared about yellow perch stable isotope and morphology patterns in Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.
  • Assistant program leader and extension specialist for sustainable communities Kara Salazar presented on “Extension community planning for land use and natural resources: evaluating program effectiveness” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
  • Research associate/outreach coordinator Jackie Getson talked about “Understanding climate professionals’ challenge to communication with five key agricultural stakeholders” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
  • Dr. Linda Prokopy participated in a panel “Standing on the shoulders of sameness? Developing strategies to overcome implicit biases in citation and publication practice.”
  • Dr. Bryan Pijanowski presented on “What we can do to address current grand environmental changes” at the International Symposium on Grids and Clouds and Soundscape Symposium in Taiwan in March.
  • Pijanowski gave a Ted Talk titled "Listen to the Earth,” discussing his work to record the earth and how he uses sound to study the environment all over the world, in front of a sold-out crowd at TedX Arendale in November.
  • Extension specialist Jarred Brooke spoke with the Indiana Forage Council about integrating wildlife on the farm in March.
  • State assessment and strategy regarding the payoffs found in the Indiana Hardwood Strategy was completed with help from FNR. (State Seeks to Tap 'Tremendous Potential' of Hardwood Industry and Indiana trees targeted for economic development)
  • Sustaining hardwood extension specialist Lenny Farlee and Dr. Eva Haviarova were part of a group that assembled the Indiana Hardwood Assessment in December 2018.
  • Dr. Brady Hardiman, post-doctoral research assistant Elizabeth LaRue and Dr. Songlin Fei published an article finding that satellite imagery of forests can be used to measure forest structure and help improve understanding of landscape and regional forest growth rates. “Linking Landsat to terrestrial LiDAR: Vegetation metrics of forest greenness are correlated with canopy structural complexity".
  • Dr. Jason Hoverman presented on “Advancing Natural Enemy Ecology Using Wetland Communities” as part of the University of Georgia’s Savannah River Ecology Laboratory’s Seminar Series. (Twitter Post)

Student Speaking Engagements

  • Master’s degree student Patricia Nease presented on “Localized resource reliance of young-of- year largemouth bass in glacial lakes: implications for nearshore habitat management” at the Society for Freshwater Science Conference in Salt Lake City, Utah. Nease graduated in December.
  • Doctoral student Suse LaGory presented a poster on “Predicting native unionid distributions across Indiana using an ensemble modeling approach” at the Society for Freshwater Science Conference.
  • Master’s degree student Michelle Hemler discussed “Understanding Midwest corn farmers’ perceptions of crop insurance and its impact on conservation adoption” at the Soil and Water Conservation Society convention. Hemler graduated in December.
  • Kim Ordonez
    Kim Ordonez
  • Kim Ordonez, a student in Dr. Zhao Ma’s lab, presented on the “psychological distance between cooperative and individualist family forest owners in Indiana” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in June. Ordonez also talked about “Psychological distances of invasive plant management among cooperative and non- cooperative family forest owners” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
  • Master’s degree student Aishwarya Chandrasekaran presented on “Photogrammetric measurement of hardwood species at a stand level using RGB images from unmanned aerial vehicle” at the FIA National Conference.
  • PhD student Jonathan Knott discussed the “Distributional shifts of regional forest communities in the eastern United States” at the FIA National Conference.
  • Kim Ordonez, a student in Dr. Zhao Ma’s lab, presented on the “psychological distance between cooperative and individualist family forest owners in Indiana” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, in June. Ordonez also talked about “Psychological distances of invasive plant management among cooperative and non- cooperative family forest owners” at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
  • Master’s degree student Abby-Gayle Prieur presented on “Selection of Common Cover Crops by Voles” at the American Society of Mammologists annual meeting in June in Washington D.C. after receiving a travel grant to travel to and speak at the conference. Prieur graduated in December.
  • Doctoral student Jessica Outcalt gave a talk entitled “Under the Radar: Trends in Migratory Bird Use of Stopover Sites in Midwestern Forests and Urban Habitats” at the annual meeting of the American Ornithological Society in Anchorage, Alaska in June.
  • Several graduate students presented at the International Symposium on Society and Resource Management.
    • Brennan Radulski presented on “Profiles and harmful field behaviors of birdwatcher and wildlife photographers in Indiana”
    • Master’s degree student Robert Weiner discussed “Choosing the Paris Agreement temperature targets: goalsetting and science policy interactions at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change,” and “Newspaper coverage of the 2017 Atlantic hurricane season: climate change, framing, reference and attribution.” Weiner graduated in December.
    • Graduate research assistant Taylor Stinchcomb talked about “How do social, ecological and geographic diversity influence deer-human interactions across Indiana?”
    • Emily Usher discussed “Exploring stakeholder priorities for successful watershed management.”
    • Aaron Thompson presented on “Factors motivating forest conservation easement adoption in Wisconsin’s Northwoods.”
    • Junyu Lu presented on “Explaining the use of online agricultural decision support tools with weather of climate information in the Midwestern United States.”
    • Jonathan Bauchet discussed “Compliance is not binary: insights from an incentive-based conservation program in Bolivia.”
    • Anna Erwin presented on “Migration, climate change adaptation and farm labor in Arequipa, Peru.”
    • Ruxandra Popovici talked about “Learning and adaptation for watershed management in Arequipa, Peru.”
    • Graduate research assistant Rebecca Nixon discussed “Multi-scalar tradeoffs in adaptation decision making in the Eastern

Events

    Forestry Conclave
    Forestry Conclave
  • Amy Hanners and the FNR Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters hosted the 67th Midwestern Foresters Conclave. (Midwestern Foresters Conclave)
  • Purdue FNR hosted its annual career fair in February, welcoming more than 50 employers. (Twitter Post)

Misc.

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