Dovciak Lab in Plant Ecology
State University of New York, College of Environmental Science & Forestry, Syracuse, NY
Department of Environmental and Forest Biology — SUNY ESF — 1 Forestry Drive — Syracuse — NY 13210
Current Lab Members


Martin Dovciak [web page]
459 Illick,, phone: (315) 470-6749
Associate Professor and Roosevelt Forest Ecologist, PhD University of Minnesota (2001)


Research: Main project themes are here  
Sample paper: Wason JW, Dovciak M (2017) Tree demography suggests multiple directions and drivers for species range shifts in mountains of Northeastern United States. Global Change Biology 23: 3335–3347.
Michael R. (Whalen) Zarfos
423 Illick,
PhD Candidate (Co-advised with S. Farrell), BA Colby College (2012)


Research: Effects of soil acidification on forest health and biodiversity in the Adirondack Mtns.
Sample paper: Zarfos MR, Dovciak M, Lawrence GB, McDonnell TC, Sullivan TJ (2019) Plant richness and composition in hardwood forest understories vary along an acidic deposition and soil-chemical gradient in northeastern United States. Plant and Soil 438, 461–477.
Joanna I. Lumbsden Pinto
311 Illick,
PhD Student, MPS SUNY ESF (2018), BS National University of Panama (2011)  


Research: Vegetation dynamics of Long Island pine barrens of New York state: Recent changes and potential future trajectories of an ecosystem at the crossroads.  
Sample paper: Russavage E, Thiele J, Lumbsden-Pinto J, Schwager K, Green T, Dovciak M (2021) Characterizing canopy openness in open forests: Spherical densiometer and canopy photography are equivalent but less sensitive than direct measurements of solar radiation. Journal of Forestry 119: 130–140.
Mariano G. Arias
147 Illick,
PhD Candidate, MS Maimonides University (2013), BS University of Buenos Aires (2009)  
Research: Impacts of climate, land-use, and biotic factors on the dispersion of myrmecochorous plants through uncoupling of plant-ant interactions.  
Sample publication: Floristic indicators applicable to conservation practices and environmental management in forest lots in northeastern Argentina. MS thesis, Maimonides University.
Jordon Tourville
147 Illick,
PhD Candidate, MS University of Michigan (2018), BA University of Vermont (2013)  
Research: Effects of tree species responses to global environmental changes and biotic controls on tree species distributions in the northeastern United States.  
Sample paper: Tourville J, Wason J, Dovciak M. 2022. Canopy gaps facilitate upslope shifts in montane conifers but not in temperate deciduous trees in the northeastern United States. Journal of Ecology (accepted).
Sam McClintic
Undergraduate Researcher, Syracuse University Reneè Crown Honors Program
Research: Characterizing tree demography, microclimate, and soil conditions of upper timberlines in the Adirondacks.


Past Post-Doctoral Associates and Technicians
  • Dr. Mark R. Lesser (2014-2015)
  • Juliana Quant, MS, Research Analyst (2014-2016)
  • Dr. Juan C. Alvarez-Yepiz (May-Aug. 2014)
Past Student Lab Members
Graduate Students Undergraduate Students    
  • Dylan Finley, MS 2021
  • Margaret Woodbridge, PhD 2020 (ORISE Postdoctoral Researcher, USDA Forest Service, Ashville, NC)
  • Monica B. Berdugo, PhD 2018 (Post-Doctoral Scientist, University of Marburg, Germany)
  • Jay W. Wason, PhD 2016 (Assistant Professor, University of Maine)
  • Juan C. Alvarez-Yepiz, PhD 2014 (Associate Professor, Sonoran Institute of Technology, Mexico)
  • Stephen Langdon, MS 2014 (Director, Shingle Shanty Preserve & Research Station)
  • Juliana Quant, MS 2014 (Stewardship Specialist, ‎NYS Office of Parks, Recreation, & Historic Preservation)
  • Nataliia Shynkarenko, MPS 2013
  • Anna Ganzia, MPS 2013
  • Olga Shevtsova, MPS 2013
  • Maria E. Gutierrez Lagoueyte, MS 2012 (Assistant Professor, EIA University, Colombia)
  • Keith Cardinali, MPS 2012
  • Portia Osborne, MS 2011 (Biologist, Blandon & Associates, Inc.)
  • Lee Davis, MPS 2011 (Ecological Monitoring Program Director, Great Basin Institute)
  • Lisa Giencke, MS 2010 (Research Associate, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center)
  • Katie Beeles, 2020
  • Hannah Brown, 2020
  • Hannah Rola, 2020
  • Amanda Varhol, 2020
  • Audrey Fatone, 2020
  • Heather Zimba, 2019
  • Ben VanderStouw, 2019
  • Broderick DeAngelis, 2019 (BNL)
  • Haley Gladitsch, 2019 (BNL)
  • Jordan Jessamy, 2019 (BNL)
  • Ben Knowlton, 2019 (BNL)
  • Rebecca Rolnick, 2019 (BNL)
  • Emily Russavage, 2019 (BNL)
  • Jake Thiele, 2019 (BNL)
  • Haley Welshoff, 2019 (BNL)
  • Taylor Boria, 2018
  • James Molloy, 2016
  • Matt Glaub, 2015
  • Adam Busman, 2012-2013
  • Devin Hansen, 2013
  • Lindsay Rutte, 2012-2013
  • Martin Holdrege, 2010-2013
  • Ashley Campbell, 2012
  • Gennaro Falco, 2009-2011
  • Briana Boaz, 2011
  • Anthony Vicente, 2009-2011
  • Andrea Westerband, 2009-2010
  • Jordan Brown, 2008-2009
Interested in joining our lab? Click here for more information.

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