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Faculty Profile
Martin Dovciak

Martin  Dovciak

Associate Professor

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459 Illick Hall


Biosketch: Dr. Dovciak is an Associate Professor of Forest Ecology and a National Science Foundation Mid-Career Advancement Awardee. He received his PhD from the University of Minnesota and post-doctoral training from the University of Washington, both in forest ecology, and his first degree, in forest engineering, from Technical University in Zvolen, Slovakia. He has held visiting appointments at the Yale School of the Environment, Brookhaven National Laboratory, and the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), and he studied as an exchange student at Bangor University, UK, and Central European University in Budapest, Hungary. His current research focuses on responses of forest ecosystems and plant communities to various global change drivers and on ecological applications in forest ecosystem management. Dr. Dovciak has served as a Council member and the Chair of the Vegetation Section of the Ecological Society of America (ESA) from 2021 to 2023, and currently serves as a Subject Matter Editor for Ecological Applications.

Research Interests: Plant Ecology, Forest Ecosystems, Global Environmental Change, Biodiversity, Ecosystem Management and Restoration.

CV and Lab Homepage (somewhat out of date, sorry!)

Selected Courses Taught:

Examples of Recent Grant Awards:

  • Northeastern States Research Cooperative; $389,996; 2024-2027. “The effects of seed dispersal and seedling establishment limitations on climate-driven tree species range shifts in the northeastern U.S." M. Dovciak (PI), N. Kiel, L. Kenefic.
  • Northeastern States Research Cooperative; $365,261; 2024-2027. “Using a functional trait approach to inform assisted migration for climate adaptation in the Northern Forest Region.” H. Asbjornsen (PI), J. Butnor, M. Vadeboncoeur, Jay Wason, M. Dovciak.
  • USDA McIntire-Stennis Program; $245,158; 2023-2025. Reversing mesophication and burning ticks: Prescribed fire’s role in a One Health approach to forest management in New York” A.L. Vander Yacht (PI), M. Dovciak, B.F. Leydet.
  • National Science Foundation; $293,033; 2023-2025. “Data Science for Global Change -- Does Plant Diversity Imply Forest Resilience?” M. Dovciak (PI).
  • National Science Foundation; $322,992; 2018-2023. “Linking Forest Regeneration, Plant Distributions, and Ecotone Dynamics in Changing Mountain Environments”. M. Dovciak (PI).
  • USDA McIntire-Stennis Program; $61,784; 2018-2021. "Recent Changes and Future Trajectories of an Ecosystem at the Crossroads: Implications for Planning, Management, and Conservation of Long Island Pine Barrens". M. Dovciak (PI), T. Green, K. Schwager.

Selected Publications (* undergraduate, ** graduate, or *** postdoctoral mentee)

10 most recent papers:

10 most cited/impactful papers:

Current Graduate Advisees

Rachel HopkinsRachel Hopkins

  • Degree Sought: MS
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Dovciak
  • Area of Study: Environmental & Forest Biology

Graduate Research Topic
My research involves examining changes in forest plant communities over time, especially in relation to climate change and land use history.

Joanna Lumbsden-PintoJoanna Lumbsden-Pinto

  • Degree Sought: PHD
  • Graduate Advisor(s): Dovciak
  • Area of Study: EFB Conservation Biology

Personal Statement
My major area of interest is the interaction between ecosystem dynamics and anthropogenic and climate alterations. I am interested in comprehending how this interaction influences the biota's resilience and adaptability and what its implications could be on its management and restoration. I am inquisitive about investigating topics of this nature so we can develop sustainable approaches, interdisciplinary management, and conservation methodologies that protect and preserve forests, their components, and their inhabitants, such as Indigenous People.

Graduate Research Topic
I investigate how pine barrens ecosystems respond to climate and fire regime changes. The findings will guide stakeholders in managing the forests in light of global warming and changes in land use.

Favorite Quote
"Integrity is doing the right thing, even when no one is watching." C.S. Lewis