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Faculty Profile
Andrew Vander Yacht

Andrew  Vander Yacht

Andrew Vander Yacht

Assistant Professor

317 Bray Hall



  • Ph.D. in Natural Resources, The University of Tennessee, 2018

    • Photo of Dr. Vander YachtDissertation: Plant & Fuel Dynamics in Response to Canopy Disturbance & Season of Burn

  • M.S. in Wildlife Science - Statistics Minor, The University of Tennessee, 2013

    • Thesis: Vegetation & Wildlife Response to Oak Savanna & Woodland Restoration

  • B.S. in Biology - Environmental Science & Chemistry Minors, 2009

    • Undergraduate Research: fungal endophytes in grasses & field studies in East Africa

Research Interests

Lab logoI coordinate the Applied Forest & Fire Ecology Lab (AFFEL) at SUNY ESF which seeks to address threats to forest resources by: 1) understanding the effects of disturbance on forest structure, composition, distribution, & function, 2) integrating this knowledge into the design of modern forest management strategies, tactics, & tools, & 3) testing efficacy through application. In general, work in the AFFEL explores the hypothesis that disturbance is the key to forest resilience in the face of modern stressors. More specific interests within this broad theme include:

  • Mechanistic understanding of the forest mesophication process
  • Restoring disturbance-dependent components of forest biodiversity
  • Effects of disturbance on the adaptive capacity of forests
  • Fire and fuel ecology and management in the Eastern USA
  • Microbial plant-soil(-fire) feedbacks & forest regeneration
  • Oak (Quercus spp.) and pine (Pinus spp.) ecology and silviculture
  • Mechanical, chemical, and fire control of American beech competition
  • Ticks, tick-borne disease, and prescribed fire management
  • Relationships between pyrodiversity and biodiversity
  • Traditional ecological knowledge of forest disturbance


  • Forest Management and Wildlife (FOR 496)
  • Fire Ecology and Management (FOR 496)
  • Silviculture (FOR 334 or 534)

Prospective Students

My philosophy towards mentorship involves encouraging and enabling students to pursue their strongest interests and abilities as we codevelop innovative, rigorous, and applied research. If it appears our research interests align, please feel free to reach out via email ( for more information. Funded graduate assistantships, and undergraduate research technicians, will be offered based on demonstrated academic excellence, related research experience, and passion for forest, fire, and wildlife management.

Selected Publications

Vander Yacht, A.L., Kobe, R.K., & Walters, M.B. 2022. Hardwood regeneration in red pine plantations: Thinning and site quality effects on changes in density and species composition from edges to interiors. Forest Ecology & Management 526: 1-29.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Barrioz, S.A., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M.C., Clatterbuck, W.K., & Jacobs, R. 2020. Litter to glitter: promoting herbaceous groundcover & diversity in mid-southern USA oak forests using canopy disturbance & fire. Fire Ecology 16:17 1-19.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M.C., & Clatterbuck, W.K. 2020. Thresholds in woody & herbaceous component coexistence inform the restoration of a fire-dependent community. Applied Vegetation Science 23: 159-174. (Journal Cover Photo).

Keyser, P.D., Vander Yacht, A.L., Henderson, C.A., Willcox, E.V., Cox, M.R., Buehler, D.A., Harper, C.A., Kwit, C., & Stambaugh, M.C.  2019. Wildlife response to oak ecosystem restoration. In: Clark, S.L. & Schweitzer, C.J. (eds.) Oak symposium: sustaining oak forests in the 21st century through science-based management e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-237. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 157.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M.C., Clatterbuck, W.K., & Simon, D.M. 2019. Fuel dynamics during oak woodland & savanna restoration in the Mid-South USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28(1): 70-84.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Barrioz, S.A., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M.C., Clatterbuck, W.K., & Simon, D.M. 2018. Reversing mesophication effects on understory woody vegetation in Mid-Southern oak forests. Forest Science 65(3): 289-303.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Kwit, C., & Stambaugh, M.C. 2018. Effectiveness of joint fuel treatments & vegetation management in restoring Eastern upland oak ecosystems. JFSP Project ID 13-1-04-14 Final Report.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Harper, C.A., Buckley, D.S., & Saxton, A.S. 2017. Restoration of oak woodlands & savannas in Tennessee using canopy-disturbance, fire-season, & herbicides. Forest Ecology & Management 406: 351-360.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Barrioz, S.A., Keyser, P.D., Harper, C.A., Buckley, D.S., Buehler, D.A. & Applegate, R.D. 2017. Vegetation response to canopy disturbance & season of burn during oak woodland & savanna restoration in Tennessee. Forest Ecology & Management 390: 187-202.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Buehler, D.A., Harper, C.A., Buckley, D.S. & Applegate, R.D. 2016. Avian occupancy response to oak woodland & savanna restoration. The Journal of Wildlife Management 80: 1091-1105.

Cox, M.R., Willcox, E.V., Keyser, P.D., & Vander Yacht, A.L. 2016. Bat response to prescribed fire & overstory thinning in hardwood forests on the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee. Forest Ecology & Management 359: 221-231.

Keyser, P.D., Harper, C.A., Anderson, M. & Vander Yacht, A.L. 2016. Chapter 15: How do I manage for woodlands & savannahs? In: Managing oak forests in the Eastern United States. Keyser, P.D., Fearer, T., & Harper, C.A., editors. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Burger, G., Keyser, P.D., & Vander Yacht, A.L. 2016. Ecology & management of oak woodlands & savannahs. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Extension Publication PB 1812.