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e s f home link - e s f college of environmental science and forestry

Ecology and Ecosystems Area of Study for M.S., M.P.S. or Ph.D. in Forest Resources Management


The Ecology and Ecosystems area of study focuses on the structure, function, dynamics, and resilience of terrestrial ecosystems, at a range of scales, from tree genetics and plant physiology to landscape ecology, modeling and remote sensing.

Because functioning and resilient ecosystems are central to human well-being, research opportunities in this area of study address a diversity of topics that help us better understand and enhance the sustainability of terrestrial ecosystems in a rapidly changing world.

Participating Faculty

  • Colin M. Beier; cbeier@esf.edu
    forest ecosystem and landscape ecology, social-ecological systems, climate change, ecosystem services, landscape change modeling, resilience, adaptive management, resource governance, applied geoinformatics
  • Eddie Bevilacqua; ebevilacqua@esf.edu
    sampling/inventory, biometrics, forest mensuration, growth and yield modeling, applied statistics, GIS/spatial analysis, forest ecology, landscape ecology, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, quantitative silviculture
  • Russell D. Briggs; rdbriggs@esf.edu
    forest ecology, watershed ecology, soils, ecosystem services, watershed management, forest soils, silviculture
  • John E. Drake; jedrake@esf.edu
    Tree physiology, forest ecology, global climate change, ecosystem nutrient and C cycling, soils gas fluxes, tree water use
  • René Germain; rhgermai@esf.edu
    forest health, policy, silviculture, forest management and operations, forest management for renewable energy, watershed management, sustainable forestry systems
  • Mariann T. Johnston; mjohnston@esf.edu
    forest ecology, soils, biogeochemistry, forest health, silviculture
  • Christopher A. Nowak; canowak@esf.edu
    vegetation management, silviculture and forest ecology, production ecology and plant ecophysiology, invasive exotic plant control, biogeography and cultural landscapes, sustainable management and certification systems
  • John C. Stella; stella@esf.edu
    riparian and stream ecology, restoration ecology, watershed management, ecological modeling, tree-ring science, river restoration, arid-land and Mediterranean ecosystems
  • Timothy A. Volk; tavolk@esf.edu
    silviculture, forest management for renewable energy, biomass and bioenergy, energy, agroforestry, phytoremediation, management and sustainability of short rotation woody crops, life cycle analysis, ecophysiology, international forestry
  • Ruth D. Yanai; rdyanai@esf.edu
    Multiple-element limitation in northern hardwood ecosystems, quantifying uncertainty in ecosystem studies, and REDD+ carbon accounting for climate mitigation

For details on doctoral and masters programs, download the Graduate Student Handbook for The Department of Forest and Natural Resources Management. Hard copies are available from the FNRM office.

Learn More

a forest

Contact Us

David Newman
Graduate Education Coordinator - SRM
309 Bray Hall, One Forestry Drive
Syracuse, NY 13210-2788
Phone: (315) 470-6534
Fax: (315) 470-6535

Current EE Graduate Students

Current Students Only currently registered students appear — new names appear at start of academic year

Scott Dai

Scott Dai

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Yanai

Personal Statement
I am a master's student for Ruth Yanai learning about how nutrient colimitation in northeastern hardwood forests influences ecosystem functioning. I'm trying to figure out if the herbaceous layer and/or wood density is influenced by our fertilization regimes... tune in later to see what I decide on, or if I have a different idea entirely!

Favorite Quote
"A ship in harbor is safe, but that is not what ships are built for."

Matthew Hecking

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Undergraduate Institution: Hampshire College (Chemical Ecology)

Personal Statement
I am currently a first year Master's student in the Burton lab at ESF. I am currently pursuing several ideas to integrate into my thesis work involving plant functional traits and their predictive power in modeling plant communities. I am extremely interested in using functional traits as tools to better predict community responses to climate change, and how trait diversity within and between species relate to these responses.

Graduate Research Topics
Plant functional traits, climate change, community ecology

Favorite Quote
"In Nature, nothing exists alone." - Rachel Carson, Silent Spring

Keenan Rivers

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Drake

Nathan Tyler

Ecology and Ecosystems
Degree Sought: MS
Advisor(s): Johnston