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STUART J. DAVIES, PhD

DIRECTOR, FRANK H. LEVINSON CHAIR

 

 Stuart has been a tropical ecologist for over 22 years, with particular expertise in the forests of Southwest Asia. His research investigates ecological and evolutionary influences on variation in rainforest plant communities across the tropics. Stuart received his PhD from Harvard University in 1996. Before leading CTFS-ForestGEO, he was a Senior Research Associate at the Center for International Development and the Arnold Arboretum at Harvard University, and Associate Professor at the University of Malaysia, Sarawak.

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HELENE C. MULLER-LANDAU, PhD

STAFF SCIENTIST, LEADER OF GLOBAL CARBON INITIATIVE

 

 Helene’s research concerns the patterns, causes, and consequences of plant diversity. The patterns of interest include the diversity of ways in which plant species make a living, plant species coexistence within the same area, and the diversity of plant communities around the globe. In terms of causes, Helene examines proximate correlates such as climatic factors and functional traits as well as the ultimate causes deriving from selective forces, physiological constraints, and underlying tradeoffs. The consequences that interest her most at this time are those concerning carbon pools and fluxes – specifically, how the plant species composition of a forest affects the quantity of carbon stored in various pools (e.g., living trees, dead and decomposing trees, and the soil), the residence times in these pools, the fluxes in and out of them, and their sensitivity to climate variation. She uses a combination of empirical and theoretical approaches to investigate these questions.

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S. JOSEPH WRIGHT, PhD

STAFF SCIENTIST

 

S. Joseph Wright is Senior Scientist at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama. He received his B.A. from Princeton University in 1974 and his Ph.D. from the University of California at Los Angeles in 1980. He has published more than 200 peer-reviewed articles, which have been cited more than 15,000 times. He served as President of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation. His research interests include forest ecology, plant phenology, and conservation biology. He developed protocols to study flower and seed production and seedling biology that have been replicated in 14 forests in eight tropical countries. His work on the future of tropical forests concerns nutrient deposition, global atmospheric and climate change, the consequences of overhunting (the ‘bushmeat crisis’) for plant species composition, the second chance abandoned lands and secondary forests present for tropical conservation, and evidence for successful strategies for the conservation of tropical forests.

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JEFFERSON SCOTT HALL, PhD

STAFF SCIENTIST, LEADER OF PANAMA CANAL WATERSHED EXPERIMENT

 

 Jeff’s current research interests include conservation biology, ecosystem services, tropical forest ecology, tropical forest silviculture, and management and restoration ecology. His current research focuses on understanding the flow of goods and services provided by tropical forests and how they change with land use and climate change. The earth continues to lose forest annually across the tropics. Human populations continue to grow in the tropics and around the world such that humans will be forced to rely on diminishing mature forests as well as planted and naturally regenerating secondary forests for goods and services. Jeff leads the PRORENA (Native Species Reforestation) and Agua Salud Projects in Panama. He is also involved in silviculture and forest management research in Central Africa.

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SEAN McMAHON, PhD

ECOLOGIST, TEMPERATE FOREST PROGRAM COORDINATOR

 

 Sean leads the Temperate Forest Program for CTFS-ForestGEO. This program spans topics as diverse as forest demography, functional traits, canopy structure and change over succession, spatial patterns and shifts of temperate and tropical forest tree species, and climate change influences on tree biomass over stand development. This work combines field research, advanced statistical analyses, computer simulations, and the collaboration of a global network of scientists in forest ecology, statistics, computer science, and climate science. The new temperate forest plots extend this program to critical biomes that show high-biomass and high growth, and many of the spatial and temporal patterns observed in tropical forests, all with many fewer species.

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KRISTINA J. ANDERSON-TEIXEIRA, PhD

ECOLOGIST, LEADER OF THE ECOSYSTEMS AND CLIMATE INITIATIVE

 

 Kristina coordinates ecosystem ecology research across the CTFS-ForestGEO network. She is particularly interested in understanding how carbon cycling and other climatically-significant ecosystem properties are interactively shaped by climate and community dynamics. Kristina’s research focuses on understanding these interactions, which is vital to predicting the future of forests and their climate regulation services and to designing land use strategies for climate protection.

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DAVID KENFACK, PhD

STAFF SCIENTIST, AFRICA FOREST PROGRAM COORDINATOR

 David coordinates the CTFS-ForestGEO network of large-scale forest monitoring plots in Africa. The African network includes forest plots in Cameroon, the Democratic Republic of Congo, Gabon, and a woodland savanna plot in Kenya. His personal research focuses on plant systematics and evolution. David uses a combination of morphological, molecular, ecological, and spatial data to explore species limits in plant groups with challenging taxonomy to understand their evolutionary history and biogeography. His research interests also include long-term dynamics of tropical ecosystems.

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PATRICK A. JANSEN, PhD

STAFF SCIENTIST, LEADER OF THE VERTEBRATE PROGRAM

 

Patrick coordinates the Vertebrate Program, which aims to stimulate and facilitate research on vertebrates and their interactions with trees in the CTFS-ForestGEO plots. This begins with simply determining what vertebrate species are present at each forest plot, their abundance, and how their abundances change over time. Patrick coordinates the implementation of the CTFS-ForestGEO and TEAM partnership. TEAM aims to monitor long-term trends in biodiversity in tropical forests and currently monitors climate, tree growth and dynamics, and terrestrial vertebrates. TEAM monitors terrestrial vertebrate communities through annual large-scale camera trapping. Most sites include a gradient of hunting, fragmentation, and/or elevation.

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YVES BASSET, PhD

SCIENTIST, LEADER OF THE ARTHROPOD INITIATIVE

 

Yves studies insect-plant interactions and herbivory in the tropics, biodiversity and host-specificity of insect herbivores, insect spatial and temporal distributions, community structure and taxonomy of arboreal arthropods, tropical forest canopies, community ecology, parataxonomist training, and arthropod conservation.  He leads the Arthropod Initiative and Tropical Canopy Biology Program.

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RICHARD CONDIT, PhD

SCIENTIST

 

 Richard is a quantitative ecologist with CTFS-ForestGEO and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. Richard works on population biology, population modeling, quantitative ecology, community ecology, and geographic ranges of tree species in Panama, Amazonia, and Africa. He also studies the population fluctuations of tropical tree species and the stability of treecommunities, species abundance distributions, population growth of northern elephant seals in the North Pacific, tropical tree growth and mortality, and forest restoration on tropical pastures and farms. More

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

MAURO LEPORE, PhD

IT SPECIALIST

Mauro joined the Smithsonian in 2016 as a research fellow at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute. He researched how coral reefs in Bocas del Toro, Panama, have changed over the past 7,000 years in response to human impacts. The ideas he developed led to the article "Look to the past for an optimistic future", that has recently been published in Conservation Biology (O'Dea et al. 2017). Mauro had earned a PhD in ecology in 2015 from the University of Queensland, Australia, and had graduated in marine biology in 2008 from the University of Buenos Aires, Argentina. Mauro joined ForestGEO as IT Specialist in August 2017, writing and maintaining a collection of small computer programs that help forest ecologists analyze data of over six million trees. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

LAUREN KRIZEL

PROGRAM ASSISTANT

 

Lauren joined CTFS-ForestGEO in July of 2016 as Program Assistant. She earned her M.S. in Environmental and Energy Management from George Washington University and B.A. in Environmental Studies from American University. Lauren started her career working with endangered piping plovers on the beaches of New York, and most recently at the Society for Conservation Biology for five years. She is based at the CTFS-ForestGEO headquarters at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC. 

 

 

HALEY OVERSTREET

ADMINISTRATIVE ASSISTANT

 

Haley joined CTFS-ForestGEO in November of  2016 as Administrative Assistant. She was introduced to the network in Fall 2014 as an undergraduate student in Krista Anderson-Teixeira's lab collecting and managing data on tree mortality, growth, and phenology. She completed her undergraduate degree in Environmental Science and Policy at George Mason University in May 2015. Starting in June 2015, Haley joined CTFS-ForestGEO as an administrative intern for one year. She is based at the CTFS-ForestGEO headquarters at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History in Washington, DC.