Novus Scientist Exchange Program Site Visits: Volodymyr Trotsiuk and Dr. Neil Pederson


Dr. Neil Pederson (left) and Volodymyr Trotsiuk (right) discuss dendrochronology

The Novus RCN is pleased to report on the seventh of our eight Novus Scientist Exchange Program (SEP) site visits! In September 2015, Volodymyr Trotsiuk (Czech University of Life Sciences, Prague) visited the lab of Dr. Neil Pederson (Harvard University).

The project, titled “Unifying tree-ring methods for reconstructing disturbance dynamics,” focused on comparing the relative efficacy of a variety of methodologies for disturbance detection in tree-ring chronologies on scales of years to centuries and examining species-specific growth responses to rapid environmental change.

The first week of the visit consisted of a workshop between Dr. Pederson, Trotsiuk, and a number of other researchers, including David Orwig, Daniel Bishop, and Aaron Ellison from Harvard Forest, as well as Daniel Druckenbrod (Rider University), Dario Martin Benito (ETH Switzerland), Jason McLachlan (Notre Dame), and Shawn Fraver (University of Maine). This workshop delved into comparisons of the published dendrochronological methodologies using multiple disturbance datasets for comparative analyses (for example prescribed burns, and the 1938 New England hurricane).  Following the workshop, Trotsiuk and Dr. Pederson continued the statistical analyses and drafted a publication of the results. The team is in the final stages of completing a number of products from this visit, including an R script package (possibly linked to existing R package TRADER) and an executable file for Matlab users. The manuscript is in the final drafting stages, and the team plans to submit the paper to Methods in Ecology and Evolution.

In his interaction report, Trotsiuk highlighted the ease of coordinating the visit, despite the logistical complications of international travel. He also emphasized the Novus SEP as a “unique and rewarding opportunity for collaborative research and acquisition of experience.”

The Novus SEP is pleased to have contributed to such a fruitful and engaging visit! We look forward to seeing the final manuscript and the completed statistical packages!

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