Steering Committee

The Novus RCN is funded by the National Science Foundation and headed by a seven-person steering committee. Kansas State University (in Manhattan, Kansas, USA) serves as the coordination hub for Novus RCN activities and communication.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADr. Daniel G. Gavin

Department of Geography, University of Oregon

Research Website

Dr. Gavin’s research focuses on the influence of climate change and climate-mediated natural disturbances on the composition and structure of forests. He uses sediment and tree-ring records to reconstruct forest composition and disturbance over hundreds to thousands of years to better understand how populations and communities respond to both rapid and slow climatic change.

————————————————–

img_4165-copyDr. Laci M. Gerhart-Barley

Department of Geography, Kansas State University

Research Website

Dr. Gerhart’s research focuses on the impacts of past environmental change over the recent geologic past on plant physiology and ecosystem function. She uses stable isotope analyses of tree-ring chronologies to reconstruct tree physiology and alterations in forest nutrient cycling in response to natural and anthropogenic environmental change over time scales of centuries to millennia.

————————————————–

cnr_philHiguera196x208Dr. Philip Higuera

Department of Ecosystem Science and Conservation,
University of Montana

Research Website

Dr. Higuera’s research focuses on understanding the interactions among climate, vegetation, and fire regimes over a range of spatial and temporal scales. He uses lake sediments, tree rings, observational records, and numerical models to study boreal forest, subalpine forest, and arctic tundra ecosystems in Alaska, Canada, the U.S. Rocky Mountains, and Tasmania.

————————————————–

1438799714Dr. Bérangère Leys

Department of Geography, Kansas State University

Research Website

Dr. Leys’ research focuses on biogeochemical consequences of ecosystem change at decadal to millennial timescales. She uses cross-ecosystems approaches to investigate how fire ecology emerges across differences in climate, vegetation assemblages or human history over the past 20,000 years. She investigates fire disturbance in forested ecosystems dominated by conifers in the European Alps, the Mediterranean island of Corsica, and in the United-States Mountains of Colorado and New Hampshire as well as grassland ecosystems of the Central Grant Plains, and in the Mountains of Minnesota.

————————————————–

Dr. Michelle C. Mack

Center for Ecosystem Science and Society,
Northern Arizona University

Research Website

Dr. Mack’s research analyzes how the physiological and life history traits present in a plant community affect ecosystem processes such as nutrient cycling and plant productivity. She focuses on ecosystem responses to disturbance and perturbation in low-fertility systems in Alaska, South Africa, Siberia, Florida, Costa Rica, and Panama.

————————————————–

kendra 2010Dr. Kendra K. McLauchlan

Department of Geography, Kansas State University

Research Website

Dr. McLauchlan’s research reconstructs the functioning and characteristics of ecosystems in the past. She uses multi-proxy reconstructions such as lacustrine sediment stratigraphy and chronology, as well as pollen and charcoal concentrations and stable isotope signatures to quantitatively reconstruct North American vegetation, assess material flows through terrestrial ecosystems, and  determine human impacts on ecosystems.

————————————————–

MorrisDr. Jesse Morris

Department of Forest, Rangeland, and Fire Services,
University of Idaho

Research Website

Dr. Morris’ research focuses on examining long-term disturbance history, including fire and insect outbreaks, and understanding how regime shifts are modulated by climate and human activity. He is currently investigating the causes and consequences of fire in the Central Plateau of Tasmania, Australia.

————————————————–

perakisDr. Steven S. Perakis

Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University; Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey

Research Website

Dr. Perakis’ research analyzes the ecology and biogeochemistry of forest ecosystems, as well as grassland and riparian systems. He examines how natural and human disturbances within ecosystems shape nutrient inputs, losses, and whole-system nutrient balances in Pacific Northwest forests.