Scientists & Staff

Current Research

Long-term vegetation dynamics following thinning and repeated fires in mixed-oak forests.

Tree regeneration in shelterwood stands treated with herbicide and/or prescribed fire.

White oak (Quercus alba) seedling response to midstory removal via herbicide.

Herbaceous layer response to overstory mortality caused by Emerald Ash Borer.

Effectiveness of a native fungal wilt-causing pathogen (Verticillium nonalfalfae) as a biological control for the invasive tree Ailanthus altissima (Tree-of-Heaven).

Research Interests

Oak regeneration and sustaining mixed-oak forests

Fire ecology of oak woodlands and forests

Fire history of oak and oak-pine forest types

Understory plant composition and diversity in response to environmental gradients and disturbance.


  • Ohio State University, Ph.D. Ecology,
  • Miami University, M.S. Botany,
  • University of Louisville, B.A. Biology,

Professional Organizations

  • Ecological Society of America
  • Torrey Botanical Society
  • Society of American Foresters (SAF)

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Ash trees.

Understanding Long-Term Impacts of an Invasive, Tree-Killing Pest

Year: 2019

The emerald ash borer has been killing ash trees in the United States for more than two decades. What does that mean for ash populations and the forest ecosystems? Long-term monitoring plot data collected by USDA Forest Service scientists and partners is helping to elucidate the impacts of this invasive pest and to plan management and conservation strategies.

A cross-section of a fire-scarred yellow pine, collected at Shawnee State Forest, Ohio.  This tree established in 1865 and had seven fire scars, indicated by arrows, dating from 1888 to 1941.

Insights from a 250-year history of fire in the Appalachian Plateau of Ohio and Kentucky

Year: 2017

In many eastern U.S. forests, undesirable shifts in tree species abundance are occurring. For oaks and pines, it is widely believed that the decreased frequency of fire over the last 75-100 years has played a major role in their decline.

Testing the effects of species source on combustion properties of Ohio Hills fuel beds at the Forest Product Laboratory. Matthew B. Dickinson, U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service.

Shift Toward Mesophytic Species in Oak Forests May Limit Fire Reintroduction

Year: 2016

Exclusion of fire from eastern mixed-oak forests is widely understood to be an important explanation for difficulty in regenerating oaks. Forest Service scientists studied whether the change in species composition of forest floor litter, as species composition shifts to more mesophytic and less fire tolerant species over time, could be a barrier to successful use of fire to restore oak ecosystems.

Tree regeneration 5 years after herciide treatment and shelterwood harvest. USDA Forest Service.

The Devil is in the Details for Regeneration Success in Mixed-oak Forests

Year: 2015

To improve oak regeneration, Forest Service scientists are studying shelterwood harvest with herbicide and prescribed fire treatments. Although large oak seedlings have developed after the partial harvest, competition from non-oak saplings is intense even after herbicide treatment. The combined use of herbicide and fire is being evaluated.

Repeated prescribed fires may improve the regeneration potential of oak in canopy gaps. Forest Service

Repeated Prescribed Fires Help Sustain Oak Regeneration in Eastern Forests

Year: 2012

Research findings can help managers in their quest to sustain this forest type throughout Eastern North America

Last modified: Monday, October 5, 2020