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Mark Vanderwel

Associate Professor

Office: LB248
Phone: 306-337-2544
Fax: 306-337-2410

Research interests
Tree demography, Forest dynamics, Global change

My research seeks to better understand how forests will be affected by global change. I am primarily interested in how tree-level demographic processes interact with disturbance to create changing patterns of structure, biomass, and diversity within forest stands and landscapes. I take a quantitative approach to this topic by developing process-based models that project how forests dynamics emerge from variation in demographic performance, whether among individual trees, among species, or across environmental gradients. By understanding how tree growth, mortality, and recruitment are controlled by different environmental factors, I seek to determine how processes such as climate change and disturbance can affect the broader condition of forest ecosystems over time.

Current projects focus on the role of water stress in regulating the standing biomass and geographic distribution of forests in western Canada. This region is expected to experience increasing drought in coming decades, but we do not yet understand exactly how this will affect forest dynamics via changes in tree demographic rates. My research is investigating how both mortality and recruitment processes are controlled by water availability, with the goal of predicting broader implications for forest carbon stocks across the western boreal region.