Welcome to Our Laboratory Website

Our research explores the development of forest tree species during juvenile stages to promote regeneration of forest lands and restoration of harsh, degraded sites. This research is important because maintenance of diverse, productive forests is essential to promote environmental and societal benefits, yet forests are continually threatened by urban expansion, land use conversion, and exotic pests and pathogens.

Our research emphasis is on artificial regeneration of temperate deciduous species (e.g., oaks and walnut), which have been studied worldwide much less than conifers. We are also engaged in efforts to help restore threatened hardwood species, such as American chestnut (Castanea dentata) and butternut (Juglans cinerea).

We investigate seedling quality in response to cultural treatments during nursery propagation, assess ecophysiology of plantation establishment in response to abiotic and biotic stresses, and study the ecology and silvics of young plantation or natural stands. This research requires conceptual integration of principles from numerous disciplines (i.e., soils, mineral nutrition, plant physiology, ecology, and genetics), and we collaborate with a wide diversity of international scientists.

Our program is closely integrated within the Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center (HTIRC), which consistently ranks in the top five Purdue Centers on the West Lafayette campus. The HTIRC initiated the only forestry-based National Science Foundation Industry/University Cooperative Research Center, which has since expanded to include nine universities. The HTIRC has also recently expanded its scope to address parallel issues in tropical systems.