Fall 2016 Lab Photo (clockwise): Colin Wong, Matt Terzes, Matt Brousil, Emily O'Dean, Tori Norville, Marissa Vossmer, Kevin Hurt (+ Zoe), Dr. B, & Dawkins the Dog

Fall 2016 Lab Photo (clockwise): Colin Wong, Matt Terzes, Matt Brousil, Emily O’Dean, Tori Norville, Marissa Vossmer, Kevin Hurt (+ Zoe), Dr. B, & Dawkins the Dog

Sarah Bisbing, Assistant Professor of Forest Ecosystem Science

Sarah joined UNR in Fall 2017 after four years as an Assistant Professor at Cal Poly – SLO. She has a B.S. and M.S. in Forestry from the University of Montana and a PhD in Ecology from Colorado State University. Her research investigates the role that climate, landscape connectivity, and local adaptation play in determining the abundance and distribution of western conifers. She is specifically interested in the ecological, biogeographic, and evolutionary processes that drive demographic patterns and species distributions. Sarah’s teaching emphasizes field-based learning, and she is always up for a trip to a Sierra Nevada forest. When not teaching and researching, you can her find running, biking, or climbing with the lab mascot, Dawkins the Dog.


Tessa Putz, PhD Student (starting summer 2018)TessaSNF

Tessa received her BS in Environmental Science and Terrestrial Resource Management from University of Washington in 2014. Her work with a variety of agencies and labs as well as time spent recreating throughout the West inspired her to pursue her own research about our changing landscape. Tessa will begin a PhD in the lab in summer 2018. In her dissertation research, Tessa will study how extended drought and disturbances will affect Great Basin forests across climate gradients. This includes determining functional traits in woody plant species that are resistant to climate change and identifying at-risk ecosystems.




Matthew Terzes, M.S. Student (Cal Poly, 2016 – present)

Matt  is focusing on ecological and microclimatic conditions that drive disease, mortality, and regeneration throughout Pinus radiata populations. In his thesis work, Matt is assessing the interactions between local insect communities and pine pitch cancer (Fusarium circinatum) on mortality in P. radiata stands . One of his favorite aspects of ecological research is the fact that every day in the field provides new observations and opportunities to learn. Matt received his BS in Forestry and Natural Resources from Cal Poly San Luis Obispo in Spring 2015 and worked as a technician in the lab through Summer 2016.


Coralee Ditman, Undergraduate Research Technician

Coralee is a graduating senior from UNR with a BS in Forest and Management and Ecology and a minor in Rangeland Ecology and Management. She worked as a conservation technician for the Walker Basin Conservancy focusing on rangeland restoration in the Walker River Basin of Nevada. She has worked in Dr. Beth Leger’s lab doing native seed conditioning and also helped develop a native seed bank for Great Basin scrublands. She is currently working in Dr. Bisbing’s lab focusing on seed viability of various serotinous cone species. Her interests include ecology and restoration of native ecosystems. She enjoys anything and everything that deals with the great outdoors including skiing, fishing, horseback riding and hiking.

IMG_5276Dawkins the Dog, Lab Mascot

Dawkins the Dog is an active participant in all field studies and takes his responsibilities as poison oak vector, fitness trainer, and lover of all things very seriously. He adores his students and is up for any and all adventures. He serves as Dr. B’s sidekick in field labs and is her best excuse for outdoor adventures. Dawkins loves baby trees, Rancho Marino Reserve, and being chased. He also prefers cool weather and forested ecosystems, just like his momma.




Katherine Benedict, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2015-2017).

Matthew Brousil, M.S. Student (Cal Poly, 2014-2016). For his MS work, Matt studied the above- and belowground consequences of compounding fire disturbances on the composition and structure of Sequoia sempervirens stands. Matt is currently working as a Research Assistant in the Crowder Entomology Lab at Washington State University.

Adrian Driver, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2016-2017)

Kevin Hurt, Undergraduate  & Post-Graduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2014-2016). Kevin established our Monterey pine (Pinus radiata) study in Cambria and took lead on data organization and processing of long-term Monterey pine datasets. Kevin is currently working as a Staff Forester for Big Creek Lumber in Santa Cruz, CA.

Devon Jackson, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2015-2017).

Danny McQuillan, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2013-2014).

Jake Miller, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2016-2017). For his senior thesis, Jake installed a series of permanent plots on a bishop pine forest treated using prescribed fire to track regeneration and stand dynamics over time.

Kara Neal, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2015-2017). Kara utilized Matt Brousil’s soil samples and coast redwood dataset to quantify soil charcoal accumulation under single and compounding fire disturbance.

Tori Norville, M.S. Student (Cal Poly (2015-2017). Tori explored the effects of silvicultural treatment and Pine Pitch Canker infection on Monterey Pine seedling survival  in the Ano Nuevo Native stand near Santa Cruz, CA. Tori is now a Forester for Cal Fire in Fort Bragg, CA.

Emily O’Dean, M.S. Student (Cal Poly, 2015-2017). Emily used the Abies concolor-Abies magnifica ecotone to quantify seedling response to long-term changes in regional climate conditions through comparison of current ecotone stability with a historical dataset and to quantify the tolerances of these species to climate in their establishment phase by subjecting seedlings to future climate scenarios.  Emily is currently working as a Research Technician in the Stephens Lab at UC Berkeley.

Alicia Streetman, Undergraduate Research Technician (Cal Poly, 2016-2017). For her senior project, Alicia quantified bishop pine cone crops, seed viability, and seed storage capacity following time since prescribed fire.

Marissa Vossmer, M.S. Student (Cal Poly, 2015-2017). Marissa used long-term, permanent plots to quantify seedling survival and assess competition between understory shrubs and seedlings in western Sierra Nevada forests.  Marissa is a Crew Lead in the Greenberg Remote Sensing Lab at UNR.

Colin Wong, Undergraduate Technician (Cal Poly, 2015-2017). For his senior thesis, Colin investigated climatic and biotic influence on growth rates of Abies concolor and Abies magnifica (white and red fir) using dendrochronology and climate modeling.