Research Overview

Scientists and support staff at the Center are organized into four teams, each assigned to a broad problem area.

Regeneration and Reproductive Biology Team

CBHR technician examining a Pondberry plant

Dr. Emile Gardiner, Team Leader
Dr. Tracy Hawkins

Of primary concern are studies involving the production and germination of tree seed and the establishment, survival, and growth of seedlings. The team envisions studies that range from the complexities of recalcitrant seed storage and seed chemical composition to environmental factors and silvicultural methods affecting natural and artificial stand regeneration.

Stand Management and Forest Health Team

CBHR scientist Steve Meadows discussing stand management during a technology transfer event

Dr. Theodor Leininger, Team Leader
Dr. Steven Meadows
Dr. Nathan Schiff
Dr. Dan Wilson

Managing and maintaining healthy, productive forests involves a host of values and goals that differ depending upon the use of the land. Some studies may focus on stand and forest pest management practices aimed at producing the best quality and greatest quantity hardwood sawtimber in the shortest time. Other studies may involve lands used primarily for recreation or to produce wildlife benefits with timber production a secondary interest.

Ecology of Aquatic and Terrestrial Fauna Team

CBHR technicians sampling for fish

Dr. Susan Adams, Team Leader
Dr. Melvin Warren, Jr.
Dr. Wendell Haag

This team conducts research on the life histories, community dynamics, and ecological functions of terrestrial and aquatic animals within bottomland hardwood ecosystems. The research is organized within an ecological hierarchy encompassing species communities/assemblages, ecosystems, and landscapes. The effects of forest management are evaluated at each level.

Emphases are:

  • Identifying species-specific life history attributes or strategies that affect resilience of populations
  • Examining patterns of animal community composition and structure in relation to habitat and biological interactions
  • Determining baseline habitat conditions and associated levels of variability in populations, communities, and assemblages of animals along gradients of space and/or time
  • Providing technology transfer of methods for evaluating and maintaining biodiversity in a multiple-resource context

Ecological Processes and Restoration Team

CBHR scientist Dan Marion discussing ecological processes during a technology transfer event

Dr. Theodor Leininger, Team Leader
Dr. Margaret Devall
Dr. Diane De Steven
Dr. Dan Marion
Dr. Ying Ouyang

The team develops methods to restore animal and plant communities and assess how well restored systems compare with target natural systems.

Emphases are:

  • Providing Technology transfer of existing knowledge
  • Developing methods to establish plant communities similar to natural plant communities
  • Developing methods to establish animal communities in aquatic and bottomland hardwood habitats
  • Identifying baseline levels of natural ecosystem functions and values as a yardstick for restoration success