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Forest Biology

An image of loblolly pine needles

This research area aims to understand the biological processes that influence how trees grow, and how the physiological mechanisms of trees regulate ecosystem processes.

Main research themes across our faculty include

  • Water, carbon, and nitrogen cycling in forest ecosystems
  • Forest harvest scheduling
  • Landscape planning
  • Resource assessments
  • GIS, GPS, and emerging technologies for forest assessments
  • Forest pests and disturbance ecology

Graduate Degrees in Forest Biology

Tree growth and the development of forest stands are both controlled by a complex suite of biological and physical factors. The primary goal of the Forest Biology program is to generate and maintain healthy, productive forests by studying basic biological processes that influence forest development and function. The interaction of these processes with each other and with the physical environment also are studied by many of our faculty. Areas of specialization within Forest Biology include biotechnology, ecology, genetics, physiology, silviculture and soils. Integration of areas is encouraged.


Forest Biology can be pursued under the MNR, MS, and PhD degree programs. To pursue Forest Biology as an official area of emphasis, the following courses are required for each degree:

MNR Forest Biology requirements

MS Forest Biology requirements

PhD Forest Biology requirements


For general questions about pursuing a graduate degree at Warnell, contact a member of the graduate team:

Dr. Jacek Siry, Graduate Coordinator
Office: 4-501
Phone: 706-542-3060

Kate deDufour, Graduate Program Administrator
Office: 1-217
Phone: 706-542-1183

Shira Hersonsky, Graduate Administrative Assistant
Office: 1-217
Phone: 706-542-1183

Prospective students should also contact faculty members for questions specific to this disciplinary area. Please check faculty members’ personal pages for information about their individual research interests and projects to ensure that you are contacting the most relevant ones.


Forest Herbicides Invasive Plant Management Prescribed Fire Pine and Hardwood Regeneration Forest Restoration Forest Management

Patterns of invasion by non-native insects;  Community ecology;  Insect-plant interactions; Effects of forest disturbances on insects


My scientific interests are directed at quantifying how nutrient and hydrologic cycles control the chemistry of forest soils, drainage waters, and forest productivity. My research focuses on the management of the soil resource in an effort to maximize forest growth and to maintain ecosystem…

Current Research Areas

- Pine tip moth phenology and management

- Environmental effects of pesticide use in forests

- Hemlock woolly adelgid

- Aquatic insects





In vitro propagation of forest trees Somatic embryogenesis in forest trees Biotechnology for restoration of threatened tree species

Interactions among trees, fungal pathogens and insect herbivores; Symbioses between bark beetles and blue-stain fungi;  Secondary metabolism of trees

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