News

February 2020

Dr. Alexander is Keynote Speaker at Pennsylvania Prescribed Fire Council Meeting
Dr. Alexander traveled to Gettysburg, PA as an invited keynote speaker to present findings on oak and mesophyte tree traits that act to promote or suppress forest flammability and the role of fire restoration efforts in fostering oak regeneration. She enjoyed meeting fire practioners and learning more about the incredible prescribed fire management currently being conducted in Pennsylvania!

January 2020

Former M.S. Student's Research Published
Emily Babl's M.S. thesis research was recently published in Forest Ecology and Management. Her research explored how different canopy, bark, and leaf litter traits of upland oaks differ from co-occurring non-oak trees and whether or not these traits are linked to forest flammability. Congratulations Emily!

December 2019

Lab Members attend AGU in San Francisco
Dr. Alexander and Dr. Paulson presented findings from their Siberia research at the annual American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco, CA. They also chaired a poster and oral session along with colleagues Dr. Jennie DeMarco (Western Colorado University) and Dr. Becky Hewitt (Northern Arizona University) entitled "Causes and Consequences of Changing Disturbance Regimes in Boreal Forests Across the Globe." The sessions went really well!

AGUDr. Paulson (left) and Dr. DeMarco (right) at their posters


November 2019

Undergraduate Researcher Wins Prize at SAF Meeting
Rachel Nation, Undergraduate Research Scholar and member of the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab, presented her research entitled "Impacts of Increasing Fuel Loads on Acorn Germination and Early Oak Seedling Establishment" at the annual Society of American Foresters meeting in Louisville, KY. She won 2nd Place in the Forest Science and Technology Board Poster Competition. Way to go, Rachel!

RachelSAFRachel (right) and her award-winning poster


October 2019

Drs. Alexander and Paulson Head to Florida for Collaborative Workshop
Dr. Alexander and Dr. Paulson participated in the Teacher and Arctic Scientists Collaborative (TASC) workshop at the University of Florida Whitney Lab in mid-October 2019. During the 3-day workshop, scientists worked with middle and high school teachers to develop lessons plans related to climate warming and fire in boreal forests. This workshop was organized by Dr. Jennie DeMarco at Western Colorado University and hosted by team FLARE as part of our interdisciplinary NSF research project looking at climate-fire-vegetation feedbacks in the Siberian Arctic. Canoeing the back marshes was one way to get the group to bond!

Workshop

September 2019

Mississippi Forest Ecologists Take Field Trip
Members of the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab (Dr. Alexander and Caleb Goldsmith) met up with Dr. Stever Brewer and his grad student Griffin Williams from Ole Miss, Eric Bridges from Overton Park, and Dr. Steve Grado from MSU Forestry to visit field sites at Strawberry Plains, Spirit Hill Farm, and Overton Park. We're all super interested in upland oak regeneration across a variety of sites and very proud of our collaborations across school rivalries!

Field TripThanks, Dr. Grado, for taking these awesome photos!


August 2019

Lab Attends ESA Meeting in Louisville
Members of the Forest and Fire Ecology lab joined other faculty and graduate students from Mississippi State University's Department of Forestry at the annual Ecological Society of American meeting in Louisville, KY in August 2019. Dr. Alexander and lab members Dr. Ali Paulson and Jennifer McDaniel all gave oral presentations on their research.

ESAFrom left to right: Thu Ya Kyaw, Caleb Goldsmith, Jennifer McDaniel, Dr. Alexander, Will Kruckeburg, Dr. Siegert, Dr. Renninger, and Dr. Paulson


July 2019

Lab Members Attend Fire in Eastern Oak Forests Conference
Dr. Alexander reunited with her PhD Advisor, Dr. Mary Arthur, and former labmate, Stephanie Green, at the Fire in Eastern Oak Forests conference in State College, PA during July 2019. There was a great field tour as part of the conference, and it was really fun to see all the cool management being implemented by the PA Fish and Game Commission.

FEOFFrom left to right: Dr. Mary Arthur, Dr. Alexander, and Stephanie Green


June 2019

Fire Ecology Lab Returns to Siberia
Dr. Alexander and Dr. Paulson joined the rest of team FLARE in Russia this summer. We set up several new experiments to assess animal predation on larch seeds, larch dispersal distances, and larch germination in response to fire severity. The team had a great adventure as usual!

Siberia 2019

January 2019

Lab Conducts Winter Burns to Investigate Regeneration Effects
The Forest and Fire Ecology Lab recently conducted small winter prescribed fires at Spirit Hill Farm as part of a newly established experiment investigating effects of fire timing and seed predation on tree establishment. Both white and Shumard oak acorns were placed in fenced and unfenced plots and will receive different fire treatments throughout the year.


November 2018

Experiment Establishment at Spirit Hill Farm
The Forest and Fire Ecology Lab was joined by new MSU professor Dr. Josh Granger for fall field work at our site in North Mississippi! Lab members helped grad student Jennifer McDaniel retrieve her leaflitter decomposition bags and helped set up a new fire/predator seed project at Spirit Hill Farm


October 2018

Dr. Alexander Presents at Fire and Forest Management Workshop
Dr. Alexander presented her work on forest and fire management effects on regional forest communities at the annual Fire and Forest Management workshop at Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest in Kentucky during October 2018. After the talk, the group visited research sites testing fire impacts on oaks within Bernheim forest.


March 2018

Check Out CFR's New Video!
Dr. Alexander and M.S. student Jennifer McDaniel join host Dr. Burger for Renew, the show about Mississippi State University's College of Forest Resources


March 2018

Starting a New Field Season with a Sizzle!
We Successfully Conducted Our Spring Prescribed Fire at Spirit Hill Farm. Over Spring Break 2018, the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab worked with Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Parks and Dr. Lashley in the MSU WFA Department to conduct spring burns in our large-scale experiment evaluating burn season and deer herbivory impacts on upland oak forest dynamics at Spirit Hill Farm.

Spring Burn

December 2017

Rewilding megafauna in the Siberian Arctic to mitigate climate-Guest Lecture
The Department of Forestry and Department of Wildlife, Fisheries, and Aquaculture co-hosted visiting speaker, Nikita Zimov, Director of Pleistocene Park, on December 8th in Thompson Hall’s Tully Auditorium. This seminar described Nikita’s work rewilding mega-herbivores in the Siberian Arctic to mitigate climate change.

View Event Flyer


November 2017

Dr. Alexander Awarded CFR 2017 Research Award and Early Career Achievement Award
At the Annual Awards Banquet on November 9, the College of Forest Resources awarded Dr. Alexander the 2017 Research Award for her outstanding contributions, dedication, and performance and the 2017 Early Career Achievement Award for outstanding performance.


October 2017

Lab Attends Oak Symposium in Knoxville, TN
Members of the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab presented research at the Sustaining Oak Forests in the 21st Century through Science-based Management Symposium in Knoxville, TN on October 24-26. Research posters were presented by CFR Undergraduate Research Scholar, Evie Von Boeckman and Graduate Students, Brian Izbicki and Emily Babl.

Oak Symposium

July 2017

Lab Conducts Field Research in Siberia
Several members of the Forest and Fire Ecology Lab spent 4 weeks this summer at the Northeast Science Station in Cherskiy, Russia. The team measured carbon pools across stands that burned at different severity 75 years ago, quantified cone and seed production of larch trees as function of stand density and age, and assessed larch tree recruitment following fire.

Small Screw

Graduate students Eric Borth (University of Dayton), Brian Izbicki (Miss State), and Emily Babl (Miss State) measuring larch recruitment in a recently burned stand. Credit: Heather Alexander

Crew Orbita

The team just before leaving the station. Left to right: Brian Izbicki (Miss State), Emily Babl (Miss State), Homero Pena (Miss State), Eric Borth (University of Dayton), and Heather Alexander (Miss State)