New faculty: Ben Poulter, Ecology, MSU

Ben Poulter arrived at MSU-Bozeman in January as an assistant professor in the Department of Ecology.Through his Ecosystem Dynamics Lab, Poulter is investigating the role of climate and humans on terrestrial ecosystems, which play a critical role in the earth system by mitigating climate change, providing habitat for biodiversity, and resources, such as food, fiber and water for humans. His strategies include vegetation models, remote sensing, forest inventory and physiological measurements.

Poulter earned his PhD at Duke University, then carried out post-doctoral research at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (2006-2009), the Swiss Federal Research Institute for Snow, Forest and Landscape Research WSL (2009-2011), and the Laboratoire des Sciences du Climat et l’Environnement (2011-2013).

His research addresses the role of vegetation dynamics on earth system processes, i.e., carbon and nutrient cycling and climate feedbacks. He works with an ensemble of ecosystem models known as dynamic global vegetation models, or DGVMs, to explore hypotheses related to climate, disturbance, and land-cover change impacts on vegetation. DGVM models provide a useful approach to combine information from forest inventory, flux towers, and remote sensing, with ecological theory, to test predictions at multiple timescales in the past, present, and future.

Poulter is engaged in several multi-model syntheses exercises (MsTMIP, TRENDY, WETCHIMP, LBA) and contributed to the recent Fifth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change Working Group I “Chapter 6: Carbon and other biogeochemical cycles”.



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