Dr. Melissa S. Lucash
It all started when…
I began my research career studying how elevated carbon dioxide affects leaf morphology and physiology (M.S. in Environmental Science at Oregon State University). While working as a plant physiologist with Dynamac Corporation (US EPA Laboratory- Western Ecology Division in OR), I became interested in understanding belowground processes, which led me to pursue a Ph.D. in root physiology and soils at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry with Dr. Ruth Yanai. I studied nutrient uptake by trees, both in the laboratory and in the field (Calhoun Experimental Forest in SC and Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in NH). After graduation, I worked in Dr. Robert Scheller's lab (formerly at Portland State University) as Research Faculty, learning how to use a spatially-explicit forest simulatin model to project the impacts of climate change on forested landscapes.
Now, as a Research Assistant Professor in the Geography department at Portland State University, most of my research continues to use simulation modeling to project forest dynamics under climate change, but it also focuses on using field data and large spatial datasets to better understand how historical legacies have shaped current forest conditions.