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About Melissa S. Lucash

My research interests center around improving our understanding of feedbacks between above- and belowground processes. I began my research career studying climate change impacts on leaf 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 more aware of the importance of understanding belowground processes. This led me to pursue a Ph.D. in root physiology and soils at the SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry. 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 turned my attention to biogeochemistry, studying nutrient cycling of foliage and soils in the northeastern U.S.

After many years of empirical work, I have now shifted to modeling, which in many ways feels like the culmination of all my years of studying leaves, roots and soil. In my work here at PSU, I focus primarily on studying the impacts of climate change, disturbances and forest management on forests. Most of my time is spent working on a project which aims to better integrate climate change results into forest management planning in northern MN. I recently completed a study on how climate change, fire and gypsy moths may affect C and N cycling of vegetation and soils in the NJ Pine Barrens. Lastly, I am a model developer of LANDIS-II, Century extension, charged with improving the successional, carbon and nitrogen dynamics of vegetation and soils in the model.

Positions

July 2017 - Present Research Assistant Professor, Portland State University Geography
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July 2017 Research Faculty, Portland State University Environmental Science and Management
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Curriculum Vitae




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