• The Richardson Lab was well-represented at the AGU meeting in San Francisco. Michael, Andrew and Trevor gave talks, and there was a lot of interest in the nonstructural carbohydrates session that Mariah and Andrew organized with Rodrigo Vargas and Claudia Czimczik. Andrew and Mariah were among 250 conference attendees who got up early on Wednesday morning for the annual 5k Fun Run. Cold rain and near-darkness did not dampen their spirits. The meeting was a great opportunity to catch up with old friends from around the world. The photo shows Andrew and Rodrigo with friend (and AGU president) Mike McPhaden.


  • Andrew helped to design an exhibit on wood for display in the Northwest Labs building. The project, which highlights various wooden objects in the HUH collections, was led by Lisa DeCesare (HUH Botany Library). Dave Orwig and Scot Wiinikka (Harvard Forest) provided the beautiful "cookies" that can be seen in the photograph. Andrew's text explains some of the ways in which the Richardson Lab uses wood samples to learn more about forest productivity and health.
  • Chris Still's (OSU) proposal, "Thermal controls on ecosystem metabolism and function: scaling from leaves to canopies to regions" was funded by NSF's Macrosystems Biology program. Andrew is a Co-I on this grant, which will support new measurements with a thermal IR camera mounted on the Barn Tower.
  • Andrew, Thomas Hilker (OSU), Trevor, Michael, and Don Aubrecht (Harvard SEAS) spent two days at the Harvard Forest. We brought down Thomas's AMSPEC system from the top of the barn tower, and installed a set of automated band dendrometers for continuous measurements of stem diameter.
  • Andrew and Michael led a tour of the Harvard Forest for the OEB G1 class, who were at the forest for their annual Fall Retreat. This picture shows Andrew and the students in front of Fisher House.



  • Andrew gave the OEB Departmental Seminar on Halloween. His talk was titled “Impacts of global change on forests, from organisms to ecosystems”
  • We narrowly missed Hurricane Sandy. No major damage was observed at our research sites, although the associated strong winds appear to have brought down almost all of the remaining leaves at Harvard Forest.
  • Michael Bahn visited from Innsbruck, and gave the HUH seminar on his alpine grassland research. Pictured with John Harvard are Michael (Bahn), Trevor, Michael (Toomey), and Julie.
  • We took Michael to the Harvard Forest for a tour, where he also helped Andrew and Michael (Toomey) collect samples for a new nonstructural carbohydrate project. Additionally, Michael visited the Arnold Arboretum while here.


  • The Lab had its annual retreat at the Bartlett Experimental Forest in mid-October. The two-day event featured a forest tour on Friday morning, a workshop session on Friday afternoon (pictured, L to R, are Trevor, Anne, Julie, Steve and Michael), TacoFest on Friday evening, and several intensely competitive games of Capture the Flag on Saturday morning.



    The weather was fantastic, there were no major injuries, and everyone had a great time. The lab group photo shows (L to R) Steve, Dmitri, Julie, Chris, Josh, Trevor, Michael, Eli and Anne.



  • Andrew's paper on nonstructural carbohydrate reserves in forest trees in New England, which describes 5 years of work on this topic, and which merges long-term data on seasonal dynamics, radiocarbon measurements of carbohydrate ages, and sophisticated inverse modeling, was accepted for publication in New Phytologist. Trevor and Mariah are coauthors on the paper.
  • Koen Hufkens (former BU postdoc and close collaborator) was back in town for a visit — it was great to catch up!
  • Trevor traveled to Woods Hole to attend the FORECAST conference, organized by Yiqi Luo's group in Oklahoma, and sponsored by NSF's RCN program. He presented his 'Rate my data' project, which will be appearing in print soon in Ecological Applications.



  • Michael delivered the HUH seminar, presenting his work on phenology and CO2 fluxes based on analysis of PhenoCam and eddy covariance data.
  • The annual PhenoCam project meeting was held in Cambridge. After a day-long session discussing recent progress and plans for the coming year (Andrew volunteered to take the lead on designing a project T-shirt), the team enjoyed refreshments at the Thirsty Scholar. Shown left to right are Josh Gray (BU), Cecilia Olsson (visiting from Lund, Sweden), Chris Round (Harvard), Eli Melaas (BU), Michael, Steve, Austin Abrams (WUSTL), Robert Pless (WUSTL), Steve Frolking (UNH), and Tom Milliman (UNH).
  • Andrew and Michael attended the Phenology 2012 conference in Milwaukee. Andrew talked about forecasting shifts in autumn phenology driven by climate change, while Michael presented his work on the seasonality of PhenoCam-derived greenness in relation to canopy-level photosynthesis. Michael also attended the 2nd International Workshop on the Validation of Satellite-based Land Surface Phenology Products.
  • Andrew's invited review paper, "Climate change, phenology, and phenological control of vegetation feedbacks to the climate system," was accepted for publication in Agricultural and Forest Meteorology. Trevor, Mirco, Oliver, Youngryel and Michael are co-authors on this work.
  • Andrew started teaching a new class, OEB 210: Writing Scientific Papers.
  • Anika Petach (Harvard College '13) joined the lab - she will be working on a thesis project to develop methods for calculating NDVI-style indices using visible and near infrared imagery from the PhenoCam network.
  • Mark Friedl is now in residence at the HUH as a Harvard Forest Bullard Fellow. Mark delivered the first HUH seminar of the year, "Seeing the Forest for the Trees: Observing and Modeling Phenology Across Multiple Scales".
  • Anne Kakouridis joined the lab as a G1 - welcome, Anne!
  • Trevor is in Cambridge, England, for a month to work with Mat Smith and colleagues at Microsoft Research, working on developing their global carbon cycle model.


  • Andrew visited NEON's offices in Boulder to discuss camera protocols and opportunities for NEON-PhenoCam collaborations
  • Trevor's paper "Rate my data: quantifying the value of ecological data for the development of models of the terrestrial carbon cycle" was accepted for publication in the journal Ecological Applications.
  • Thanks to this years fantastic REU students, who finished their projects at Harvard Forest and returned home after a great summer research experience. Read their blog about the summer here.


  • Trevor, Min, Steve and Andrew attended the 49th Annual Cooperators Meeting of the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. The weather in the White Mountains was perfect (great swimming in Mirror Lake!), and we also worked in a side-trip to the Bartlett flux tower for a tour and some maintenance work with Bob Evans from the Forest Service in Durham.
  • Andrew and Mariah visited the ancient bristlecone pines (Pinus longaeva) growing at high elevation in California's White Mountains. The picture, taken at 11,500 ft, shows Andrew in front of the Patriarch Tree, the world's largest-known individual of this amazing species.
  • Trevor attended the Gordon Conference on Biogenic Hydrocarbons and the Atmosphere and gave a talk on using data-mining and model-data fusion to uncover patterns in Isoprene fluxes between forest canopies and the atmosphere.


  • Using model-data fusion techniques, Trevor showed that circadian controls of global Isoprene emissions may not be as strong as previously suggested. Read the article in Nature Geoscience here
  • The NSF LTER proposal ("HFR LTER V: New Science, Synthesis, Scholarship, and Strategic Vision for Society") led by PI David Foster, on which Andrew is a Co-PI, was recommended for funding. This grant will provide six years of support for the Long-Term Ecological Research program at Harvard Forest.
  • The NSF FSML proposal ("FSML: Walk-up towers for research, education, communication, and outreach at the Harvard Forest") led by PI Aaron Ellison, on which Andrew is a Co-PI, was recommended for funding. The grant will support the construction of two new walk-up canopy access towers, each of which will be instrumented with a variety of meteorological and radiometric sensors.
  • Andrew's proposal to DOE ("Improving models to predict phenological responses to global change"), was recommended for funding. The grant will support installation of a dozen PhenoCams at the SPRUCE climate change experiment in northern Minnesota, and modeling analyses that use data derived from the camera imagery.
  • Koen, Min and Andrew attended the NEON groundbreaking ceremony at Harvard Forest
  • Steve and Michael attended Erle Ellis's (UMBC) "Ecosysnth" workshop in Baltimore. The Ecosynth project uses digital cameras mounted on UAVs to record information with which three-dimensional maps characterizing vegetation structure can be generated.
  • Andrew attended a tour of Harvard Forest, led by David Foster, with President Faust
  • Trevor and Andrew attended a meeting of the NOAA Climate Program Office's "Atmospheric Chemistry, Carbon Cycle, and Climate Working Group" in Boston and Andrew did a presentation on "Ecosystem responses to climate change"
  • Koen was back in town for a visit and joined our monthly NSF MSB "PhenoClub" meeting, after which we all went out to dinner at Casa Portugal in Inman Square
  • Min Lee (Harvard College 2014) joined the lab as a HUCE summer research intern. Min will work with Trevor on modeling and analysis of CO2 flux data from some of our research sites in the northeastern US.
  • Trevor, Julie, Min and Andrew traveled north to the Howland Forest to install the new Picarro fast-response CO2/CH4/H2O analyzer. It was the first visit to the site for Min and Julie. In addition to experiencing the legendary Howland mosquitoes, they had the opportunity to meet some of our other collaborators: shown in the first photo are (L to R) Bob Evans (USDA FS), Min, Trevor, Julie, John Lee (U Maine), Holly Hughes (WHRC), and Dave Hollinger (USDA FS). In the second photo, Dave is seen showing off his vacuum line, which will be used to trap soil-respired CO2 for radiocarbon analyses, to Trevor. Our work at Howland is supported by DOE's TES program.
  • Trevor and Michael took visitor Sebastian Wolf (a Marie Curie fellow and Berkeley postdoc, in town for the AMS meeting) on a three-day death march through the Pemigewasset Wilderness Area in the White Mountains


  • Trevor, Michael and Steve presented work at the AMS conference on Agricultural and Forest Meteorology, which was held in Boston. It was great to catch up with friends and colleagues at the conference. Trevor coordinated a team meeting to discuss some exciting preliminary results of our NOAA-sponsored project on long term trends in CO2 uptake at AmeriFlux sites in the northeastern US.
  • Andrew and Steve joined Eli, Mark, and new BU postdoc Josh Gray for the REU Kick-Off at Harvard Forest to welcome the new crew. Pictured (left to right) are Steve, Dmitri Ilushin (Harvard), Hannah Skolnick (Columbia), Erin Frick (Mt Holyoke), Jose Luis Rugelio (Lincoln), Josh, Sascha Perry (Lincoln), Mark, and Eli. Everyone is looking forward to a great summer in Petersham!
  • Andrew and incoming PhD student Anne Kakouridis traveled to northern Minnesota to tour the future SPRUCE climate change experiment, to be conducted at the Marcell Experimental Forest, with hosts Paul Hanson (ORNL) and Stephen Sebestyen (USDA FS).
  • Andrew made a pilgrimage to Sequoia-Kings Canyon National Park to view General Sherman, a giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) and the world's biggest (in terms of volume) known tree
  • Michael attended a NSF-funded Research Coordination Network workshop hosted by the USA National Phenology Network in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
  • Michael started using the six-channel Tetracam MCA for spectral imaging of the Harvard Forest canopy. Michael's imagery will be used to track the decline of the hemlock stand as the hemlock woolly adelgid (HWA) infestation continues to develop, and to monitor the development and senescence of the deciduous canopy surrounding the Barn Tower.
  • Oliver returned to Cambridge for a visit in early May. During the visit, Trevor, Andrew and Oliver worked together on analyses of data collected by 2011 REUs Bridget Darby and Libby Felts.
  • Mirco's paper on uncertainties in phenological modeling, and the influence of phenological uncertainty on forecasts of climate change impacts on the carbon cycle, was accepted for publication in Biogeosciences!


  • Andrew and Mariah attended the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna. Andrew presented work on the age and seasonal dynamics of carbohydrate reserves in temperate trees.
  • We installed a prototype 6-channel imaging sensor on the Barn Tower.
  • Trevor and Michael climbed the Harvard Forest Barn tower to prepare it for the spring season.
  • Julie Shoemaker (PhD, Harvard OEB) joined the lab as a part-time postdoc to work on analysis of the CH4 flux measurements from Howland Forest.


  • Anne Kakouridis (University of Utah) was admitted to the OEB PhD program and will be joining the Richardson lab in September
  • Thomas Hilker visited from NASA, and he and Andrew spent a weekend at the Harvard Forest re-installing the AMSPEC instrument for this year's growing season. The weather was unseasonably warm and some trees were already beginning to flower in mid-March
  • Andrew and Michael attended the NSF Macrosystems Biology meeting in Boulder, CO
  • Koen's paper on the unusual spring weather in 2010, "Ecological impacts of a widespread frost event following early spring leaf-out" was accepted for publication in Global Change Biology
  • Trevor had two papers accepted for publication in Global Change Biology: "Using model-data fusion to interpret past trends, and quantify uncertainties in future projections, of terrestrial ecosystem carbon cycling" and "Terrestrial biosphere model performance for inter-annual variability of land-atmosphere CO2 exchange"
  • Steve and Libby shipped out over a dozen cameras to new PhenoCam network collaborators
  • Andrew met with the freshman seminar class at Harvard Forest and gave a talk on phenology and climate change


  • We had various trips to the Bartlett field site for maintenance and battery charging (and some Nordic skiing). The weather was generally mild and the snow was unusually thin.


  • In January, Steve attended a course on the Fundamentals of Ecosystem Ecology, led by the scientists of The Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. He learned about the history and diversity of ecosystem studies, nutrient cycling in terrestrial and aquatic systems, and the energetics of primary and secondary production. Steve hopes to use this knowledge to provide context to his research on the phenology of terrestrial ecosystems.