• Morgan was awarded a Sigma Xi Grant-in-Aid of Research for her work at the SPRUCE site in Minnesota. Congrats, Morgan!
  • Just before the holidays, Morgan and Meghan spent a week in Switzerland at the International Course on Woody Anatomy and Tree-Ring Ecology, organized by Holger Gärtner, Fritz H. Schweingruber and Alan Crivellaro of the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL.
  • Andrew has been identified as a Highly Cited Researcher in both Agricultural Sciences and Environment/Ecology according to the 2015 lists just released by ISI/Thomson Reuters.
  • Koen, Andrew, Mariah and Alatna attended the AGU meeting in San Francisco. Koen had a talk on his grassland work and a poster on the Jungle Rhythms project. Andrew gave a talk on PhenoCam and Mariah presented Howland work. Alatna enjoyed meeting lots of people, and riding the vintage carousel in front of the Moscone South conference hall. A good time was had by all! It was nice to see former members of the lab at the meeting, including postdocs Trevor Keenan, Youngryel Ryu, Min Chen, and Oliver Sonnentag; visiting PhD student Andreas Westergaard-Nielsen; and REU Adam Young (now a 5th year PhD student at the University of Idaho).
  • Andrew visited the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, in Hilo, Hawaii and gave a short talk on the PhenoCam project. Then Andrew visited the Nahuku forest, in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park, with PhenoCam collaborators Tomoaki Miura and Ryan Mudd from the University of Hawaii. The forest (left) is dominated by ʻŌhi’a (Metrosideros polymorpha) trees and various tree ferns, and is extremely lush in comparison to the nearby volcanic landscape (right; the fuming vent in Halema`uma`u crater).
  • Koen’s paper on projected future changes in grassland productivity has been accepted for publication in Nature Climate Change. Congratulations, Koen!
  • Koen’s crowdsourcing project, Jungle Rhythms, has launched! An article in the Harvard Gazette describes the project and its significance.
  • Season Spotter was spotlighted by the citizen science aggregator site SciStarter.
  • Koen finished field sampling of evergreen tree species at Harvard Forest. The objective of this project is to quantify seasonal variation in leaf-level physiological traits, and to relate this to changes in evergreen “greenness” from PhenoCam imagery.
  • Morgan and Meghan went back out to Harvard Forest to finish the sampling for radiocarbon analyses that Don and Morgan started after Thanksgiving. They collected branch samples from the same four tree species. A highlight of this trip was getting to drive Bucky down Rt. 32!
  • Morgan visited the SPRUCE site in northern Minnesota to conduct the first winter field sampling for one component of her dissertation project, which investigates how elevated temperature and CO2 affect NSC storage. While there was some snow on the ground, the weather was unseasonably warm.


  • After Thanksgiving weekend, Morgan and Don headed to Harvard Forest bright and early for some follow-up NSC sampling in the Prospect Hill tract. They collected over 200 samples from the roots and stems of 4 tree species. Radiocarbon analyses on these samples will allow us to estimate the mean age of NSC stored in woody tissues, and how this varies within the tree and among species. This work is sponsored by DOE and NSF.
  • Happy Thanksgiving!
  • Eric Davidson and Debjani Sihi (University of Maryland), Kathleen Savage (Woods Hole), Dave Hollinger (USDA Forest Service), and former postdocs Min Chen (now at the Carnegie Institution) and Julie Shoemaker (now at Lesley University) visited the lab for a one-day meeting on modeling below-ground processes at Howland Forest. We made good progress towards our main objective of incorporating the key equations from Eric’s DAMM model into FöBAAR. And, everyone enjoyed the buffet lunch at the Maharaja in Winthrop Square!
  • Andrew was interviewed for a Discovery News article on autumn colors and climate change.
  • We had lab happy hour in HUH 422. In addition to celebratory libations, this month featured a cheese tasting. A highlight was the “Harbison” from Jasper Hill Farm, a small Vermont creamery. Harbison is unusual in that the cheese is wrapped in spruce cambium before cellar aging. It is delicious!
  • As part of his tenure review, Andrew presented an overview of the lab’s research, with a special emphasis on the group’s work on nonstructural carbon reserves in forest trees, in the OEB Departmental Seminar.
  • Margaret put together a poster on Season Spotter with NEON colleagues that was presented at the National Association of Biology Teachers annual conference in Providence, RI.
  • Meghan organized a poster for the Life Sciences Undergraduate Research Fair.
  • Andrew did a two-part podcast on autumn phenology, and what we are learning from the PhenoCam network, with NSF journalist Charlie Heck. The podcast is posted online (click here for part 1 or part 2).


  • Happy Halloween!
  • Invited by Franco Biondi, a Bullard Fellow at Harvard Forest last year, Andrew visited the University of Nevada, Reno, and gave a seminar in the Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology (EECB) Graduate Program Seminar Series.
  • Koen gave a seminar in the Ecology, Evolution & Environment (EEE) seminar series at the University of Sheffield on past and current PhenoCam research.
  • Margaret was interviewed about Season Spotter by John Latimer on his Phenology radio show out of KAXE in northern Minnesota.
  • Jonathan Thompson (Harvard Forest) visited and gave the HUH seminar. Afterwards, we went out for the usual lab lunch at Café Sushi.
  • Bijan Seyednasrollah visited from Jim Clark’s lab at Duke. He gave a presentation on his work in our weekly lab meeting, and made a trip to Harvard Forest with Steve.
  • Morgan was awarded funding by the NSF GROW program, the Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, and the University of Utah’s Inter-university Training for Continental-scale Ecology program to conduct research in Australia. Under the mentorship of Elise Pendall and Mark Tjoelker, she will look at the dynamics of nonstructural carbohydrates in eucalypts exposed to warming in a whole tree chamber experiment. Congratulations, Morgan!
  • We had Lab Happy Hour at the Bukowski Tavern with the Wolkoviches.
  • Claire received funding from HCRP to support her senior thesis research. Congratulations, Claire!
  • Don made a trip to Harvard Forest for some camera cleaning. The images from the BBC Phenocams had a few smudges appearing, so the lenses and housings were polished and buffed just in time for the brilliant fall colors to appear.
  • Andrew was a keynote speaker at the Phenology 2015 conference in Kusadasi. The meeting was organized by Frank-M. Chmielewski (Humboldt-University Berlin) and Osman Erekul (Adnan Menders University Aydin).


  • Don’t miss out — order your very own Richardson Lab 2015 Opinel Knife!
  • We had Lab Happy hour at the Bukowski.
  • Andrew is co-teaching OEB 10, Foundations of Biological Diversity, and with teaching fellow Ambika Kamath is teaching OEB 210, Writing Scientific Papers.
  • What happened to Summer? Already, it’s the start of another academic year! Welcome back to Cambridge!


  • Andrew participated in a phenology workshop at the LTER All-Scientists Meeting in Estes Park, Colorado. He gave a brief overview of the potential for using phenocams to monitor phenology in a variety of different ecosystem types.
  • Andrew and Don went to Colorado for some fieldwork. They installed a new thermal imaging camera, as well as various supporting instruments, on the Niwot Ridge AmeriFlux tower. Other than a short hailstorm, the weather was perfect, and Don and Andrew had an enjoyable three days of “office work” at 10,500 feet. This project is part of a developing collaboration with Dave Bowling (University of Utah) and Brent Helliker (U Penn). Thanks to Sean Burns for help with logistics!
  • Meghan had a busy summer beginning work on her PhD project and helping others with their fieldwork. She started the summer by learning about plant propagation with Jack and Tiffany at the Arnold Arboretum. She went to Corvallis, Oregon at the end of August to collect branch samples for an NSC project from a DOE common garden of Populus trichocarpa (black cottonwood). The trip was a great success, despite record high temperatures over 100 °F both days, thanks to Dave and Lee from Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Meghan also spent time at Harvard Forest collecting samples with Morgan and making gas exchange measurements with Graham.
  • Work by the lab at Harvard Forest, and a photograph by Bob O’Connor of Andrew and Meghan on the Harvard Forest Barn Tower, was featured in an article in Audubon magazine.
  • Margaret and Steve attended the 100th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America in Baltimore. Margaret organized a well-attended Ignite session on scaling in ecology, which was moderated by Steve. Margaret gave a talk on scaling phenology in that same session, and presented a poster on Season Spotter. Steve’s talk, “Bridging the organism and landscape scales of deciduous forest phenology using an unmanned aerial vehicle, PhenoCam, and remote sensing”, won the Billings Award for best oral presentation by a student in physiological ecology.
  • Andrew and Morgan traveled to northern Minnesota to conduct work at the DOE-funded SPRUCE project. SPRUCE uses large chambers, about 30 feet wide and 25 feet high, to expose intact patches of boreal forest – a mix of black spruce and larch trees, as well as shrubs like Labdrador tea and leatherleaf, and sphagnum moss – to environmental conditions that might exist in about 50 years. The chambers are being subjected to a range of warming levels, with the air temperature inside some chambers raised to as much as 9°C (about 16°F) above ambient conditions. And, in half the chambers, the level of carbon dioxide is being raised to about more than double the current level that is in the atmosphere. The SPRUCE experiment was recently highlighted in an article in Nature. Morgan collected samples from each chamber to determine how elevated temperature and CO2 affect NSC storage. Andrew and Morgan also installed a digital camera in each chamber; images are being streamed back to the PhenoCam web page, and over the 10-year course of the project we expect to record more than] a million images. The images will serve as a permanent record of the experiment, but will also allow us to track the phenological response to different experimental treatments. Thanks to John Latimer for help with the installation!
  • Andrew, Koen and Eli attended the NSF Macrosystems Biology PI meeting in DC. Andrew gave a talk on the outreach and education efforts we are pursuing through the PhenoCam project, with an emphasis on Season Spotter.


  • Claire completed her senior thesis fieldwork on Mt. Moosilauke, in the White Mountains of New Hampshire. She collected samples from paper birch (Betula papyrifera) and balsam fir (Abies balsamea) trees from near treeline. While collecting samples, she attracted the attention of many hikers, one of which commented on the “selfie-stick” (pole pruner) she was carrying. She took stem and branch samples for non-structural carbohydrate analysis and dendrochronology cores. During the fall semester she will continue her non-structural carbohydrate analysis while enrolled in OEB99r (supervised research).
  • We said farewell to Min, who has been a postdoc with the lab for over two years. Min is moving to California to be with his family. He will also be starting a position as a researcher at the Carnegie Institution, working with Greg Asner and Ken Caldeira. We had a delicious farewell lunch for Min at the Dumpling House.
  • The proposal by Margaret and Andrew, “EAGER-NEON: Scaling up terrestrial plant phenology from individuals to Continental scale,” has been awarded funding by NSF. Margaret will use hierarchical models to integrate ground observations from NEON, PhenoCam data, and remote sensing to link phenology across scales.
  • Don went to the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest, near Blue River, Oregon, for a thermal imaging project meeting with Chris Still (OSU), Mike Goulden (UC Irvine), Brent Helliker (U Penn) and others. Don reports: “We had a good couple of days of scientific discussion, exploration of the forest, and good food on the grill. It was hot and very un-Oregon-like!”
  • Margaret launched the citizen science phenology project Season Spotter (http://seasonspotter.org/). The project was built in collaboration with Sandra Henderson and Rebecca Cheng at NEON and the citizen science platform Zooniverse. Season Spotter asks volunteers to answer questions about PhenoCam images, such as whether trees and shrubs are in bloom and whether grassland seedheads are visible. Read about it in the Harvard Gazette and Scientific American. Congratulations, Margaret!
  • A photograph of Andrew, getting ready to go up in the canopy in Bucky, with 2014 Harvard Forest REUs Ivone Trujillo and Sidni Frederick was featured in a Bioscience article on “The Science of Team Science.”
  • Andrew traveled to Beijing, China, to participate in the FLUXNET Synthesis Workshop, “Mining FLUXNET and other carbon data sources to inform Earth system models.” Andrew gave a presentation on phenological control of biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks. The meeting was a great opportunity to meet many young Chinese scientists. Andrew also enjoyed the chance to catch up with friends including Trevor Keenan (former lab postdoc, now at Macquarie University; the photo shows Andrew and Trevor in one of the sessions), Dario Papale (University of Tuscia), Paul Stoy (University of Montana), and Martin Jung (Max Planck Institute).
  • Don and Andrew attended the Hubbard Brook LTER Annual Meeting. Andrew gave a presentation on modeling phenological response to climate change in the Committee of Scientists meeting. Former Harvard Forest REU Lily Trujillo (summer 2014) is working on the Ice Storm Experiment project at Hubbard Brook this summer. The first photo shows Lily with her equipment to measure soil respiration, while the second photo shows Don, Lily and Andrew during the meeting.
  • Andrew was invited to attend “Science Night” at Bartlett Experimental Forest with the summer field crew from SUNY-ESF. After a great dinner, Andrew took the students out into the woods for a tour of the tower.


  • We had an end-of-year Lab Happy Hour on the patio at Atwood’s Tavern. The weather was beautiful and the beverages were tasty.
  • Steve completed spring field work at Harvard Forest including aerial photography, phenology surveys, and upward photography.
  • Margaret attended the national ComSciCon workshop as an invited panelist. ComSciCon is series of workshops for graduate students focused on the communication of science. This year’s event received nearly 1,000 applications from across the U.S. for 50 spots. Margaret was a panelist for "Multimedia Communication for Scientists," along with an astronomy web publisher, the producer of Minute Physics, and a digital producer for NOVA. She spoke about using citizen science and social media for science outreach.
  • Morgan traveled to northern Minnesota to visit the SPRUCE site and make her first collection of samples for NSC analysis.
  • Don made a short trip to Harvard Forest to speak with Yves Sciama, a science journalist working on a story about climate change research and the networked infrastructure at Harvard Forest. Look for the article to appear in the French publication, Le Monde, later in the year!
  • Steve was awarded a travel grant by the ESA’s Physiological Ecology section to attend the ESA annual meeting in Baltimore this year. Congratulations, Steve!
  • Andrew participated in the LTER mid-term site review at Harvard Forest, and gave a talk on “Climate change, vegetation phenology, and the effects of shifting seasons on forest processes and ecosystem services.”
  • Julie (now an Assistant Professor at Lesley University) is back with the lab for the summer. She will be working on synthesizing the long-term ecosystem-scale CH4 flux record from Howland forest, as well as making new 13C isotopic measurements to better separate subsurface CH4 production and consumption in wetland soils. This project is in collaboration with Eric Davidson (Appalachian Lab) and Kathleen Savage (Woods Hole).


  • Morgan was awarded a Graduate Research Opportunities Worldwide (GROW) fellowship by NSF, for work with Elise Pendall (University of Western Sydney) on nonstructural carbohydrates at the EucFACE site in Australia. Congratulations, Morgan!
  • Andrew, Don and Meghan were on hand at Harvard Forest for the LTER Science Council tour. Andrew talked about the group’s work at the Barn Tower, specifically related to links between phenology and ecosystem processes.
  • PBI speakers Carol Augspurger (University of Illinois) and Christian Körner (University of Basel) went to Harvard Forest with Don, and enjoyed a tour of the site with John O’Keefe. Carol and John are shown inspecting some newly-emerged striped maple leaves, while Christian is shown surveying a hemlock stand. Former post-doc Brett Huggett (now an assistant professor at Bates College) was also there for the tour with one of his classes, as was Yingying Xie from U Conn.
  • Chris Field’s (Carnegie Institution) opening lecture for the PBI Symposium was covered by the Harvard Gazette.
  • The 10th Harvard Plant Biology Initiative Symposium was a huge success. Our speakers Carol Augspurger, Joe Berry, Zoe Cardon, Todd Dawson, Jim Ehleringer, Graham Farquhar, Chris Field, Christian Körner, Beverly Law, and Joy Ward, gave a phenomenal series of talks. And, with over 150 registered participants, and great representation not just from Harvard but also Yale (both F&ES and EEB), Brown, Boston University, Bates College, UNH, and the University of Connecticut, among other institutions, the talks were well-attended by a diverse audience from across New England. Special thanks are due to Wendy Heywood and Lisa Matthews for their brilliant work on logistics and planning, and to Graham and Koen for organizing the poster session.
  • Morgan passed her qualifying exam and is now officially a PhD candidate! Congratulations, Morgan.
  • Meghan and Don headed out to Harvard Forest at the beginning of the month to install a few HD cameras for a new collaboration with the BBC (and to work on their tans while hanging out on top of towers). Two tower-mounted and two ground level cameras were installed and are now sending HD images to the PhenoCam archive. It was a sunny and very hot day — in stark contrast to the recent weeks of cool temperatures. Maybe spring is finally here?
  • Meghan presented a poster at the Harvard Graduate Women in Science and Engineering's conference. The poster covered her previous work on the impacts of recent land-use change on ecosystem services in Massachusetts.
  • Morgan was accepted to the Mini-MBA Summer Program at Harvard Business School, and she is excited to broaden her knowledge by learning the core concepts of business.



  • Steve did a great presentation on his thesis research at the G4 symposium. Nice job, Steve!
  • Andrew, Morgan and Miriam (left) attended the DOE Earth System Science meeting in Potomac, Maryland. Morgan was supported by a student travel grant and presented a poster on our Prospect Hill work, including planned radiocarbon analyses. Miriam presented a poster on the SPRUCE phenology work.
  • Steve began his field season in late April. In addition to aerial photography, he will be making direct observations of trees, upward pointing digital photography, and microclimate measurements this season, using Hobo data loggers to measure air and soil temperature at seven locations within his MODIS pixel. The aerial photo shows beeches (Fagus grandifolia), in the center of the image, leafing out earlier than any of the surrounding trees (right).
  • Claire was awarded grants from the HUCE Summer Undergraduate Research Fund and the Harvard College Research Fund, which will partially support her summer thesis research on the relationship between nonstructural carbon reserves and elevation in red spruce growing in New Hampshire’s White Mountains.
  • Andrew was invited by former Harvard Forest REU Bridget Darby, now a PhD student with Christy Goodale in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Cornell, to give a talk in the weekly Biogeosciences seminar series. Andrew presented the group’s work on nonstructural C in forest trees, and enjoyed the opportunity to meet with a lot of great Cornell graduate students. Don (a Cornell grad) made the trek out to Ithaca with Andrew, and Don’s parents came down from Buffalo to hear Andrew’s talk. Thanks to Don’s mom for a great question about storage in roots!
  • Don and Miriam made a trip to Harvard Forest on Earth Day to put equipment up on the Barn Tower. Brent Helliker’s thermal camera was reinstalled and a new prototype PRI camera went up. Now we just need the leaves to come out!
  • Bill Anderegg (NOAA Postdoctoral Fellow at Princeton), who was previously one of Graham’s roommates at Stanford, visited the lab and gave a talk on his recent work on the legacy effects of drought on tree physiology and mortality. We had a pizza get-together at Andrew’s place on Monday night, and the usual Café Sushi lunch following the talk on Tuesday.
  • Miriam traveled to Knoxville, TN, to participate in a “Current Issues in Statistical Ecology” workshop sponsored by NIMBioS, the National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis. She had a great time learning new analysis techniques, discussing phenology data, and networking with other ecologists who are excited about statistics.
  • The recent paper by Trevor and Andrew on relationships between spring and autumn phenology, just published in Global Change Biology, was highlighted in an an article in Scientific American.
  • Andrew and Mariah attended the European Geosciences Union meeting in Vienna. Together, they organized a session on C allocation with Michael Bahn and Daniel Epron. Andrew presented a poster on modeling nonstructural C reserves, while Mariah presented a poster on partitioning soil respiration to autotrophic and heterotrophic components, and (based on FöBAAR work by Min and Andrew) the implications for modeling soil C fluxes. Alatna enjoyed attending some of the poster sessions and is looking forward to presenting her own work at a future meeting. Andrew and Mariah hosted a get-together at their apartment in Stephansplatz—it was great to catch up with Sebastiaan Luyssaert (LSCE), Michael Bahn (Innsbruck), Russ Monson (Arizona), Jasper Bloemen (Innsbruck), Dan Yakir (Weizmann Institute), and Dave Bowling (Utah). Later, Andrew and Jasper spent some quality time with EGU luminaries Hans Thybo and Günter Blöschl (left). Andrew also had a meeting with PhenoPix collaborators (right) Mirco Migliavacca, Gianlucca Filippa, and Marta Galvagno.
  • Collaborator Brent Helliker invited Andrew to travel to Philadelphia and give a talk in Penn’s Department of Biology seminar series. Andrew presented the group’s work on nonstructural C in forest trees, and spent the afternoon meeting with Brent and his former PhD student, Erin Wiley, talking further about nonstructural C. The photograph shows Andrew standing by Robert Indiana’s iconic LOVE statue on the Penn campus.








  • Andrew gave the HUH seminar and presented the lab's recent work on nonstructural carbon in forest trees.
  • Andrew and Don visited the 51st floor observation deck on the Prudential building with John Budney, of the Wofsy-Munger lab. The site is a candidate for a couple of new PhenoCams. Even though it is late March, the Charles River is still frozen over!
  • Meghan was accepted as a resident tutor for Lowell House next year. Congratulations, Meghan!
  • Andrew’s paper (“Distribution and mixing of old and new nonstructural carbon in two temperate trees”), on which Mariah, Morgan, and Brett are coauthors, is now out as an open access Rapid Report in New Phytologist.
  • Andrew chaired the organizing committee for the10th Annual Harvard Plant Biology Symposium, which will be on the subject of “From Leaves to Ecosystems: Plants in a Changing World.” The symposium, to be held May 5-6, is now less than two months away! Check out the program and register here. The confirmed speakers are: Carol Augspurger (University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign), Joe Berry (Carnegie Institution of Washington), Zoe Cardon (Marine Biological Laboratory), Todd Dawson (University of California at Berkeley), Jim Ehleringer (The University of Utah), Graham Farquhar (Australian National University), Chris Field (Carnegie Institution of Washington), Christian Körner (Institute of Botany, University of Basel),Beverly Law (Oregon State University), and Joy Ward (The University of Kansas). We are eagerly looking forward to the event!
  • Don, Miriam, Diana and Andrew spent a day at Harvard Forest working on all the instrument calibration and repair tasks that need to be wrapped up before the start of spring.
  • The lab has its first pet! Thanks to Meghan, a surprisingly large goldfish who goes by the name of “Liquidambar” now occupies bench space in HUH 138.
  • Andrew presented some of the lab’s work on nonstructural carbon in forest trees in the weekly Harvard Forest seminar series.
  • Steve, Miriam, and Meghan joined over 60 Harvard College students on the annual walk in the woods at Harvard Forest as part of OEB 52, Biology of Plants. Steve and Meghan served as “helper TFs”, which gave Steve the opportunity to tell students about PhenoCam.
  • Diana Tomback, Univerity of Colorado - Denver and 2015 Bullard Fellow, gave the HUH seminar, and presented an overview 40+ years of research on treeline whitebark pine in the western United States.
  • Sandra Henderson, Director of Citizen Science at NEON, co-founder of Project Budburst, and Co-PI on the PhenoCam crowdsourcing project (dubbed “Season Spotter”), visited the lab to meet with Andrew and Margaret.
  • Brent Helliker (Associate Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Pennsylvania, and collaborator on our thermal imaging work at Harvard Forest) visited the lab and presented some of his work on stable oxygen isotopes and leaf temperatures in the weekly HUH seminar. We went for the usual lunch at Café Sushi after Brent’s seminar. Brent, Andrew, and Don spent the next day getting instruments at Harvard Forest ready for spring, while Koen started a new field project which will involve monthly sampling of white pine and eastern hemlock foliage for physiological measurements.
  • Carolyn Gigot, a junior in Kirkland house, has joined the lab and is working with Margaret on the PhenoCam crowdsourcing project.
  • Morgan was selected for a graduate student travel award to attend the upcoming DOE ESS PI meeting in Potomac, Maryland. Congratulations, Morgan!
  • Don and Meghan visited Newton Country Day school to judge their annual Science Fair. Don evaluated 8th grade engineering projects, while Meghan evaluated 6th grade environmental science experiments. Overall, both were very impressed by the amount of hard work put in by all students. Congratulations to all!
  • The proposal by Andrew, Scott Ollinger, and Dave Hollinger, “Cracking the code of a northern forest carbon cycle: an integrated analysis using data, models and assessment of uncertainties”, was funded by the Northeastern States Research Cooperative. The project will focus on model-data fusion analyses using the long-term Bartlett Experimental Forest data.


  • Lisa Wingate and Jérôme Ogée, from INRA Centre de Bordeaux, visited the lab and gave presentations in our weekly meeting. Lisa talked about combining measurements of leaf pigments (chlorophyll and carotenoids) and canopy structure (leaf area index and leaf angle distribution) with the PROSPECT-SAIL model to predict seasonal changes in canopy color. Jérôme talked about his work to model seasonal patterns of changes in the stable isotope composition of tree ring cellulose.
  • Research from the lab was profiled in an article about Harvard Forest in IEEE Spectrum magazine. The article, “The Internet of Trees,” also includes some great pictures of Andrew climbing on the Barn Tower, thanks to photographer Bob O’Connor.
  • Graham (“Applying lessons from a genetic model species to understand stomatal function in natural ecosystems”; see photo at right of leaf venation and stomata in red oak from Harvard Forest), Min (“Improving spring phenology of deciduous broadleaved forest in the Community Land Model”), and Margaret (“Characterizing landscapes through online citizen science”) presented their work in the weekly HUH Seminar Series. Congratulations to all!
  • Colin Averill visited from U Texas – Austin and did a talk in our weekly group meeting on his research into the role of mycorrhizae in mediating competition between plants and decomposers, and how this influences soil C storage.
  • Don and Andrew spent a cold and snowy weekend at Bartlett downloading data and re-wiring part of the data collection system.
  • Meghan has been accepted to the UCLA/La Kretz Workshop in Conservation Genomics, which will be held at a field station in California’s Santa Monica Mountains in late March. Congratulations, Meghan!
  • Yingying Xie visited from U Conn and did a talk in our weekly group meeting on her PhD research relating to spring and autumn phenology in New England. Yingying has been using a combination of satellite remote sensing, PhenoCam-style imagery, and modeling to investigate the environmental factors driving spatial and temporal variation in phenology.


  • Former postdoc Trevor Keenan visited the lab once again. He spent the month working with Andrew, Koen, and Min on a variety of projects relating to modeling and phenology. Before heading back to Macquarie University, Australia, Trevor also gave the HUH seminar. We followed that up with a delicious lunch at Café Sushi.
  • Eric Davidson (Appalachian Lab, University of Maryland) and Kathleen Savage (Woods Hole Research Center) visited the lab for a mini-workshop to discuss future plans for modeling at Howland. Julie (who came over from Lesley University), Trevor, Min, Meghan and Andrew participated in the discussion, which focused specifically on coupling Trevor’s FöBAAR model to Eric’s DAMM model.
  • Andrew and Don ventured to a snowy Harvard Forest for work at the Barn Tower as recent weather events have not been kind to some of our instruments and sensors. After a professional photoshoot featuring Andrew on the tower, the LI-COR flux system pump was replaced, one of the FLIR thermal infrared cameras was brought home for repair, the upward-looking camera was replaced, and sensors were mounted in the canopy for new measurements of temperature and relative humidity for future work with the thermal camera dataset. Additional repairs and cleaning of the flux system and hyperspectral camera will be performed when the weather warms up a bit.
  • John Latimer, a retired rural mail carrier from northern Minnesota and phenologist extraordinaire, visited the lab for a week to go through his 30-year database of phenological observations with Miriam. John’s extensive observations will augment data from cameras at the SPRUCE experimental site north of Grand Rapids and help us to understand how changing climate may affect the phenology of northern ecosystems. Andrew was interviewed for John’s weekly “Phenology Show” on radio station KAXE, the Public Radio station for northern Minnesota. You can listen to the show here. There was also time for some fun, including a trip to Harvard Forest to meet the other John (O’Keefe), also a left-handed phenologist! The Johns can only be described as two peas in a pod (thanks to Lynda Mapes for the photos.
  • Andrew, Don, Morgan and Steve visited the Arboretum’s Case Estates, in Weston, for consideration as a possible field study site. Steve obtained aerial photography and created this orthophoto.
  • Diana Tomback (University of Colorado, Denver) arrived for a six-month Bullard Fellowship. Diana will be in residence in the HUH through late spring, and will then move to Petersham for the final few months of her fellowship. While here, Diana will be synthesizing her research on whitebark pine ecosystems with respect to the trajectories of climate change and other disturbances. She also hopes to learn more about the hemlock wooly adelgid in relation to similarities with the interaction of whitebark pine with exotic disease.
  • The paper by Trevor and Andrew, “The timing of autumn senescence is affected by the time of spring phenology: implications for predictive models” has been accepted for publication in Global Change Biology.
  • Andrew is Co-PI on a grant to Aaron Ellison (Harvard Forest) from NSF’s REU program, which will partially fund the Harvard Forest Summer Research Program for four more years.
  • The lab’s brand new FTIR (Fourier transform infrared) spectrometer was delivered and installed. This instrument is a fantastic iS10 model from Thermo Scientific and will be used for characterizing leaf reflectance and emissivity in the thermal infrared spectrum.
  • We celebrated the start of a new year with a lab lunch at the Kebab Factory.
  • Happy New Year!