Alyssa Willson

I am a second year PhD student studying forest community dynamics in the context of global change within the PalEON project and the Ecological Forecasting Initiative.  In order to improve forecasts of how forests (and the carbon they store!) might respond to future climate change, it is important to quantify and update our current understanding of how forest communities work.  In this context, my research attempts to bring together mathematical models and multiple datastreams in a model-data fusion framework to provide estimates of forest structure and composition with fully specified uncertainties.  Mathematical models represent our understanding of the processes governing forest dynamics, and assimilating multiple datastreams helps us to account for and integrate processes occurring over multiple temporal and spatial scales.  Ultimately, this research will be used to inform forest management decisions in light of future climate change.