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FELLOWS:

Ryan BracewellRyan Bracewell

Ryan Bracewell is a PhD student with Diana Six and is an entomologist broadly interested in evolutionary ecology. As a system, Ryan is exploring bark beetles and their symbiotic fungi and how this symbiosis may facilitate or constrain adaptation and lead to beetle-fungal coevolution and codiversification. His work primarily focuses on the western pine beetle and he tackles these questions using a combination of molecular genetics, field studies, and manipulative experiments. He is also exploring the genetic basis of reproductive isolation in the mountain pine beetle and the evolution of body size differences between the sexes of bark beetles.

View Ryan Bracewell's publications, presentations, and awards

Publications

Bentz, B. J., R.R. Bracewell, K.E. Mock and M.E. Pfrender. 2011.  Genetic architecture and phenotypic plasticity of thermally-regulated traits in an eruptive species, Dendroctonus ponderosae. Evolutionary Ecology DOI: 10.1007/s10682-011-9474-x

Bracewell, R.R., M.E Pfrender, K.E. Mock and B.J. Bentz. 2011. Cryptic postzygotic isolation in an eruptive species of bark beetle (Dendroctonus ponderosae). Evolution 65:961-975.

Presentations

Bracewell, R.R. The mountain pine beetle as a model of parapatric speciation? North American Forest Insect Work Conference, Portland, Oregon, May 9-12, 2011 (Poster).

Bentz, B.J., R.R. Bracewell. Reproductive isolation and genetic differences amongDendroctonus ponderosae populations: why does it matter? North American Forest Insect Work Conference, Portland, Oregon, May 9-12, 2011.

Bracewell, R.R., D.L. Six, and B.J. Bentz. Evolution of sexual size dimorphism in Dendroctonus bark beetles. Annual meeting of the Entomological Society of America, San Diego, California, December 12-15, 2010.*Presidents Prize Winner for best student talk.

Bracewell, R.R. B.J. Bentz. What is a mountain pine beetle anyway? A synthesis of recent research involving divergent populations. International Union of Forest Research Organizations meeting. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, September 27 - October 2, 2009.

Bentz, B.J., R.R. Bracewell. Mountain pine beetle adaptation to local environments. International Union of Forest Research Organizations meeting. Jackson Hole, Wyoming, September 27 – October 2, 2009.

Awards

Entomological Society of America Presidents Prize Winner for best student presentation (2010)

McIntire-Stennis grant (2011) “Evaluating genetic divergence in bark beetle-fungal symbiosis”

University of Montana College of Forestry and Conservation George E. Bright memorial graduate fellowship (2011)

Entomological Society of America, Systematics, Evolution and Biodiversity (SysEB) section travel award (2011)


Edith DooleyEdith Dooley

Edith Dooley is earning a Master’s of Science in Forestry from the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana with a focus in forest pathology and entomology, and forest disturbance ecology, in general.  Her thesis project examines the possible causes of the rapid expansion of mountain pine beetle outbreaks in high elevation whitebark pines in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem by focusing on two host tree factors: species (whitebark pine vs. lodgepole pine) and severity of exotic blister rust infection in whitebark pines.  These inquiries have involved population and productivity  tracking in four high elevation sites across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem.  Additionally, to bolster her graduate studies focused on disturbance ecology, Edith learned valuable field skills in denrochronology, fuels sampling and stand level measurements while working as a research forestry technician for the Missoula Fire Science Laboratory of the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.  Edith plans on using her knowledge of forest and disturbance ecology gained as an NNFP fellow to tackle applied forestry and restoration problems on public lands.

View Edith Dooley's publications, presentations, and awards

Presentations

Dooley, E.M., D.L. Six.  The effects of tree host species and blister rust on mountain pine beetle productivity.  University of Montana Graduate Student and Faculty Research Conference.  Missoula, Montana, April 24, 2010.  (Poster)

Dooley, E.M., D.L. Six.  The effects of blister rust severity and host species on mountain pine beetle productivity.  High-Five Symposium.  The Future of High Elevation Five-Needle White Pines in Western North America.  Missoula, Montana, June 28-30, 2010.  (Poster).

Dooley, E.M., D.L. Six.  The effects of whitebark and lodgepole pine hosts on mountain pine beetle productivity. Questioning Greater Yellowstone’s Future Climate, Land Use and Invasive Species, 10th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Yellowstone National Park, Wyoming, October 11-13, 2010.  (Poster).

Dooley, E.M.  The effect of tree host species on mountain pine beetle productivity.  Presentation to Five Valleys Audubon Society for receipt of Philip L. Wright Research Award.  Missoula, Montana, February 14, 2011.

Dooley, E.M., D.L. Six.  Is Whitebark Pine a Better Host for the Mountain Pine Beetle Than Lodgepole Pine? North American Forest Insect Work Conference, Portland, Oregon, May 9-12, 2011. (Poster)

Awards

Richard F. Johnson Legacy in Forestry and Conservation Scholarship, April 2011

Montana Native Plant Society Research Grant, March 2011

Kenneth P. Davis Scholarship from College of Forestry and Conservation, April 2011

Philip L. Wright Research Award from Five Valleys Audubon Society, April 2010

Western New York Mensa Scholarship, August 2009

Other

Member, Board of Directors, Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation, 2011-

Vice President of the Student Chapter of the Society of American Foresters, 2011-

Volunteer tour guide for Missoula Chamber of Commerce Forestry Discovery Days.  Missoula, Montana.  May 6, 2011.


Megan KevilleMegan Keville

Megan Keville is a graduate student in the Cleveland lab pursuing a masters degree in Resource Conservation in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences at the University of Montana. Her broad research interests include terrestrial ecosystem ecology and disturbance ecology in temperate forest ecosystems. Her current research focuses on how biogeochemical cycling in whitebark pine ecosystems changes after mountain pine beetle attack. More specifically, she is exploring how nitrogen and carbon pools and fluxes in these ecosystems shift with time since beetle infestation. Changes in these nutrient cycles could have consequences for the future regeneration of whitebark pine in impacted systems. As an NNFP collaborator, Megan has acquired valuable research skills in a wide range of ecological topics and spatial scales, as well as experience collaborating with individuals across multiple fields of forestry.

View Megan Keville's publications, presentations, and awards

Presentations

2010 -University of Montana Graduate Student and Faculty Research Conference: Mountain pine beetle outbreak: Impacts on biogeochemical cycling in whitebark pine ecosystems (poster)

2010- 10th Biennial Scientific Conference on the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem: Effects of mountain pine beetle outbreak on nutrient cycling in whitebark pine ecosystems (poster)

2011 Ecological Society of America conference: Effects of mountain pine beetle outbreak on biogeochemical cycling in whitebark pine ecosystems

2011 University of Montana Graduate Student and Faculty Research Conference: Effects of mountain pine beetle outbreak on element cycling in whitebark pine ecosystems

Awards

Kenneth P. Davis Scholarship, College of Forestry and Conservation

Volunteer Judge- Montana Science Fair, 2010



Alan SwansonAlan Swanson

Alan Swanson is a PhD candidate under Solomon Dobrowski within the Forestry Department at the University of Montana.  His focus is on landscape ecology and models relating the spatial distribution of plant and animal species to climate.  His study area is the western US but he spends most of his time in front of computer analyzing existing data.  Specific research interests include characterizing the uncertainty of model predictions and identifying differences in climatic responses among subpopulations. 

View Alan Swanson's publications, presentations, and awards

Publications

Dobrowski, S. Z., Thorne, J. H., Greenberg, J. A., Safford, H. D., Mynsberge, A. R., Crimmins, S. M., and Swanson, A. K. (2011). Modeling plant ranges over 75 years of climate change in California, USA: Relating transferability to species traits. Ecological Monographs, 81, 241-257.

Swanson, A. K., Dobrowski, S. Z., Finley, A. O., Thorne, J. H. & Schwartz, M. K. (In review)  Spatially explicit methods capture prediction uncertainty in species distribution model forecasts through time.  Global Ecology and Biogeography.

Presentations 

Swanson, A., Dobrowski, S., and Finley, A.   Spatial predictive process models give improved forecasts of vegetation response to climate change.  Annual meeting of the US chapter of the International Association for Landscape Ecology, Portland OR, April 3-7, 2011.

Swanson, A., Dobrowski, S., and Mynsberge, A.  Spatial predictive process models give improved forecasts of vegetation response to climate change.  Annual meeting of the American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA,  December 12-17, 2010 (Poster)





ADVISORS:

Diana Six

Dr. Diana L. Six

Dr. Diana L. Six is Professor of Forest Entomology and Pathology in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences at the University of Montana. Her primary research focuses on the evolution and maintenance of symbioses particularly those occurring among bark beetles, ambrosia beetles and fungi. Her research in this area includes several collaborative efforts with scientists in the US, South Africa, Europe, Mexico and Canada. She also conducts research on various aspects of bark beetle ecology and management, including investigations into the interactions of bark beetles with fire and forest stand structure. She also works on interactions between an exotic pathogen (white pine blister rust) and a native insect (the mountain pine beetle) in high elevation whitebark pine ecosystems. Most recently, her focus has expanded to include effects of climate change, particularly on how changing temperatures may affect tree and insect distributions and bark beetle symbioses with fungi. Diana is also on the editorial boards for Symbiosis, Insects, and the Western Journal of Applied Forestry.

Cory Cleveland

Dr. Cory C. Cleveland

Dr. Cory C. Cleveland is an assistant professor in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences in the College of Forestry and Conservation at the University of Montana. His expertise is terrestrial ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, and his research focuses on understanding the biotic and abiotic controls over terrestrial biogeochemical cycling and ecosystem processes.  Projects vary in scale from plot-level studies investigating the effects of disturbance and global change on ecosystem processes to large-scale analyses of the carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus cycles. His research intersects several major disciplines, including microbial ecology, soil science, biogeochemistry and ecosystem ecology, but the overall goal of his research is to understand how biotic and abiotic factors regulate carbon and nutrient cycling, the implications of those processes for ecosystem function, and the response of those phenomena to global environmental change.

Solomon DobrowskiSolomon Dobrowski