Welcome to the

Forest And Global Change Lab

Director, Helen Poulos
Distinguished Professor of the College of the Environment and Environmental Studies

What We Do

Natural and anthropogenic disturbances have shaped forest structure and function for millennia. At the Forests and Global Change Lab, we study how forests are responding to rapid environmental change in the Anthropocene. The focus of the lab is on species and plant assemblages that face survival, growth and regeneration challenges in the context of global change (i.e. climate change, fire, invasive species, and shifting land use). These challenges are interconnected as they form the novel environment under which plants are growing today. 

Our research therefore addresses two overarching questions about our changing forests:

How are forested ecosystems responding to shifting global change agents in the Anthropocene?

How does adaptive forest management influence the integrity and resilience of forests under rapid environmental change?

The Forests and Global Change Lab integrates analytical approaches across multiple ecological scales for understanding and monitoring forest ecosystem dynamics. We employ a range of scales– from the growth and survival of individual trees, to regional fire effects on landscapes. We do this using a range of different approaches, including field experiments, ecophysiology, dendrochronology, remote sensing and modelling.

Our Mission

Our goal is to generate an accurate picture of what forests will look like in the future under continued anthropogenic change, and how humans can use management to foster fire and climate resilient forests in the Anthropocene.


Visit us at the Wesleyan Earth & Environmental Sciences Department!


Dr. Helen Poulos

Distinguished Professor of the College of the Environment and Environmental Studies

Location Information

The Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, research labs and classrooms are found on the 3rd and 4th floors of the Exley Science Center. The 4th floor houses the main office and the Joe Webb Peoples Museum.

Dept. of Earth and Environmental Sciences
Wesleyan University
265 Church St.
Middletown, CT 06459
Dept. office phone (860) 685-2244
Fax: (860) 685-3651

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