Montgomery Lab

Humans continue to change the environment locally, regionally and globally. We have eliminated and introduced species, changed resource availability, fragmented the landscape and altered climate. Understanding the response of natural systems to these changes requires knowledge of the mechanisms through which organisms respond to the abiotic and biotic environment. Research in my lab focuses on understanding these mechanisms. In particular, we study the role of plant functional traits (e.g. photosynthesis, water loss, leaf anatomy, biomass allocation, allometry, growth, survival) in plant ecology and response to global change. We are interested in understanding how plants interact with and respond to their environments and the implications of these responses for forest dynamics, forest management, biodiversity and ecosystem function. This broad scope allows us to ask questions pertinent to understanding important topics such as

  • the effects of global climate change on terrestrial ecosystems
  • ecology of forest understories
  • mechanisms of species interactions (e.g. competition, facilitation) in forest ecosystems
  • the ecology of managed forest ecosystems

Research in my lab spans basic to applied, the latter focused on needs of managers in the Lake States, especially Minnesota. I am also increasingly involved in community engaged scholarship in collaboration with artists and social scientists. Major current projects include:

(1) the potential for projected climate change to alter tree species composition at the southern boreal-temperate forest ecotone [DOE & Wilderness Research Foundation funded research; PI Peter Reich] and increase success of invasive species [Minnesota Invasive Plants and Pest Center (MITPPC); coPIs Rebecca Montgomery and Peter Reich]

(2) phenological change in Minnesota: causes and consequences [Legislative-Citizen Commission on Minnesota Resources (LCCMR) funded research; PI Rebecca Montgomery]

(3) remote sensing of community diversity [NSF/NASA funded research; PI Jeannine Cavender-Bares] and oak wilt disease [MITPPC; coPIs Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Jennifer Juzwik and Rebecca Montgomery]

(4) artscience collaboration that uses phenology to engage communities in creative placemaking to develop community capacity for response to stressors such as climate change; Backyard Phenology collaborative team Christine Baeumler, Francis Bettelyoun, Mae Davenport, Kate Flick, Nick Jordan, Beth Mercer-Taylor, Rebecca Montgomery and Jenn Shepard [UMN Grand Challenges Research Grant]



Rebecca Montgomery

Rebecca Montgomery
Forest Resources
1530 Cleveland Avenue North
St. Paul, MN 55108
Phone: 612-624-7249
Fax: 612-625-5212
[email protected]

Montgomery CV