Dr. Madhur Anand

Director of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER)

Dr. Madhur Anand is an internationally recognized ecologist with research interests ranging from theoretical to empirical studies of natural and human-induced changes in ecosystems at local, regional, and global scales and their implications for sustainability. She has collaborated with mathematicians, theoretical physicists, statisticians, computer scientists, and poets on aspects of ecology and sustainability. Her research program is supported by governmental, industry, national, and international agencies, as well as by a number of awards (e.g., Premier’s Research Excellence Award, two Canada Research Chairs, Western University’s Young Alumni Award of Merit, ICCC Female Professional of the Year, James S. McDonnell Foundation). She has been President of the Sigma Xi Scientific Society (University of Toronto Chapter), one that raises the profile of many different scientific disciplines. In 2011 she was named a Young Scientist of the World Economic Forum which places emphasis on the broader implications of science in society. She was a professor at Laurentian University (2000-2006), and a visiting professor scholar at McGill University and Princeton University from 2010-11. Since 2006, she has been based at the University of Guelph. In 2019, she became the inaugural Director of the Guelph Institute for Environmental Research (GIER), helping to launch a unique and vital cross-disciplinary program helping to “break down barriers among disciplinary silos and bring the arts, the sciences, the humanities, and the engineering together to tackle complex environmental problems”. Likewise, Dr. Anand serves on several international journal editorial boards and grant selection panels.

In addition to having a distinguished interdisciplinary scientific career, with over 100 peer-reviewed scientific papers and 1 co-authored textbook on Climate Change Biology, she has presented scholarly research in ecopoetics, co-edited a book on ecopoetry, published her own poetry in literary journals and was elected a member-at-large with the Association for Literature, Environment and Culture in Canada in 2011. In 2020, she was awarded the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction for her book ‘This Red Line Goes Straight to Your Heart’.

Jessica Guezen (PhD candidate)

My research examines how patterns of insect forest damage are linked to climate change. Using the functional traits of forest insects and their host trees, I hope to develop an index for predicting forest vulnerability to insect damage under climate change based on relationships between traits and climate variables. Given the magnitude of insect outbreaks as a current regulating factor for forests globally, identifying how climate change will impact this disturbance is essential if we hope to be able to preserve forest ecosystems in the future.

Marcelo Frangipani (PhD student)

My research investigates how community dynamics and human-environment interactions structure ecosystems by combining dynamical models with field data. Building on my expertise in food web and kelp forest resilience, I am studying conservation strategies that most quickly instill environmental mitigation in human societies. Examples range from the appropriate scale of agreements in climate change negotiations (i.e., regional or global agreements) to restoration efforts of individual ecosystems or populations, where human adaptation to degraded environmental regimes (e.g., building infrastructure or changing local economies) could limit the time windows over which restoration efforts enjoy widespread public participation.

Liane Miedema Brown (PhD student)

My project seeks to understand the relationship between vegetative functional traits and the ecosystem service provision in the mosaic landscape of Southern Ontario. Forest ecosystems in a variety of landscapes are being studied to understand the impact that the surrounding land use may have on the community functional traits present. Additionally, the relationship between vegetative functional traits and the availability and provision of ecosystem services in these forests is being investigated. My goal is to provide new and relevant insight to understanding human impact on the environment and sustainable management of ecosystem service provision.   

Dr. Subhendu Paul (Postdoc)

Supporting a project focused on combining deep learning and the theory of tipping points to better predict droughts by helping in the building and testing of new models.

Research Assistants

Nava Brimble

Isaiah Farahbakhsh (MSc)

Recent alumni

Dr. Milena Rosenfield (Postdoc). Measurements of ecosystem services across different ecosystem types in southern Ontario.

Dr. Vadim Karatayev (Postdoc). Community dynamics and human-environment interactions structure ecosystems by combining dynamical models with field data.

Dr. Anne-Sophie Lafuite (Postdoc). Advancements towards sustainability of human-environment systems, especially the conservation of biodiversity. 

Dr. Virginia Capmourteres (PhD). Developing causal models to improve the assessment of ecosystem integrity and conservation value.

Rachel Dietrich (PhD). Examines how Ontario forests are responding to climate change.

Dr. Shane Nowack (Postdoc). Biodiversity optimization in landscape mosaic systems.

Dr. Shaik Hossain (Postdoc). Impact of climate change on managed and natural stands in North America.

Vivek Thampi (PhD). Modelling human-environment dynamics in coral reef populations.

Jo Pharon (PhD). Modelling human-environment dynamics in forest ecosystems.

Kathryn Fair (PhD). Spatially explicit modelling of human-environment interactions in a forest-grassland mosaic.

Arundhati Das (PhD). Modelling forest-grassland mosaics in India.

Kirsten Henderson (PhD). Modelling tree-grass interactions under human and environmental forces.

Sarah Rizvi (MSc). Developing national indicators for ecosystem sustainability.

Jihan Zihan (PhD): Hidden Markov modelling in forest dynamics (Co-supervised, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Waseem Ashiq (PhD): Forest dynamics and climate change in Ontario, Canada.

Lyndsay Schram (MSc): Keystone structures in managed forests (Co-supervised with S. Newmaster, University of Guelph).

Robert Townsend (Undergrad NSERC USRA): Modelling forest dynamics.

Alice Cecile (Undergrad NSERC USRA): Statistical analysis of dendrochronological data.

Elizabeth Shapiro (Undergrad): Old growth red pine forest dynamics.

Yuxin Zhang (Visiting faculty member from Chinese Academy of Sciences) (Co-supervised with C.T. Bauch, Mathematics and Statistics, University of Waterloo).

Carolina Blanco (CNPq Postdoc): Modelling forest-grassland-human system.

Alison Traub (Undergrad NSERC CREATE FCM Scholarship): Dendrochronology as a tool for predicting range shifts in Pinus resinosa.

Veronica Chillo (PhD): Biodiversity and resilience of arid rangelands (Co-supervised with R.Ojeda University of Cordoba, Argentina).

Dr. Chris Pagnutti (NSERC PDF): Modelling forest transitions.

Stephen Gore (Undergrad NSERC USRA): Biodiversity of an old-growth forest.

Lee-Ann Barlow (Undergrad): Modelling invasive species in forests.

Chris Wagner (Undergrad NSERC USRA): Old-growth forest biodiversity.

Lucas Silva (PhD): Long-term vegetation dynamics across Americas: the implications of climate change for forest expansion and decline.

Fernando Joner (PhD): Assembly rules and plant traits in disturbed ecosystem (Co-supervised with V. de Patta Pillar, UFRGS Brazil).

Yuxin Zhang (PhD): Quantification and scaling of biodiversity in mountain forests (Co-supervised with K. Ma, Chinese Academy of Sciences).

Mark Leithead (PhD): Vegetation dynamics in North and South America: climate change, disturbance and gradients across spatiotemporal scales.

Dr. Jenn Babin-Fenske (PhD): Disturbance-mediated interactions between insects and forests:empirical and modelling studies.

Dr. Paul Caplat (PDF): Individual-based modelling of forest dynamics.

Clinton Innes (Undergrad): Modelling forest-grasslands and human behavior (Co-supervised with C. Bauch, Mathematics and Statistics).

Chris Jepson (Undergrad): Soil analyses for global change research.

Amy Vallarino (Undergrad): Paleoecological forest response to climate change.

Emily Mannella (Undergrad): Plant trait database for Northern Ontario.

Shelby White (Undergrad): Functional plant trait diversity in disturbed and retired forests.