Chris Gough's Group

swirlThanks for visiting! Here, you will find information about our research in plant physiological and ecosystem ecology. Our emphasis is on understanding how global change, disturbance, ecological succession, and forest structure affect plant and ecosystem function, with a focus on forest carbon cycling. Work more recently extends into urban and wetland ecosystems.

I am seeking student collaborators to conduct Department of Energy and National Science Foundation supported research at VCU's field station, the Rice Rivers Center, the University of Michigan Biological Station, and NEON sites. Contact Chris.

WHAT'S NEW(ish)?

November 2015: Congratulations to Amy Schmid, VCU MS 2015, on the publication of her thesis in Forest Ecology and Management:

September 2015: Our Ecology paper on disturbance severity and forest net primary production was published in this month's issue. Great job Ellen and team!:

July 2015: Bob Fahey, Brady Hardiman, and I are thrilled to receive an NSF EAGER-NEON award that will use the National Ecological Observatory Network to study forest canopy structure-carbon cycling relationships. We will be seeking a postdoc for this project; view the project abstract here and contact me if interested.

April 2015: Congratulations to Amy Schmid on the successful defense of her MS thesis. Way to go Amy!

Janurary, 2015:
Check out our recent publication on modeled carbon cycling dynamics following moderate forest disturbance:

October, 2014:
We seek M.S. students to join our research teams investigating carbon cycling at the University of Michigan Biological Station and VCU's Rice Center. Please contact Chris Gough.

May, 2014: Ellen Goodrich-Stuart successfully defended her M.S. thesis. Congratulations Ellen! Stay tuned for a forthcoming manuscript from Ellen.

November, 2013: Our group, in collaboration with colleagues from the University of Michigan, received an NSF Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) grant to study the mechanisms controlling carbon storage over the course of ecological succession.

August, 2013: The UMBS carbon cycling research site was selected as an Amerflux core research location by the Department of Energy, ensuring long-term support for our research program! See:


"Trees can help offset human-caused climate warming, and scientists want to know how big a role forests will play."

-University of Michigan Press Release (Full article here )

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We use meteorological towers and ecological methods to estimate how much carbon forests and wetlands take up and release, and why. VCU is a partner in this research, which is supported by the Department of Energy and the National Science Foundation.

Chris Gough 2015, Updated November, 2015|