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, and ecological succession 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 the University of Michigan Biological Station (UMBS), and similar work at VCU's field station, The Rice Center. Contact Chris.


July, 2014: We seek a Ph.D. student to join an interdisciplinary team of researchers initiating a project centered on eddy-covariance based flux measurements of carbon dioxide, methane, water, and energy in a restored tidal freshwater wetland ( The student will be co-advised by Drs. Crawford, Neubauer, and Gough, and receive a degree through VCU's Ph.D. Integrative Life Sciences Program ( 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:


"The main goal of the federally funded Forest Accelerated Succession Experiment (FASET) is to determine how much heat-trapping carbon dioxide forests of the Upper Midwest will remove from the air in coming decades. Trees can help offset human-caused climate warming, and scientists want to know how big a role these particular forests will play."

-University of Michigan Press Release (Full article here )

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We use meteorological towers (left) and ecological methods to estimate how much carbon forests takes up and releases. Virginia Commonwealth University is a partner in this long-term research, which is supported by the Department of Energy. A new National Science Foundation grant provides research to investigate how ecological succession affects forest carbon cycling processes.

Chris Gough 2014, Updated June 8, 2014|