Lucas Harris


Research interests: Biogeography, fire ecology, forest ecology, climate change, species distributions. I am interested in how fire, vegetation and climate interact to produce ecosystem change. My research has focused largely on the mountains of California.

Projects: My Master’s thesis examined the drivers of fire severity in a portion of the 2013 Rim Fire in Yosemite National Park, California. I am collaborating with other members of the Vegetation Dynamics Lab on two extensions of that project, one calculating carbon stocks and emissions from a portion of the Rim Fire and another examining how the severity of past burns influenced severity of the Rim Fire. Additional projects I am working on include an exploration of the role of competition in tree mortality in the Lake Tahoe basin and a reconstruction of water use efficiency in ponderosa pine stands in Arizona and Washington using carbon isotopes in tree rings. I am exploring dissertation topics related to fire-vegetation interactions in the eastern part of the Sierra Nevada in California.

Publications: Harris L, Taylor AH. In press. Topography, fuels, and fire exclusion drive fire severity of the Rim Fire in an old-growth mixed-conifer forest, Yosemite National Park, USA. Ecosystems.

Research Interests

  • biogeography
  • fire ecology
  • forest ecology
  • climate change
  • species distributions

Research Focus