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Scientists & Staff

Lindsey Rustad, Research Ecologist

Lindsey Rustad

Team Leader / Research Ecologist
Center for Research on Ecosystem Change
271 Mast Road
Durham, New Hampshire 03824
Phone: 603-397-7406

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Current Research

Overarching research interests: Effects of anthropogenic disturbances on forested ecosystems of Northeastern North America, with an emphasis on acidic deposition and climate change.


  • NE Forests 2100: The effects of climate change on forest ecosystems of the northeastern United States and Eastern Canada.
  • A cross site study of fine root response to experimentally elevated N deposition.
  • Understanding the impacts of ice storms on forest ecosystems of the northeastern United States and Eastern Canada. (pilot stage)
  • Decadal-scale effects of experimental N additions on biogeochemical processes at the Bear Brook Watershed in Maine.

Research Interests

  • Continued synthesis of existing data and efforts to increase communication and collaboration amongst regional, national and international global change scientists.
  • Evaluation of the effects of ice storms on forests of the northeastern United States.
  • Evaluation of the single and interactive effects of chronic N additions and drought on fine root dynamics in northern forest ecosystems.
  • Integration of art and science to better understand pattern and process in large ecological data sets and share this information with a broader audience.

Why This Research is Important

An overwhelming scientific consensus exists that 20th century human activities have induced dramatic and unprecedented changes in the earth's chemical and physical environment. As such, the response of terrestrial ecosystems to this global phenomenon has been the subject of intense scientific scrutiny over the past several decades. Although much has been learned about terrestrial ecosystem response to these perturbations (e.g. climate change, acidic deposition), urgent and immediate needs remain to continue to build a sound scientific basis for regional, national and international policies regulating such things as carbon sequestration, greenhouse gas emissions, and atmospheric deposition of nitrogen, sulfur, and mercury. In order to meet these complex needs in a timely fashion, a growing consensus exists within the scientific community that it will be necessary to better integrate observational, experimental, and modeling techniques into a unified multidisciplinary approach to understanding ecosystem response to global change.


  • University of Maine, Ph.D. Plant Science, 1988
  • Yale School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, M.F.S. Forest Science, 1983
  • Cornell University, B.A. Philosophy, 1980

Professional Organizations

  • Soil Science Society of America, Member, Fellow, Chair (1987 - Current)
  • Ecological Society of America

Awards & Recognition

  • Fellow for Soil Science Society of America, 2015

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

National Research Highlights

Changing Climate, Changing Forests (2012)
Effects of climate change on forests of the Northeastern United States and Eastern Canada

WaterViz for Hubbard Brook: A Water Cycle Visualization Tool (2014)
The WaterViz for Hubbard Brook is a new water-cycle visualization tool for creatively communicating water science to the public with realtime forest data. It uses hydrologic data captured digitally from a small first-order catchment at the Forest Service's Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest in the White Mountains National Forest to animate a flash visualization and sonification available to viewers and listeners worldwide on the Internet.

Last updated on : 01-Aug-2016