Scientists & Staff

Brian R. Miranda

Brian Miranda

Ecologist
5985 Highway K
Rhinelander, WI, 54501-9128
Phone: 715-362-1186

Contact Brian Miranda


Current Research

Brian provides GIS, programming, statisitical analysis and modeling support for research on forest disturbance in the Great Lakes region.  His research explores interactions among forests, people, fire and other disturbances, such as defoliating insects. He uses simulation models to explore long-term impacts of management decisions, including timber harvest and fire and fuels management. De Jager, Nathan R.; Drohan, Patrick J.; Miranda, Brian M.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Stout, Susan L.; Royo, Alejandro A.; Gustafson, Eric J.; Romanski, Mark C. 2017. Simulating ungulate herbivory across forest landscapes: A browsing extension for LANDIS-II. Ecological Modelling. 350: 11-29. Sturtevant, Brian R.; Miranda, Brian R.; Yang, Jian; He, Hong S.; Gustafson, Eric J.; Scheller, Robert M. 2009. Studying fire mitigation strategies in multi-ownership landscapes: balancing the management of fire-dependent ecosystems and fire risk. Ecosystems. 12: 445-461.

Research Interests

Brian's research interestes include combining forest simulation modeling and wildlife habitat evaluations. Simulation models provide information about potential future conditions, which can be very useful in planning wildlife habitat management and conservation. De Jager, Nathan R.; Rohweder, Jason J.; Miranda, Brian R.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Fox, Timothy J.; Romanski, Mark C. 2017. Modelling moose—forest interactions under different predation scenarios at Isle Royale National Park, USA. Ecological Applications. 21 p. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1526.

Why This Research is Important

Our research helps forest managers decide how to minimize risks due to fire and other disturbances. We can model potential outcomes of alternative management decisions or priorities, and inform the decision-makers of the possible consequences.

Professional Organizations

  • The Wildlife Society
  • International Association for Landscape Ecology
  • International Association of Wildland Fire

Featured Publications & Products

Publications & Products

Research Datasets

  • Wolter, Peter T.; Sturtevant, Brian R.; Miranda, Brian R.; Lietz, Sue M.; Townsend, Philip A.; Pastor, John. 2012. Greater Border Lakes Region land cover classification and change detection. Newtown Square, PA: USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station. https://doi.org/10.2737/RDS-2012-0007.

National Research Highlights

Figure 1. Isle Royale National Park (upper left) is home to populations of wolves and moose (upper right, data from Vucetich and Peterson 2015). Simulated trends (+/- 90 percent confidence intervals) in moose population density (lower left), and available forage biomass/moose carrying capacity (lower right) for the three predation scenarios. Actual moose population estimates for Isle Royale from 2006-2015 (black) are provided for reference.
Figure 2. Simulated changes in forest types at Isle Royale after 100 years of no predation vs strong predation rates.

Modeling wolf-moose forest interactions at Isle Royale National Park

Year: 2017

The loss of top predators may have unintended consequences for forest composition and function. Forest Service scientists partnered with the U.S. Geologic Survey and National Park Service to investigate the effects of alternative wolf predation scenarios on the moose and forest dynamics at Isle Royale National Park near Michigan’s border with Canada. Will the impending loss of wolves from the park affect the future state of the forest ecosystem?

Aerial view of the Aspen FACE experiment showing the control facilities (middle left), and the 12 atmospheric treatment rings of four treatments with three replicates.  In the ring at bottom center, the different model forest communities are visible. David F. Karnosky, Michigan Tech University.

Scientists Predict Survivability Factors for Northern Forests Given Elevated CO2 and Ozone Levels

Year: 2013

The researchers scaled up a high-profile 11-year ecosystem experiment called Aspen-FACE to assess how elevated carbon dioxide and ozone levels might impact real forests at the landscape scale over the course of many future decades. They determined that there will be winners and losers among species and within species groups but that managers can have considerable control over the outcomes by managing disturbance effects on forests and landscape spatial patterns. The researchers also found that changes will be gradual and that few species are likely to disappear completely because of carbon dioxide and ozone effects alone.

Last modified: Thursday, November 02, 2017