Welcome to the Poulter Lab at Montana State University


September 2014: Global Carbon Budget 2014 now online

August 2014: Congrats to MSU Undergrads Jared Hoy and Frances Ambrose on their research this summer on estimating Montana’s greenhouse gas budget and on collecting plant traits for modeling fire effects in Greater Yellowstone!

May 2014: We recently published a paper describing the surprising role of semi-arid systems in the carbon cycle in Nature – the reference, an FAQ, and media are linked here: Nature, May 2014.


My lab investigates the role of climate and humans on terrestrial ecosystems using vegetation models, remote sensing, forest inventory and physiological measurements. Land ecosystems play a critical role in the earth system by mitigating climate change, providing habitat for biodiversity, and resources, such as food, fiber and water for humans. In the Ecosystem Dynamics Lab we explore key questions related to interactions between vegetation, climate, and humans that directly impact a range of ecosystem services, such as:sv

    • What are the mechanisms that determine the land carbon sink over time and from year-to-year?
    • How does vegetation respond to, and recover from, disturbance, in particular, fire and reforestation?
    • How will the combined effects of global change, including elevated CO2, climate change, and land-use chchange, alter the land surface in the 21st century?

We use a range of techniques to address these questions that focus around the application and development of dynamic global vegetation models (DGVMs).

ethiopiaThe lab is new at Montana State University since January 2014 and I am interested in recruiting a diverse group of researchers, from undergraduates to post-doctoral scientists, with an enthusiasm for exploring ecosystem science questions. Experience in biology, ecology, environmental science, physics, remote sensing and computer sciences is appreciated and/or a desire to learn new skills.cr

Please contact me at benjamin.poulter AT montana.edu if you have questions or are interested in joining my Ecosystem Dynamics Lab at MSU!