Bethany Avera

Sustainability Leadership Fellow Cohort: 2018-2019

Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Soil and Crop Sciences

Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

Research Summary: Disturbances and management in forest ecosystems can impact the amount of carbon stored in the forest system. I am studying how the outbreak of a native pine beetle and subsequent logging have impacted carbon storage in Colorado lodgepole pine forests, specifically in the soil. By quantifying the carbon in woody residues, the forest floor and in the mineral soil of an unmanaged beetle-infested stand and a logged stand I can identify the dominant sources of soil carbon. The recent beetle outbreak was climate-driven, motivating the need to identify management actions that promote forest carbon storage to help mitigate climate change.

Advisor: M. Francesca Cotrufo