Congratulations Dr. Laurel Sindewald

Published: Aug. 30, 2023

Laurel Sindewald photo


Congratulations to Dr. Sindewald on successfully defending her dissertation!  Laurel started an ORISE Postdoctoral Fellowship on September 1st, working with Karin Riley (USFS - Missoula Fire Sciences Lab) and Shawn Urbanski (Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins). They are using stochastic models that simulate large fires, fuel consumption, and post-fire regrowth to estimate wildfire emissions tradeoffs 1) in the absence of prescribed burning and 2) after prescribed burning. Their results will be available in a risk-assessment framework for managers. 


Dissertation Defense

Laurel was a PhD candidate in Dr. Diana Tomback’s Forest Ecology Lab, CU Denver Department of Integrative Biolog. Her defense was Monday, September 11, 2023

Limber pine (Pinus flexilis) in the alpine treeline ecotone: Potential for upslope movement with changing climate

Limber pine is a keystone and foundation species in the Central Rocky Mountains and is a species of conservation concern due to the combined impacts of mountain pine beetle and white pine blister rust. As climate in treeline communities becomes warmer and drier, this drought-tolerant pine may be able to persist, produce cones, and even recruit new seedlings. I present research describing the structure and composition of limber pine treeline communities and the pine’s cone and seed production across a high elevation stress gradient. I also present an application of WorldView-3 satellite imagery to discriminate limber pine from other treeline plant species using Convolutional Neural Network models, which shows promise for future distribution mapping of limber pine at treeline.