Brian Buma photo
Ph.D. • Associate Professor • Graduate Program Director
Department of Integrative Biology

Mailing Address:
Department of Integrative Biology
Campus Box 171
P.O. Box 173364
Denver, CO 80217-3364

Physical Location:
1150 12th Street
SI 4101
Denver, CO 80204

Office Hours:

By Appointment Only, please email the instructor

Expertise Areas:
Disturbance and landscape ecology, forest ecosystems, succession, and spatial ecology.

Associate Professor, University of Colorado, Denver                                                   2021 - current
Department of Integrative Biology

Assistant Professor, University of Colorado, Denver                                                       2018 – 2021
Department of Integrative Biology

Assistant Professor, University of Alaska Southeast                                                        2013 – 2018 
            Department of Natural Science                                     

Affiliate Professor, University of Alaska Fairbanks                                                       2014 – current
Department of Natural Resources

University of Colorado, Boulder - Ph.D (2013)  Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology
Western Washington University - M.A. (2005)  Science Education
Western Washington University - B.S. (2003)  Biology, minor i Chemistry

Dr. Buma is interested in the process of change in natural systems. In particular, his work focuses on disturbances like fire, wind, and landslides, and the subsequent change in species composition and ecosystem functioning. His work spans from Alaska to Chile, generally focusing on high elevation and high latitude forested systems, species migration, and carbon/water cycling. As a National Geographic Explorer, he is also interested in science communication, historical ecology, and telling interesting stories to the public about the natural world.


*Student advisee. **Postdoc advisee.  †Visiting scholar in Buma lab

55. Bidlack AL, Bisbing S, Buma B, Diefenderfer H, Fellman J, Floyd W, Giesbrecht I, Lally A, Lertzman K, Perakis S, Butman D, D’Amore D, Fleming S, Hood E, Hunt B, Kiffney P, McNicol G, Menounos B, Tank S. Climate-Mediated Changes to Linked Terrestrial and Marine Ecosystems across the Northeast Pacific Coastal Temperate Rainforest Margin. 2021. BioScience. 71(6): 581-595.

54. Pawlik L†, Buma B, Samonil P, Kvacek J, Galazka A, Malik I, Kohout P. 2020. Impact of trees and forests on the Devonian landscape and weathering processes with implications to the global Earth's system properties - A critical review. Earth-Science Reviews. 205: 103200

53. Bisbing S, Urza AK, Buma B, Cooper DJ, Matocq M, Angert AL. 2021. Can long-lived species keep pace with climate change? Evidence of local persistence potential in a widespread conifer. Diversity and Distributions. 27 (2), 296-312

 52. Leverkus AB, Buma B, Wagenbrenner J, Burton P, Lingua E, Marzano R, Thorn S.  2021. Tamm review: Does salvage logging mitigate subsequent forest disturbances? Forest Ecology and Management. 481, 118721

51. Hayes K*, Buma B. 2021, Effects of short-interval disturbances continue to accumulate, overwhelming variability in local resilience. Ecosphere. 12 (3), e03379

50. Buma B, Pawlik L†. 2021. Post-landslide soil and vegetation recovery in a dry, montane system is slow and patchy. Ecosphere. 12(1) p.e03346.

49. Buma B, Holz A, Diaz I, Rozzi R. 2021. The world’s southernmost tree and global southern treeline. Ecography. 44(1):14-24.

48. Rozzi R, Cregro RD, Contador T, Shuttler E, Rosenfeld S, Mackenzie R, Barroso O, Silva-Rodriguez EA, Alvarez-Bustos X, Silva A, Ramirez I, Mella J, Horreros J, Rendoll-Carcamo J, Marambio J, Ojeda J, Mendez F, Moses KP, Kennedy J, Russell S, Goffinet B, Sancho LG, Berchez F, Buma B, Aguirre F, Sanchez-Jardon L, Barros E, Vasquez RA, Arroyo MTK, Poulin E, Squeo F, Armesto JJ, Mansilla A, Masarado F. 2020. Un centinela para el monitoreo del cambio climático y su impacto sobre la biodiversidad en la cumbre austral de América: la nueva red de estudios a largo Plazo Cabo de Hornos. Anales de la Instituto de Patagonia. 48(3): 45-81.

47. Buma B, Schultz C. 2020. Disturbances as Opportunities: Can we learn from disturbance-response parallels in social and ecological systems to better adapt to climate change? Journal of Applied Ecology. 57:1113–1123.

46. Booth A, Sifford C, Siebert C, Buma B. 2020. Large wood inhibits debris flow runout in forested southeast Alaska. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms. 45(7): 1555-1568.

45. Buma B, Weiss S, Hayes K*, Lucash M. 2020. Reburning increasing across the US West, with a limited amount of negative feedbacks. Environmental Research Letters. 15:034026

44. Kulakowski D, Buma B, Guz J, Hayes K*. 2019. The ecology of forest disturbances. Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Science.

43. Wiles G, Charlton J, Wilson R, D’Arrigo R, Buma B, Krapek J*, Gaglioti B, Wiesenberg N, Oelkers R. 2019. Yellow-cedar blue intensity tree ring chronologies as records of climate and forest-climate response, Juneau, Alaska, USA. Canadian Journal of Forest Research.  49(12): 1483-1492

42.  Buma B, Bisbing S, Wiles G, Bidlack A. 2019. 100 yr of primary succession highlights stochasticity and competition driving community establishment and stability. Ecology. 100(12): e02885

41. McWethy DB, Schoennagel T, Higuera PE, Krawchuk M, Harvey BJ, Metcalf EC, Schultz C, Miller C, Metcalf AL, Buma B, Virapongse A, Kulig JC, Stedman RC, Ratajczak Z, Nelson CR, Kolden C. 2019. Rethinking resilience to wildfire. Nature Sustainability. 2:797–804

40. Bisbing S, Buma B, Oakes L, Krapek J*, Bidlack A. 2019. From canopy to seed: Loss of snow drives directional changes in forest composition. Ecology and Evolution. 9(14): 8157-8174.

39. Buma B, Battelori E, Bisbing S, Holz A, Hennon PE, Mortiz M, Saunders SE, Creutzburg MK, DellaSala DA, Gregovich D, Krapek J*, Zaret K, Bidlack A. 2019. Emerging freeze and fire dynamics in temperate rainforests. Austral Ecology. 44: 812-826.

38. Johnson A*, Kruger L, Noel J, Gregovich D, Buma B.  2019. Impacts of Submerging and Emerging Shorelines on Various Biota and Indigenous Alaskan Harvesting Patterns. Journal of Coastal Research.  35(4): 765-775.

37. Buma B, Thompson T. 2019. Long-term exposure to more frequent disturbances increases baseline carbon in some ecosystems: Mapping and quantifying the disturbance frequency-ecosystem C relationship. PLOS One.

36. Higuera P, Metcalf A, Miller C, Buma B, McWethy D, Metcalf E, Ratajczak Z, Nelson C, Chaffin B, Stedman R, McCaffrey S, Schoennagel T, Harvey B, Hood S, Schultz C, Black A, Campbell D, Haggerty J, Keane R, Krawchuk M, Kulig J, Rafferty R, Virapongse A. 2019. Integrating subjective and objective dimensions of resilience in fire-prone landscapes. BioScience.  69(5): 379-388.

35. Buma B, Harvey B, Gavin D, Kelly R, Loboda T, McNeil B, Marlon J, Meddens AJH, Morris JL, Raffa K, Shuman B, Smithwick E, McLauchlan K. 2019. The value of linking short and long-term perspectives to understand spatially-explicit ecosystem resilience. Landscape Ecology 34(1): 17-33.

34. McNicol G**, Bulmer C, D'Amore DV, Sanborn P, Saunders S, Giesbrecht I, Gonzalez-Arriola S, Bidlack AL, Butman D, Buma B. 2019. Large, climate-sensitive soil carbon stocks mapped with pedology-informed machine learning in the North Pacific coastal temperate rainforest. Environmental Research Letters. 14 014004

33. Sommerfeld A, Senf C, Buma B, D’Amato AW, Despres T, Diaz-Hormazabal, Fraver S, Frelich LE, Gutierrez AG, Hart SJ, Harvey BJ, He HS, Hlasny T, Holz A, Kitzberger T, Kulakowski D, Lindenmeyer D, Mori AS, Muller J, Paritsis J, Perry GLW, Stephens S, Svoboda M, Tuner MG, Veblen TT, Seidl R. 2018. Patterns and drivers of recent disturbances across the temperate forest biome.  Nature Communications.  9: 4355.               

32. Buma B.  2018.  Transitional climate mortality: Slower warming may result in increased climate-induced mortality in some systems.  Ecosphere. 9(3): e02170.

31. Krapek J*, Buma B.  2018. Persistence following punctuated range extension: limited dispersal of migrating tree despite habitat ahead of its range.  Journal of Ecology 106: 911-924.

30.  Buma B, Costanza JK, Riitters K. 2017.  Determining the size of a complete disturbance landscape:  Multi-scale, continental analysis of forest change.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment 189: 642.

29. Krapek J*, Hennon PE, D’Amore DV, Buma B.  2017. Despite available habitat, migration of climate-threatened tree appears punctuated with past pulse tied to Little Ice Age climate period.  Diversity and Distributions.  23(12): 1381-1392.

28. Gill N, Kulakowski D, Sangermano F, Buma B. 2017. Populus tremuloides seedling establishment: An underexplored vector for forest type conversion after multiple disturbances.  Forest Ecology and Management.  404: 156-164.

27. Riitters K, Costanza JK, Buma B.  2017. Interpreting multiscale domains of tree cover disturbance patterns in North America. Ecological Indicators.

26. Buma B., Livneh B. 2017. Key landscape and biotic indicators of watersheds sensitivity to forest disturbance. Environmental Research Letters.  12:074028

25. Buma B, Bisbing S, Krapek J*, Wright G.  2017. A foundation of ecology re-discovered:  100 years of succession on the William S Cooper permanent plots shows importance of contingency in community development. Ecology.  98(6): 1513-1523.

24. Buma B, Hennon PE, Harrington CA, Popkin JR, Krapek J, Lamb M, Oakes LE, Saunders SC, Zeglen S.  2017. Emerging broad-scale mortality driven by climate warming and loss of snowpack.  Global Change Biology.  23(7): 2903-2914.

23. Bidlack A, Bisbing S, Buma B, D’Amore DV, Hennon P, Huette T, Krapek J, Mulvey R, Oakes LE. 2017. Alternative interpretation and scale-based context for No evidence of recent (1995-2013) decrease in yellow-cedar in Alaska (Barrett and Pattison 2017). Canadian Journal of Forest Research.  47(8): 1145-1151.

22. Fellman JB, Buma B, Hood E, Edwards RT, D’Amore DV.  2017. Linking LiDAR with streamwater biogeochemistry in coastal temperate rainforest watersheds.  Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences.  74(6):801-811

21. Buma B, Krapek J*, Edwards RT.  2016. Watershed-scale forest biomass distribution in a perhumid temperate rainforest as driven by topographic, soil, and disturbance variables.  Canadian Journal of Forest Research.  46(6): 844-854.

20. Mayer AL, Buma B, Davis A, Gagne SA, Loudermilk EL, Scheller R, Schmiegelow F, Wiersma Y, Franklin J.  2016. How landscape ecology informs global land change science and policy. BioScience.  66(6): 458-469.

19. Kranabetter JM, KK McLauchlan, SK Enders, JM Fraterrigo, PE Higuera, JL Morris, EB Rastetter, R Barnes, B Buma, DG Gavin, LM Gerhart, L Gillson, P Hietz, MC Mack, B McNeil, S Perakis.  2016.  A framework to assess biogeochemical response to ecosystem disturbance using nutrient partitioning ratios.  Ecosystems.  19: 387-395.

18. Krapek J*, Buma B.  2015.  Yellow-cedar:  Climate change and natural history at odds.  Frontiers in Ecology and Environment.  13: 280-281.

17. Buma B, Livneh B.  2015. Potential effects of forest disturbances and management on water resources in a warmer climate.  Forest Science.  61: 895-903.1

6. Buma B, Barrett T.  2015.  Signs of disturbance disequilibrium and directional change in the world’s largest temperate rainforest.  Global Change Biology.  21: 3445-3454.

15. Buma B.  2015. Disturbance interactions:  Characterization, prediction, and the potential for cascading effects.  Ecosphere.  6:art70.

14. Livneh B., J.S. Deems, B. Buma, J.J. Barsugli, D. Schneider, N.P. Molotch, K. Wolter, and C.A. Wessman, 2015. Catchment response to bark beetle outbreak in the upper Colorado River basin. Journal of Hydrology.  523: 196-210.            

13. Buma B, Johnson AC*. 2015.  The role of windstorm exposure and yellow cedar decline on landslide susceptibility in southeast Alaskan temperate rainforests. Geomorphology.  228, 504-511.              

12. Buma B, Poore B, Wessman CA.  2014. Disturbances, Their Interactions, and Cumulative Effects on Carbon and Charcoal Stocks in a Forested Ecosystem.  Ecosystems.  17(6): 947-959.              

11. Buma B, Hennon PE, Bidlack AL, Baichtal JF, Ager TA, Streveler G.  2014.  Correspondence regarding “The problem of conifer species migration lag in the Pacific Northwest region since the last glaciation” by Elias, S.A., 2013, Quaternary Science Reviews 77, 53-69.               

10. McLauchlan, K.K., P.E. Higuera, D.G. Gavin, S.S. Perakis, M.M. Mack, H. Alexander, J. Battles, F. Biondi, B. Buma, D. Colombaroli, S.K. Enders, D.R. Engstrom, F.S. Hu, J. Marlon, J. Marshall, M. McGlone, J. Morris, L. Nave, B.N. Shuman, E.A.H. Smithwick, D. Urrego, D. Wardle, C. Williams, and J.J. Williams. 2014. Reconstructing disturbances and their biogeochemical consequences over multiple timescales. BioScience. 64(2): 105-116.              

 9. Buma B.  2014.  Nutrient responses to ecosystem disturbances from annual to multi-millennial timescales.  New Phytologist. 1: 13-15.               

 8. Buma B, Brown C, Donato D, Fontaine J, Johnstone J.  2013.  The impacts of changing disturbance regimes on serotinous plant populations and communities.  BioScience 63(11): 866-876.               

 7. Buma B, Wessman CA.  2013.  Forest resilience, climate change, and opportunities for adaptation:  A specific case of a general problem.  Forest Ecology and Management.  306: 216-225              

 6. Buma B, Pugh ET, Wessman CA.  2013.  Effect of a major insect outbreak on phenological and LAI trends in southern Rocky Mountain forests.  International Journal of Remote Sensing.  34(20): 7249-7274.               

 5. Buma B.  2013.  Don’t give up just yet:  Maintaining species, services, and systems in a changing world.  Invited commentary on:   Sandler R.  Climate Change and Ecosystem Management.  Ethics, Policy, and Environment.  16(1): 1-4.                

 4. Buma B, Wessman CA.  2013.  Management, science, and disturbances as opportunities for adaptive transformation of forests.  The International Journal of Climate Change.  4(3): 77-87.             

 3. Buma B, Wessman CA.  2012.  Differential species responses to compounded perturbations and implications for landscape heterogeneity and resilience.  Forest Ecology and Management, 266:25-33.               

 2. Buma B.  2012.  Evaluating the utility and seasonality of NDVI values for assessing post-disturbance recovery in a subalpine forest.  Environmental Monitoring and Assessment.  184(6):3849-3860.               

 1. Buma B, Wessman CA.  2011.  Disturbance interactions can impact resilience mechanisms of forests.  Ecosphere.  2(5):art64. 

Publications in Revision/Review

•COVID and research, National Geographic publication.

•Gradientes climáticos y ambientales en los ecosistemas terrestres subantárticos de la Reserva de Biósfera Cabo de Hornos, Chile. Aguirre F, Squeo AF, Lopez D, Crego R, Buma B, Casassa G, Rozzi R. In prep.

•Vascik B., Booth AM, Buma B, Berti M. Amount and Fate of Carbon Mobilized by Landsliding in SE Alaska. Biogeosciences. In review.

•Buma B. Disturbance ecology and the problem of n = 1. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. In revision.

Other Publications

•Hausle-Johnson N, Buma B. 2021. Tile art exhibit: Resilience in the Alaskan boreal. Fairbanks, Alaska. 

•Buma B. 2020. The world’s southernmost tree hangs on in one of the windiest places on Earth. The Conversation.

•Buma B. 2020. Notes from the Edge of the World. Earth Island Journal.

•DellaSala D, Buma B. 2019. Tongass National Forest roadless areas hold keys to Alaska’s climate future. 4 pages.

•DellaSala D, Buma B. 2019. Analysis of carbon storage in roadless areas of the Tongass National Forest. Comment on DEIS Roadless Rule Removal, to USFS. 22 pages.

•Buma B. 2018. On the value of wasting paper. Science. 11(360): 10.1126

•Yellow-cedar salvage logging market characterization. Bidlack AL, Clark C, Buma B, Bisbing B, VanderNaald B. 2018. USFS report. 12 pages.

•Buma B. 2018.  Grey on Green: The quiet decline of one tree in Alaska’s temperate rainforest. Earth Island Journal. July 23, 2018.

•Bidlack, A, Buma B, Butman D. 2017. Quantifying coastal rain forest carbon transport. Eos. 98.

•Buma B.  2015.  Field Methods in Forest Ecology Laboratory Manual.  University of Alaska Southeast.  80 pages.

•Buma B.  2013.  “It takes two to fill our forests with lichens.”  Juneau Empire

•Hermanson R, Nufio C, Schmidt B, Buma B.  2010.  Principles of Ecology Laboratory Manual.  University of Colorado.  Fountain head Press, Texas.  110 pages.  

BIOL 4050/5050 Advanced Biology Topics
BIOL 4880 Direct Research
BIOL 3411 Principles of Ecology