August 11, 2011

NSF-Supported Scientific Exchange Fellow Erin Kurten Expands CTFS-SIGEO Partnerships in China

The National Science Foundation grant to CTFS-SIGEO (DEB-1046113), in addition to supporting the recent workshop and symposium, provides support for a program of scientific exchange between the US and China. Young US-based researchers are spending periods of one to three months in collaborating labs in China to pursue studies on the dimensions of biological diversity in the world’s forests. Dr. Erin Kurten, post-doctoral fellow with CTFS at the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, is the first of these fellows and will spend one month in Shenyang, home of the Chinese Academy of Science’s Institute for Applied Ecology.

While in Shenyang, Erin is working directly with Dr. Zhanqing Hao (Professor and Head of the Research Center of Forest Ecology and Forestry Eco-Engineering at CAS) and his research group. Erin is helping develop of a set of guidelines for focal tree-based monitoring of tree phenology in CForBio forest plots. Additionally, she is collaborating with group members Dr. Xugao Wang and graduate student Yuqiang Zhao on a project to understand the mechanisms underlying a set of previously described positive and negative tree species associations.

Dr. Erin Kurten of CTFS- SIGEO works with Dr. Xugao Wang of the Chinese Academy of Sciences

Erin has been warmly welcomed by Dr. Hao’s group; they have helped her settle into Shenyang and are introducing her to the culinary diversity of Northeastern China. With more intellectual and culinary collaborations to come, Erin’s month in Shenyang promises to be a good one!