Professor of Forest Ecology 
103 Thomas Poe Cooper Building
Lexington, KY 40546-0073
(859) 257-2852

Curriculum Vitae

Courses Taught

  • FOR 340 Forest Ecology
  • Forestry graduate seminars


Ph.D. Cornell University

M.F.S. Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies

B.A. Colby College

Current Projects

Fire in the southern Appalachians:
Our research spanning two decades examines the effects of repeated prescribed fire and wildfire on fuel loading, stand structure, and forest regeneration in upland oak ecosystems on the Cumberland Plateau in eastern Kentucky. Conducted on sites in the Daniel Boone National Forest, our work relies on ground-based experimentation and sampling as well as the use of Landsat to detect changes in forest structure through time.

Urban forestry:
Urban forests are increasingly recognized as a critical resource for addressing issues of sustainability, both through the ways they help to modulate human energy use, air pollution, and stormwater runoff, but also because they serve as a nexus for human interactions with nature and the environment. The Forest Ecology lab group is a key contributor to the Urban Forest Initiative. See our website at:

Invasive species and the alteration of ecosystem dynamics:
Invasive species are an increasing threat to forest community and species diversity, and have the potential to alter forest ecosystem dynamics in profound ways. Our research in this area addresses basic questions regarding the spatial distribution and spread of invasive plant species, including examination of the ecophysiological attributes that enhance success of invasive plants, potential for chemically enhanced suppression of native species, and alteration to ecosystem function.

Role of forest change and species composition in ecosystem processes:
Research conducted in northern and Appalachian hardwood forests addresses questions regarding the role of individual tree species in forest ecosystem processes, including nitrogen and carbon cycling. Elements of forest change examined in my research group include the impacts of shifts in tree species composition on forest ecosystem function, such as alterations to decomposition and soil microbial communities as well as tree-specific effects on forest hydrology.


Photo of Mary Arthur