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Stephan, Kirsten

Teaching Associate Professor of Forest Resources Management

At the intersection of biology and forestry, Dr. Kirsten Stephan studies the role of disturbance, plant diversity and physiology in ecosystem function. Of particular interest are the effects of forest management, fire, and land use on nitrogen and carbon cycling. Dr. Stephan enjoys working in forested ecosystems, including the Rocky Mountains, the Ozark Mountains and, since 2016, the Appalachians, but she also appreciates the plant diversity of prairies and the complexity of urban ecosystems. Her current research focuses on the role of herbaceous plants on watershed-level nitrogen retention at the Fernow Experimental Forest in West Virginia. Dr. Stephan earned a Master’s degree in Biology from Friedrich-Schiller University in Jena, Germany, and a Ph.D. in Natural Resources from the University of Idaho. She teaches Forest Botany and Tree Physiology.

Select Publications

  1. STEPHAN, K., K.L. KAVANAGH AND A. KOYAMA. 2015. Comparing the Influence of Wildfire and Prescribed Burns on Watershed Nitrogen Biogeochemistry Using 15N Natural Abundance in Terrestrial and Aquatic Ecosystem Components. PlosOne DOI:10.1371/journal.pone.0119560
  2. KNAPP, B.O., K. STEPHAN AND J.A. HUBBART. 2015. Structure and composition of an oak-hickory forest following over 60 years of repeated prescribed burning in Missouri, U.S.A. Forest Ecology and Management 344:95-109 doi:10.1016/j.foreco.2015.02.009
  3. STEPHAN, K., K.L. KAVANAGH AND A. KOYAMA. 2012. Effects of spring prescribed burning and wildfires on watershed nitrogen dynamics of central Idaho headwater areas. Forest Ecology and Management 263:240-252
  4. STEPHAN, K., M. MILLER AND M. DICKINSON. 2010. First-order fire effects on herbs and shrubs: present knowledge and process modeling needs. Fire Ecology 6:95-114
  5. STEPHAN, K. AND K.L. KAVANAGH, 2009. Suitability of the diffusion method for ammonium and nitrate in KCl extracts for 15N analysis at natural abundance. Soil Science Society of America Journal 73:1-10 
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