Meg Krawchuk
Associate Professor, Landscape Fire and Conservation Science
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University

Postdoctoral Research Fellow (2007-2011), University of California, Berkeley
Ph.D. Conservation Biology (2007), University of Alberta, Edmonton





The Lab:

Graham Frank, Research Associate | Graham grew up in Oregon and discovered his interest in ecology at Colorado College before pursuing a master’s in Forest Biology at Purdue University.  His research interests lie in how natural and anthropogenic disturbances alter the structure and function of communities, and in how this knowledge can be applied to conservation in managed forests.  Graham has previously worked on projects involving invasive plants, forest regeneration, soil properties, and forest health, and is enjoying the challenges of becoming reacquainted with Oregon’s forests after several years spent learning in other systems.  Graham’s PhD research at Oregon State investigated the biodiversity of early-seral plant and wildlife communities following high severity wildfire, and how much of this diversity is supported by post-harvest tree plantations. Graham is currently working as a Research Associate/postdoc extending his PhD work through research and outreach.



 Sven RodneSven Rodne, MS student (co-supervised with Dr. James Johnston) | Sven is a born and raised Oregonian who grew up adventuring in many of the old burn perimeters of southwest Oregon’s forests. He further cultivated this interest in wildland fire by receiving his bachelor’s degree in Natural Resources with an option in Wildland Fire Ecology at Oregon State University. After graduating, he worked in the Oregon State University College of Forestry Tree Ring Lab. While working for the Tree Ring Lab, he developed a passion for dendropyrochronology (reconstructing fire frequency in forests through the study of tree rings) and disturbance ecology. He has worked on historical fire reconstructions in Oregon and Washington’s west cascade regions, on the East side of Mt. Hood, and in the Elliott State Research Forest. His current projects are focused on historical stand reconstructions in Oregon’s Rogue Basin and historical fire reconstructions/stand dynamics of the lower Illinois River, located in southwest Oregon.




Jennifer Bailey-Guerrero, PhD student | Originally from Oregon, Jenn grew up exploring forests of Oregon and SW Washington from a very young age. She pursued an undergraduate degree in Environmental Earth Science from Colorado, a master's degree in Biological Oceanography from Rhode Island, and spent several years abroad, studying avian nesting behaviors in the Peruvian Amazon and serving in the Peace Corps in Paraguay, before finally finding her way back to the Pacific Northwest. Prior to joining the lab, Jenn worked at the College of Forestry for multiple years on the Oregon Marbled Murrelet Project and then with the Elliott State Research Forest Project. The focus of Jenn's research is looking at historic fire reconstructions in marbled murrelet nesting habitat and how fire and other disturbance events have shaped forest stand structure in the Coast Range for this endangered seabird species. Outside of research and work, Jenn enjoys spending time tending to the small farm she runs with her husband and taking her two little boys for hikes along the old paths of her own childhood.



 Charles Drake, MS student | Charles grew up in the foothills of the Oregon Coast Range and completed a degree in Classics at the University of Oregon. Having completed preliminary post baccalaureate studies in Forestry at OSU, he worked on several research projects across five national forests in Oregon, investigating fire history and forest ecology. Charles's research on the McDonald-Dunn research forest will focus on the role of fire in shaping old-growth forests of the Willamette Valley margins, and the natural and cultrual legacity of fire-modulated forests. Charles enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, hunting for big trees on public lands, woodworking, music, and playing computer games with the lads.




Cassidy Ruge, Faculty Research Assistant (supervised by Jenn Bailey-Guerrero on the MAMU-disturbance history project) | Cassidy grew up in western Massachusetts and moved to Mexico with his family as a teenager. He recently made the move to Corvallis, where he's lived since early 2022. Cassidy is a self-professed bird nerd and has been birding since the age of 8. He has never envisioned a career outside of conservation and has devoted the last nine years to gaining experience in field biology, where he's participated in research projects across the country. Cassidy has worked in the Oregon Coast Range since 2019, when he joined the Oregon Marbled Murrelet Project as a field technician. After two additional years on the project as a crew lead, Cassidy decided to dip his toes into the world of dendrochronology and joined the Marbled Murrelet tree coring project. Cassidy is interested in Marbled Murrelet nest site selection as it pertains to habitat type and stand history. He looks forward to continuing to learn more about forest ecology. In his spare time, Cassidy enjoys relaxing with his two cats, baking, and taking hikes.


Allison Swartz, Postdoctoral Fellow (co-supervised with Dr. Brooke Penaluna, Dr. Becky Flitcroft, Dr. Ashley Coble, and Dr. Joe Ebersole) | more details soon! 



 Lab lunch December 2021




Graduate students:

Graham Frank, PhD 2023 | Biodiversity responses in early seral forests of the Klamath-Siskiyou: Comparisons with birds, bees, and ground beetles among post-fire, salvage logging, and intensive forest management environments. Now Research Associate at OSU.

Jessie Thoreson, MS 2023 | Karuk stewardship of Xánthiip (black oak, Quercus kelloggii) in the Western Klamath Mountains: Development of an ecocultural monitoring protocol. Now Faculty Research Assistant at University of Washington.

Doug Turk, MS 2022 | The interaction of fire refugia and climate refugia: a case study within California's Diablo Mountain Range. Now Project Manager - Forestry at Mendocino County Resource Conservation District.

Claire Tortorelli, PhD 2022 | Drivers and impacts of a recent annual grass invasion: Ventenata dubia and fire in the Inland Northwest. Now postdoc at UC Davis.

Andrew Merschel, PhD 2021 | Historical forest succession and disturbance dynamics in Coastal Douglas-fir forests in the southwest Cascades of Oregon. Now ORISE postdoc with USFS PNW Research Station.

Anna Talucci, PhD 2019 | Beetle outbreaks and wildfires: drivers of fire severity, recruitment, and structural legacies for sub-boreal forests in British Columbia. Now postdoc at Woodwell Climate Research Center.

Will Downing, MS 2018 | Fire refugia function and composition in dry mixed-conifer forests of Oregon's Blue Mountains. Now with USFS in fire fighting operations and USFS R&D Enterprise.

Kurt Frei, MSc 2018 | Bark beetles and wildfire: Influence of overlapping disturbances on wood and light in a sub-boreal headwater system. Now Regional Aquatic Ecologist, Kamloops BC.

Michael Ton, MSc 2015 | The effects of disturbance history on the taxonomic and functional composition of ground-layer plant communities. Now at Vancouver Public Library, Public Services Associate, Vancouver BC.

Philip Camp, MSc 2015 | Human-fire interactions in British Columbia: varying constraints on human-caused wildfire occurrence and geography of the wildland-development interface. Now Emergency Management Specialist, FEMA, New York.

Kimberly House (McGrenere) MSc 2014 | Bird and beetle assemblages in mountain pine beetle killed forests and those subsequently burned: evidence for an effect of compound natural disturbances in British Columbia. Now somewhere in a crag, and working at Mountain Equipment Coop, Vancouver, BC.


Undergraduate thesis students:

Sarabeth Pearce-Smith, OSU Honors College | Exotic species success in fire- and harvest-disturbed forest sites in southwest Oregon

Simone Gibson, OSU Honors College | Examining the effect of annual grass invasion on fire spread and severity: fuel modeling for Ventenata dubia

Nathan Blades, Spring 2018 BRR Program|  Reconstructing the historical fire climate relationship for the Fremont-Winema National Forests

Isabell Eischeid (joint with Wendy Palen, Biological Sciences) Spring 2012 | Damming BC: A spatial assessment of existing and proposed run of river projects in the province of British Columbia


Faculty Research Assistants/Associates/Postdocs/Visitors:

Rachel Houtman, Faculty Research Assistant | now at USFS 

Cameron Naficy, Research Associate | now USFS R6 FHP/Regional Ecology Program.

James Johnston, Research Associate | now Assistant Professor Senior Research at OSU. 

Fermín Alcasena, USDA Forest Service International Visitor/Postdoctoral Scholar.  

Garrett Meigs, Research Associate/postdoc | now Forest Health Scientist at Washington State Department of Natural Resources.

Ana Barros, Research Associate/postdoc | now Fire Risk Manager and Scientist at Washington State Department of Natural Resources. 

Marc Edwards, Faculty Research Assistant | Marc worked with us on a wide variety of projects in the lab including the Carrott Lake experimental burn project, burn severity work in Entiako Provincial Park, and analytical/conceptual support to the BEACONs project. Marc is now a spatial analyst for the Canadian Boreal Forest Agreement and BEACONs. 

Ellen Whitman, Faculty Research Assistant | Ellen worked with us as a spatial analyst on the Fire Refugia Project through 2013 and 2014. Ellen is now working with the Canadian Forest Service in Edmonton, Alberta and completed her PhD at the University of Alberta in 2019.


Field research assistants and trainees:

Summer 2021 trainees and field assistants. Coming soon! 

Summer 2020 trainees and field assistants. Haley Weir, Simone Gibson

Summer 2019 crews and trainees. Kaitlyn Wright, Rya Rubenthaler, Ken Burton on the ESFB project. David Moy and Sylvan Pritchett on the Fire Refugia project. Leila Giovanonni on the Ventenata project.

Moriah Young, Summer 2018 | Claire Tortorelli's Ventenata plant communities and fire project, Oregon USA

Charles Drake, Kaitlyn Wright, Tyler Mesberg, Jasper Romero, Erana Loveless, Summer 2018 | Andrew Merschel's Umpqua fire history project, Oregon, USA

Jean McCalmont, Claire Tortorelli, Juliann VanSant, Summer 2017 | Will Downing's fire refugia project, Oregon, USA

Kirsten Calder-Sutt, NSERC USRA program, Summer 2016 | Field data collection for short-interval disturbance research in Entiako Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. 

Aaron Walchuk, Field Research volunteer, Summer 2016 | Field data collection for short-interval disturbance research in Entiako Provincial Park, British Columbia, Canada. 

Brian Cobb, Lab volunteer, Summer 2016 | Spatial data jockey #1 for History of Harvest project in the Pacific Northwest

Coleen Hill, Lab volunteer, Summer 2016 | Spatial data jockey #2 (!) for History of Harvest project in the Pacific Northwest

Leah Walker, NSERC Engage program, Fall 2015 Working with MSc student Phil Camp on his wildland-development interface mapping project. Data validation and programming in R using leaflet().

Jennifer Avery, USRA summer 2014 Identifying beetles from Kim's summer collecting season and dabbling with burn severity mapping.

Kathy Ma, Spring and Summer 2014 volunteer. Work study focused on dendroclimatology of lodgepole pine in central interior BC, preparing herbarium materials, "communications".

Aaron Tilston-Redican, Work Study Spring 2014. Work study identifying beetles from Kim's summer collecting season.

Amanda Schrack, Jennifer Avery, George Pietrusinski, Spring 2014 volunteers. Helping to identify beetles from Kim's summer collecting season.

Katie Goodwin, Work Study Fall 2013. Helping Michael with biomass samples from the summer field season. Thanks Katie!

Kathy Ma, Canada Summer Jobs Program 2013 Kathy worked with Michael Ton this summer, exploring the Binta Fire and all it had (or didn't have...) to offer. Particularly impressive was Kathy's ability to bake pies in the camp stove and tell endless entertaining stories. Thanks Kathy.

Stephen Ingraham, NSERC USRA summer 2013 Stephen worked with Kim House during the "long summer of 2013", cooking tastey camp meals and able-y persisting through early birding mornings, and the challenges of an industrial landscape. Thanks Stephen.

Natasha Murphy, NSERC USRA summer 2012 Natasha worked with us up at Carrott Lake. With her funky green tent and anything-goes attitude, Natasha was key in making summer 2012 a successful field season. Thanks Natasha.