Portrait of Drew Peltier

Drew Peltier, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Life Sciences
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Dendroecology, Ecophysiology, Radiocarbon, Bayesian statistics, Disturbance and Global Change Ecology.


The driving focus of Dr. Peltier's lab group is understanding how trees respond to their environment across temporal scales, towards improving our capacity to predict forest responses to future global change. Trees respond to climate conditions over long time scales, where precipitation many years in the past may be driving tree growth happening today. This is called “memory.” The lab is focused on improving the quantification of memory in tree growth using new collections of tree rings to parameterize Bayesian hierarchical models and improve the representation of memory effects in dynamic global vegetation models.

They also explore the mechanisms of memory, such as very long storage of nonstructural carbon reserves. Carbon reserves are the products of past photosynthesis, sugars, starch, and lipids, stored for future metabolic needs. Radiocarbon dating of carbon reserves has shown trees rely on decades-old reserves to survive long-term drought, or 50-100 year old reserves to recover from extreme fire. They work in forests across the western US, from the diminutive piñon (Pinus edulis), to very tall coast redwoods (Sequoia sempervirens) and giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum).

Additional Information

  • SEB Program Group Soil-Plant-Water Stress Interactions