Dr. R. Quinn Thomas

Biological Sciences

Dr. Thomas is an assistant professor of forest dynamics and ecosystem modeling in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. Before arriving to Virginia Tech, he was a postdoctoral scientist at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, CO.

Thomas’ research at Virginia Tech focuses on the interactions among ecosystem dynamics, climate change, and air pollution, with a particular emphasis on carbon cycling in forests. Key areas of global change research include: 1) investigating how forests and forest management influence climate through numerous pathways that include altering greenhouse gas exchange and surface energy balance, 2) simulating coupled biogeochemical cycles in Earth System Models that are used in climate change predictions, and 3) studying how nitrogen pollution and climate impact carbon storage in forests.

To address these questions, Dr. Thomas works across a wide range of spatial scales, from individual trees to the globe using a broad set of tools, including ecosystem and Earth System models, remote sensing, large dataset analysis, and whole-ecosystem experiments.

Email address        Thomas Lab


Recent relevant publications:

Thomas, R. Q., S. Zaehle, P.H. Templer, and C.L. Goodale. In Press. Global patterns of nitrogen limitation: Confronting two global biogeochemical models with observations. Global Change Biology.

Thomas, R. Q., J. R. Kellner, D. B. Clark, and D. Peart. 2013. Low mortality in tall tropical trees. Ecology 94:920–929.

Thomas, R. Q., G. B. Bonan, and C. L. Goodale. 2013.  Insights into mechanisms governing forest carbon response to nitrogen deposition: a model-data comparison using observed responses to nitrogen addition. Biogeosciences Discussions 10: 1635–1683.

Raciti, S. M, T. J. Fahey, R. Q. Thomas, P. B. Woodbury, C. T. Driscoll, F. J. Carranti, D. R. Foster, P. S. Gwyther, B. R. Hall, S. P. Hamburg, J. C. Jenkins, C. Neill, B. W. Peery, E. E. Quigley, R. Sherman, M. A. Vadeboncoeur, D. A. Weinstein, G. Wilson.  2012.  Local scale carbon budgets and mitigation opportunities for the northeastern United States.  Bioscience 62: 23-38.

Thomas, R.Q., C. D. Canham, K. C. Weathers, and C. L. Goodale.  2010. Increased tree carbon storage in response to nitrogen deposition in the U.S.  Nature Geosciences 3: 13-17.

Canham, C. D. and R. Q. Thomas.  2010. Local frequency but not relative abundance of temperate tree species varies along climate gradients in eastern North America.  Ecology 91: 3433 – 3440.