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Vegetation Section Officers

Chair: Martin Dovčiak (

Martin is an associate professor in plant ecology at the State University of New York College of Environmental Science and Forestry (SUNY ESF) in Syracuse. His PhD is from the University of Minnesota and his post-doctoral training was at the University of Washington-both in forest ecology. His undergraduate degree is in forest engineering from Technical University in Zvolen, Slovakia. Martin’s research focuses on responses of forest ecosystems and plant communities to various global change drivers and on ecological applications in forest ecosystem management. Martin joined ESA in 2002 and served as Vice Chair for ESA Vegetation Section from 2019 to 2021. He regularly contributes as a judge for ESA Buell-Braun awards.

Vice Chair: Carissa Brown (

Carissa is a plant ecologist and associate professor of biogeography at Memorial University of Newfoundland and Labrador. Her Northern EDGE Lab research group focuses on the distribution of plant species at the edge of their ranges, with particular emphasis on non-climatic factors influencing species responses to climate change. Her research primarily takes place in fire-driven boreal forest ecosystems, in both sub-arctic and southern regions. Carissa champions the use of experimentation in field studies, and leads the Global Treeline Range Expansion Experiment. She has been engaged with ESA since her first meeting in Montreal in 2005, most recently chairing ESA’s W.S. Cooper Award Committee, as well as being an active member of the Canadian Society for Ecology and Evolution.

Secretary/Treasurer: Lisa Kluesner (

Lisa is the Forest Ecologist for the Wayne National Forest and an ESA Certified Ecologist. She received her MS in Environmental Science from the University of Idaho and her BS in Natural Resource Management from Oregon State University. Lisa’s work focuses on the practical applications of ecological classification and state-and-transition modeling in forest vegetation planning and management.

Student Rep: Morgan Frost (

Morgan is a PhD Candidate in Environmental Health Science at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. Prior to starting graduate school, Morgan received a BS in Biology and Environmental Studies at Washington and Lee University in 2018. Her research focuses on the multi-trophic impacts of invasive grass species in mixed grass prairies. She is especially interested in understanding how invasion will impact long-term rangeland sustainability, particularly in the face of climate change.

Past Chair: Kyle Palmquist (

Kyle is a plant ecologist interested in the ecological processes that influence and maintain plant biodiversity. She is particularly interested in asking ecological questions over large spatial scales, ultimately to inform landscape conservation. Kyle received her BS in Biology and Environmental Studies from the College of Charleston and her PhD in Ecology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Prior to joining the Department of Biological Sciences at Marshall University in January 2019, she was a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Wyoming.

See all past Vegetation Section Officers since 1984 (Section’s establishment) here.