Ohio University

James M. Dyer

James M. Dyer Profile Picture
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Office Hours

Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 10:40 a.m. to noon, or by appointment

Recent News


Ph.D., University of Georgia, 1992


  • Biogeography
  • Landscape ecology
  • Forest dynamics


My research focuses on North American forests, especially in the eastern United States. As a biogeographer, I am interested in the patterns that emerge from the interactions of the physical environment, biotic processes, and disturbance.

Currently, I am working on several projects that involve fieldwork, GIS, and archival research. As part of an NSF-funded collaboration with Ohio State University and the U.S. Forest Service, I am using witness trees surveyed two centuries ago to develop a map of presettlement forest regions in southeastern Ohio. This map will serve as our baseline for investigating changes to the forests since settlement. A future change that we can likely expect in our hemlock forests are high rates of mortality caused by the invasive Hemlock Woolly Adelgid (HWA) that is spreading westward from the Appalachians.

Another ongoing project involves the establishment of permanent plots in the Hocking Hills to monitor changes associated with HWA infestation. A third project centers around a GIS-based water balance tool I developed for modeling moisture demand and availability within a landscape. Assessing moisture stress is important for understanding contemporary forest patterns, as well as the potential response to changing climate conditions. Feel free to contact me if you might be interested in participating in any of these research projects.

Courses Taught

  • GEOG 1100: Physical Geography
  • GEOG 3160/5160 (BIOS 3160/5160): Biogeography
  • GEOG 4170/5170: Landscape Ecology
  • GEOG 4712/5712: Field Methods
  • GEOG 5731: GIS Applications
  • GEOG 6160: Seminar in Biogeography

Representative Publications

Pederson, N., J.M. Dyer, R. McEwan, A. Hessl, C. Mock, D. Orwig, H. Rieder, and B. Cook. 2014. The legacy of episodic climatic events in shaping temperate, broadleaf forests. Ecological Monographs 84(4): 599-620.

McEwan, R.W., J.M. Dyer, and N. Pederson. 2011. Multiple interacting ecosystem drivers: toward an encompassing hypothesis of oak forest dynamics across eastern North America. Ecography 34: 244-256.

Dyer, J.M. 2010. Land use legacies in a central Appalachian forest: Differential response of trees and herbs to historic agricultural practices. Applied Vegetation Science 13: 195-206.

Dyer, J.M. 2009. Assessing topographic patterns in moisture use and stress using a water balance approach, Landscape Ecology 24: 391-403.

Dyer, J.M. 2006. Revisiting the Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America. BioScience 56: 341-352.

Dyer, J.M. 2001. Using witness trees to assess forest change in southeastern Ohio. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 31: 1708-1718.

Selected Student Projects

Examining the Cover and Composition of the Successional Vegetation Mosaic of Pre-SMCRA Mined Landscapes in Southeast Ohio, Gary Conley, Geography MS 2013.

Microclimatic and Topographic Controls of Fire Radiative Energy in Southeastern Ohio, Loredana G. Suciu, Geography M.A. 2009.

Ecological Considerations for Risk Management of the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid in the Hocking Hills, Ohio USA, Nicole Stump, M.Sc. 2008.

Using Landscape Variables to Assess Stream Health in Ohio’s Western Allegheny Plateau, Lisa King, Geography M.A. 2008.

Exotic Plant Colonization of the Forest Adjacent to Transmission Line Corridors in Athens County, Ohio, Kaabe Shaw, Environmental Studies M.S. 2002.

Land Use Land Cover Change From 1915 to 1999 in The Gwynns Falls Watershed, Baltimore County, Maryland: Creation of a Suburban Social Ecology, Michael Wehling, Geography M.A. 2001.