Last update: 2013-01-20 23:46:28

John J. Battles

University of California Berkeley
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720
Telephone: 510-643-0684


Ph.D. from Cornell University in forest science, May 1994.
B.S. from Yale University in biology, May 1985.

Professional Positions:
  • Professor of forest ecology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley, July 2009 to present
  • Chair, Division of Ecosystem Sciences. July 2010 to present.
  • Associate/assistant professor of forest ecology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley, January 1995 to June 2009
  • Postdoctoral research associate, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, January 1994 - December 1994

  • Research Interests and Activities:
    The goal of our lab is to know how and why forests change. Given the scope of human enterprise (e.g., pollution, land transformations, biotic additions and losses), many forest ecosystems are experiencing fundamentally novel challenges. In the face of this uncertainty, we need to understand the dynamics well enough to anticipate the likely direction and magnitude of responses. These insights must apply to forests in the real world with all the attendant complexities. Therefore robust, quantitative field studies form the core of my research program. The objective is to produce answers to pertinent questions that a physicist accepts as valid and that a naturalist acknowledges as authentic. Currently our research centers on three basic questions: 1) the interactive control of the disturbance regime on ecosystem processes; 2) the explicit effects of tree demography on community composition and ecosystem function; and 3) the mechanisms of resource capture and allocation in forests under conditions of multiple resource limitation.

    Distinguished Awards and Memberships:
    Board of Editors, Ecology; Departmental Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence; Hellman Family Junior Faculty Award

    Selected Publications:

    York, R.A., O’Hara, K.L. & Battles, J.J. 2013. Density effects on giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) growth through 22 years: Implications for restoration and plantation management. Western Journal of Applied Forestry. In press.

    Sherman, R.E., T.J. Fahey, P.H. Martin, and J.J. Battles. 2012. Patterns of growth, recruitment, mortality and biomass across an altitudinal gradient in a neotropical montane forest, Dominican Republic. Journal of Tropical Ecology 28:483-495.

    Qi Chen, G. V. Laurin, J. J. Battles, and D.S. Saah. 2012. Integration of airborne lidar and vegetation types derived from aerial photography for mapping aboveground live biomass. Remote Sensing of Environment 121:108-117.

    York, R.A., J.J. Battles, R.C. Wenk, and D.S. Saah. 2012. A gap-based approach for regenerating pine species and reducing surface fuels in multiaged mixed conifer stands in the Sierra Nevada, California. Forestry 85:203-213.

    van Mantgem,P.J.,N.L. Stephenson, E. Knapp, J.J. Battles and J.E. Keeley. 2011. Long-term effects of prescribed fire on mixed conifer forest structure in the Sierra Nevada, California. Forest Ecology and Management 261: 989-994.

    van Doorn, N. S., J.J. Battles, T.J. Fahey, T.G. Siccama, and P.A. Schwarz. 2011. Links between biomass and tree demography in a northern hardwood forest: A decade of stability and change in Hubbard Brook Valley, New Hampshire. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 41: 1369-1379.

    Eschtruth, A. K. and J. J. Battles. 2011. The importance of quantifying propagule pressure to understand invasion: an examination of riparian forest invasibility. Ecology 92:1314-1322.

    Obrist, D., D. W. Johnson, S. E. Lindberg, Y. Luo, O. Hararuk, R. Bracho, J. J. Battles, D. B. Dail, R. L. Edmonds, R. K. Monson, S. V. Ollinger, S. G. Pallardy, K. S. Pregitzer, and D. E. Todd. 2011. Mercury Distribution Across 14 US Forests. Part I: Spatial Patterns of Concentrations in Biomass, Litter, and Soils. Environmental Science & Technology 45:3974-3981.

    Collins, B. M., S. L. Stephens, G. B. Roller, and J. J. Battles. 2011. Simulating Fire and Forest Dynamics for a Landscape Fuel Treatment Project in the Sierra Nevada. Forest Science 57:77-88.

    Das, A., J. Battles, N. L. Stephenson, and P. J. van Mantgem. 2011. The contribution of competition to tree mortality in old-growth coniferous forests. Forest Ecology and Management 261:1203-1213.

    Stella, J., M. Hayden, J. Battles, H. Piegay, S. Dufour, and A. K. Fremier. 2011. The Role of Abandoned Channels as Refugia for Sustaining Pioneer Riparian Forest Ecosystems. Ecosystems 14:776-790.

    Cleavitt, N.L., T.J. Fahey, and J.J. Battles. 2011. Regeneration ecology of sugar maple (Acer saccharum): seedling survival in relation to nutrition, site factors, and damage by insects and pathogens. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 41: 235–244.

    York, R.A., J. J. Battles, A.K. Eschtruth, and F. G. Schurr. 2011. Giant sequoia (Sequoiadendron giganteum) regeneration in experimental canopy gaps. Restoration Ecology 19:14-23.

    Stella, J.C., J. J. Battles, and J.R. McBride and B. K. Orr. 2010. Riparian seedling mortality from simulated water table recession, and the design of sustainable flow regimes on regulated rivers. Restoration Ecology 18:284-294.

    Stella, J.C. and J.J. Battles. 2010. How do riparian woody seedlings survive seasonal drought? Oecologia 164:579-590.

    York, R. A., D. Fuchs, J.J. Battles and S.L. Stephens. 2010. Radial growth responses to gap creation in large, old Sequoiadendron giganteum. Journal of Applied Vegetation Science 1: 1-12.

    Gonzalez, P., G.P. Asner, J.J. Battles, M.A. Lefsky, K.M. Waring and M. Palace. 2010. Forest carbon densities and uncertainties from Lidar, QuickBird, and field inventories in California. Remote Sensing of the Environment 114: 1561-1575.

    Fahey, T.J., P.B. Woodbury, J.J. Battles, S. Ollinger, S. Hamburg, C. Woodall, and C. Goodale. 2010. Forest Carbon: Ecology, Management and Policy. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 8: 245-252.

    Yanai, R.D., J.J. Battles, A. D. Richardson, C.A. Blodgett, D.M. Wood, and E.B. Rastetter. 2010. Estimating uncertainty in ecosystems budgets. Ecosystems 13:239-248.

    Postdoctoral Associates:
    Anne K. Eschtruth

    Graduate Students:
    Natalie Solomonoff; Maya Hayden; Stella Cousins, Carrie-Rose Levine

    Graduate Advisor:
    Timothy Fahey

    Role at the Hubbard Brook:
    Senior scientist contributing to research in forest community ecology and tree population dynamics

    Title at Hubbard Brook:
    Principal Investigator