Ronald P. Neilson

dept. of botany & Plant pathology

Ronald P. Neilson is a Professor (Courtesy) with the Department of Botany and Plant Pathology and the Department of Forest Science at Oregon State University, recently retired as a BioClimatologist with the USDA Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. Dr. Neilson has focused on the theory, mechanisms and simulation of vegetation distribution for over three decades. He received the Cooper Award from the Ecological Society of America for his research on oak distribution in the Rocky Mountain region. Dr. Neilson’s MAPSS biogeography model and MC1 dynamic general vegetation model have contributed to national and global assessments by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and the U.S. Global Change Research Program and to Our Changing Planet, the formal description of the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Dr. Neilson was the lead author for the Forest sector for the IPCC’s special report on The Regional Impacts of Climate Change and the convening lead author for an Annex to the Special Report on simulations of global vegetation re-distribution under climate change. Dr. Neilson’s work with the IPCC contributed to their share of the 2007 Nobel Peace Prize, along with former Vice-President, Al Gore. His current work extends into Earth System Modeling, Landscape System Modeling and large-scale fire forecasting.

SELECTED publications

Neilson, R.P. and S.W. Running. 1996. Global dynamic vegetation modelling: coupling biogeochemistry and biogeography models, p. 451-465. In: B. Walker and W. Steffen (eds.), Global Change and Terrestrial Ecosystems. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

VEMAP Members. 1995. Vegetation/ ecosystem modeling and analysis project: Comparing biogeography and biogeochemistry models in a continental-scale study of terrestrial ecosystem responses to climate change and CO2 doubling. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 9:407-37.

Neilson, R.P. and D. Marks. 1994. A global perspective of regional vegetation and hydrologic sensitivities from climatic change. J. Vegetation Sci. 5:715-730.

King, G.A. and R.P. Neilson. 1992. The transient response of vegetation to climate change: A potential source of CO2 to the atmosphere. Water, Air and Soil Pollution 64:365-383.