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Maria Uriarte

Title Professor
Affiliation/Department Department of Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology, Columbia University
Telephone: (212) 854-1494
Professional degree Ph.D., Ecology & Evol. Biology, Cornell University, 2002
Research Keywords Community ecology, landscape ecology, forest ecology, spatially-explicit modeling, statistical methods.
Research Description

Maria Uriarte is an Associate Professor in the Department for Ecology, Evolution and Environmental Biology at Columbia University. Through an integrated program of empirical and quantitative approaches, research in her lab examines forest ecological dynamics in response to natural disturbance and human land use. Research projects focus on disturbance ecology, forest succession, and community assembly. Field sites span geographic regions where forests have been subject to different forms of anthropogenic disturbance, including fire, hurricanes, fragmentation, and expansion of tree plantations. The methodological thread that unites the diverse research projects housed in the Uriarte lab is the application of spatially-explicit modelling techniques, simulation, and other advanced statistical and modelling tools to understand and forecast the dynamics of tropical forests ecosystems in response to disturbance. Her current projects include studies of the dynamics of deforestation and reforestation in post-agricultural landscapes of Puerto Rico, the effects of fires in agriculture-forest mosaics in the Peruvian Amazon, and seed dispersal processes in fragmented forests in the Brazilian Amazon. Prior to Columbia, Uriarte was a Postdoctoral Fellow at the Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies.

Uriarte received an M.S. in Environmental Studies from Yale University, and her Ph.D in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University. 

Representative Publications

DeFries, R., T. K. Rudel, M. Uriarte, and J. Hansen. 2010. Pressures on tropical forests in the 21 stcentury Nature Geosciences DOI: 10.1038/NGEO756

Uriarte, M., E. M. Bruna, P. Rubim, M. Anciães, and I. Jonckheere. In press a. Effects of forest fragmentation on seedling recruitment of an understory herb: Assessing seed vs. safe-site limitation. Ecology.

Comita, L.S, J. Thompson, M. Uriarte, I. Jonckheere, and J.K. Zimmerman. In press a. Land use history alters post-hurricane seedling dynamics in a tropical forest. Ecological Applications.

Russo, S.E., K.L. Jenkins, S.K. Wiser, M. Uriarte, R. Duncan, and D.A. Coomes. In press. Interspecific relationships among tree growth and mortality rates and wood traits. Functional Ecology.

Uriarte, M., L. Schneider, and T.K. Rudel. 2010. Land use transitions in the tropics: Going beyond the case studies. Biotropica 42:1:2 .

Uriarte, M., L. Schneider, and T.K. Rudel. 2010.Synthesis: Land use transitions in the tropics. Biotropica 42:59:62 .

Canham, CD, J. Thompson, J.K. Zimmerman, and M. Uriarte. 2010. Variation in susceptibility to hurricane damage as a function of storm severity in Puerto Rican tree species. Biotropica 42: 87-94.

Rudel, T.K., L. Schneider, M. Uriarte, B.L. Turner II, R. DeFries, D. Lawrence, J. Geoghegan, S. Hecht, A. Ickowitz, E. F. Lambin, T. Birkenholtz, S. Baptista, Ricardo Grau. 2009. Agricultural Intensification and Changes in Cultivated Areas, 1970-2005. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 106: 20675–20680.

Comita, L.S, M. Uriarte, J. Thompson, I. Jonckheere, C.D. Canham, and J.K. Zimmerman. 2009. Abiotic and biotic drivers of seedling survival in a hurricane-impacted tropical forest. Journal of Ecology 97: 1346–1359 .

Flynn DBF, M. Uriarte, T. Crk, J. B. Pascarella, J. K. Zimmerman, and M. Caraballo. 2010. Hurricane disturbance alters secondary forest recovery and introduced species dynamics. Biotropica42: 149-157 .

Rudel T, L.C. Schneider, M. Uriarte. 2009. Forest transitions: An introduction. Land Use Policy 27:95-97.

* Crk, T., M. Uriarte, F. Corsi, DBF Flynn. 2009. Tropical forest recovery in Puerto Rico. What is the relative importance of biophysical, socioeconomic, and landscape variables? Landscape Ecology 24: 629-642.

Cortes, M. C., V. Gowda, W. J. Kress, E.M. Bruna, and M. Uriarte. 2009. Characterization of 10 microsatellite markers for the understory Amazonian herb Heliconia acuminata. Molecular Ecology Resources 9: 1261-1264

Uriarte, M, C. Yackulic, T. Cooper, D. Flynn, M. Cortes, T. Crk, G. Cullman, M. McGinty, and J Sircely. 2009 a. Sugarcane, fires, and respiratory health in São Paulo, Brazil: Assessing the sustainability of biofuel production. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 132: 48-56.

Uriarte, M., C. D. Canham, J. Thompson, J. K. Zimmerman. 2009 b. Understanding natural disturbance and human land use as determinants of tree community dynamics in a subtropical wet forest: Results from a forest simulator. Ecological Monographs 79:423-443.

Uriarte, M. and C. Yackulic. 2009. Preaching to the unconverted. Ecological Applications 19: 592-596.

Uriarte, M. and M. Papaik. 2007. Hurricane impacts on dynamics, structure, and carbon sequestration of forest ecosystems in Southern New England. Tellus 59A:519-528.

Uriarte, M., H. Ewing, V.E. Eviner, and K. C. Weathers. 2007. Scientific culture, diversity, and society: suggestions for the development and adoption of a broader value system in science. Bioscience 57: 71-78. Canham, C.D., M. Papaik, M. Uriarteand W. McWilliams. 2006. Neighborhood analyses of canopy tree competition along environmental gradients in New England forests. Ecological Applications 16:540–554.

Canham, C.D. and M. Uriarte. 2006. Likelihood methods, inverse modeling and the analysis of neighborhood processes in forests. Ecological Applications 16:62-73.

Uriarte, M., C.D. Canham, J. Thompson and J.K. Zimmerman. 2005a. Seedling recruitment in a hurricane-driven tropical forest: light limitation, density dependence and the spatial distribution of parent trees. Journal of Ecology 93: 291-304.

Uriarte, M., C.D. Canham, J. Thompson and J.K. Zimmerman. 2004a. A maximum-likelihood, spatially-explicit analysis of tree growth and survival in a hurricane-driven tropical forest. Ecological Monographs 71: 591-614.

Uriarte, M., L. W. Rivera, J. K. Zimmerman, T. M. Aide, A. G. Power and A. Flecker. 2004b. Interactions between land use history and hurricane damage in a neotropical forest. Plant Ecology 174: 49-58.

Uriarte, M., R. Condit, C.D. Canham, and S.P. Hubbell. 2004c. A spatially-explicit model of sapling growth in a tropical forest: Does the identity of neighbours matter? Journal of Ecology 92: 348-360.

Uriarte, M. and H. K. Reeve. 2003. Matchmaking and species marriage: A game theory model of community assembly. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 100: 1979-1982.

Hatch, L.T., M. Uriarte, D. Fink, L. Aldrich-Wolfe, R.G. Allen, C. T. Webb, K. Zamudio, A. G. Power. 2002. Federal Jurisdiction over Endangered Species’ Habitat: The Impacts of People and Property on Recovery Planning. Ecological Applications 12: 690-700.

Uriarte, M., C. Canham and R.B. Root. 2002. A simulation model of the simultaneous evolution of competitive ability and herbivore resistance in a perennial plant population. Ecology 83: 2649- 2663.

Uriarte, M. 2000. Nitrogen-mediated interactions between goldenrod (Solidago altissima, L) and its insect herbivore (Trirhabda virgata): implications for nitrogen cycling and succession. Oecologia 122: 479-486.

Uriarte, M. and O.J. Schmitz. 1998. Trophic control across a natural productivity gradient: a test of the exploitation hypothesis. Oikos 82: 552-560.

Beckerman, A.P., M. Uriarte and O.J. Schmitz. 1997. Experimental evidence for a behavior-mediated trophic cascade in a terrestrial food chain. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA. 94: 10735-10738.