Megan Cattau


mec2201 at columbia dot edu




Megan researches forest dynamics in Central Kalimantan, Indonesia on a failed agricultural project called the Mega Rice Project (MRP). The goal of the MRP was to convert over a million hectares of intact peatswamp forest into rice paddies. The project failed and was abandoned, but the remaining irrigation canals are causing peat soil drainage and subsidence, leaving an area susceptible to fire, a novel disturbance regime in this system. Megan's work specifically addresses the role of frugivores in driving tree community composition within forest fragments and the contribution of frugivores and fire history to tree recruitment in post-burn barren areas. She was awarded a Fulbright Student Research Fellowship and will be in Indonesia in 2013.