William Hammond, Ph.D. Plant Science student, is being awarded a 2017 Graduate College Summer Research Fellowship. This fellowship supports outstanding, full-time, mid-program OSU doctoral students! William is using this fellowship for his continued work on his field validation of a model he built last semester to predict suitability for codominant oaks in the Cross Timbers.
"In the fall of 2016, I built an ecological niche model for codominant oaks of the Cross Timbers utilizing presence records from the 1959 "Upland Forests of Oklahoma" survey by Rice and Penfound. Projected to the present day, my model makes predictions about suitability for post oak (Quercus stellata) and blackjack oak (Quercus marilandica) based on climatic, topographic, and edaphic factors. During the 1959 survey by Rice and Penfound, these two species accounted for nearly three-quarters of the basal area of all trees in Oklahoma! This fellowship will support my field testing of model predictions including a mortality survey across the spatial extent of the Cross Timbers in Oklahoma. If model predictions hold, I will project the model to future climate scenarios to better understand future changes in distribution in our state for these important species."