Curriculum Vitae Skills & Areas of Expertise Education

Peter R. Nelson, PhD
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences and Environmental Studies, University of Maine-Fort Kent
Email: [email protected], Web:
Curriculum Vitae
Skills & Areas of Expertise
Community & Vegetation ecology
Lichenology, Mycology, Botany
Arctic, Alpine & Temperate Forests
Non-parametric, Multi/Univariate Statistics
Spatial Analyses, Remote Sensing, GIS
Statistical Modeling
B.S. Resource Conservation
College of Forestry & Conservation,
University of Montana, Missoula, MT
Spring 2004
Dept. of Botany & Plant Pathology
Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR
Fall 2013
Ongoing Research
Form and Function in a Fog-Sustained Desert Lichen Oasis: Collaborator on National
Geographic funded project studying lichen communities and attributes changing across a fog gradient in
northern Chile using community, genetic, quantitative morphological and ecophysiological analyses.
Responsibilities include co-writing proposal, fieldwork, writing reports/scientific publications.
Climate Change & Lichens: Collaborator on lichen component in climate change experiment
(SPRUCE Study examines lichen responses to experimental temperature and
CO2 treatments and implications for using the FHM/FIA Lichen Indicator. The main objective is to
document lichen species growth and mortality in response to simulated climate change utilizing the hightech infrastructure provided by Oak Ridge National Laboratory and the USFS Northern Research Station
and Marcell Experimental Forest for application of temperature and CO2 treatments. Responsibilities
include designing & conducting fieldwork, integrating sampling design in collaboration with
interdisciplinary team of scientists, managing & analyzing data, communicating results in writing & orally
& grant writing to support further work complimenting this experiment.
Lichens of Katmai and Lake Clark National Parks: Collaborator on lichen floristic survey of
Katmai & Lake Clark National Park & Preserves, Alaska.
Volcanic Eruptions & Lichen Ecology: Lead scientist on post-eruption study at three volcanoes (2
Chile, 1 Washington) quantifying effects of different eruption disturbances on lichen communities.
Arctic Vegetation Ecology Focused on Lichen Communities: Lead scientist on vegetation
monitoring study in Gates of the Arctic National Park & Preserve, Alaska. Responsibilities included
developing sampling design, adapting existing vegetation survey methods, collecting & identifying plant
specimens, managing data, data analysis & writing, organizing logistics for food & lodging to be
transported by aircraft, extended backcountry camping & off-trail travel. Supervised 4 technicians &
Remote Sensing of Lichens & Vegetation: Primary analyst mapping abundance of vegetation using
satellite imagery & environmental variables. Responsibilities included analysis, data management &
written/oral communication of results. See Nelson et al. (2013) in Remote Sensing of Environment.
Refereed Publications
Nelson, P.R. and Wheeler, T.W. (submitted) Persistence of epiphytic lichens along a tephra-depth gradient produced
by the 2011 Cordón-Caulle eruption in Parque Nacional Puyehue, Chile. Bosque.
Nelson, P.R., McCune, B., Wheeler, T., Geiser, L., & Crisafulli, C. H. (in review). Lichen community development
along a disturbance gradient at Mount St. Helens: In Ecological Responses Revisited 35 years after the
1980 Eruptions of Mount St. Helens. Eds V.H. Dale & C. H. Crisafulli, Springer-Verlag, NY, USA.
Nelson, P.R., McCune, B., Roland, C., Stehn, S. 2015. Nonparametric methods reveal nonlinear functional
Peter R. Nelson, PhD, Curriculum Vitae
trait variation in lichens along environmental and fire age gradients. Journal of Vegetation Science: online
early view.
Nelson, P.R., Roland, C., Macander, M.J. & B. McCune. 2013. Detecting lichen abundance for mapping winter
caribou forage at landscape spatial scales. Remote Sensing of Environment 137: 34-54.
Nelson, P.R. & T. Wheeler. 2013. Cephalodia found on Fuscopannaria viridescens. The Lichenologist 45: 694-696
Stehn, S., Nelson, P., Roland, C. & J. Jones. 2013. Patterns in the occupancy and abundance of the globally rare
lichen Erioderma pedicellatum in Denali National Park and Preserve, Alaska. The Bryologist 116: 2-4.
Nelson, P.R., Kepler, R., Walton, J., Nelson, L., Fankhauser, J. & W.L. Song. 2012. Parmelina yalungana
resurrected and reported from Alaska, Russia and China. The Bryologist 115: 557-565.
Muggia, L., P. Nelson, T. Wheeler, L. S Yakovchenko, T. Tønsberg, and T.Spribille. 2011. Convergent evolution of
a symbiotic duet: The case of the lichen genus Polychidium (Peltigerales, Ascomycota). American Journal
of Botany 98: 1647–1656.
Nelson, P., J. Walton, H. Root & T. Spribille. 2011. Hypogymnia pulverata (Parmeliaceae) and Collema leptaleum
(Collemataceae), two macrolichens new to Alaska. North American Fungi 6:1-8.
Root, H. T. & P. R. Nelson. 2011. Does phylogenetic distance aid in detecting environmental gradients related to
species composition? Journal of Vegetation Science 22: 1143-148.
Nelson, P., J. Walton & C. Roland. 2009. Erioderma pedicellatum (Hue) P.M.Jorg. new to the United States and
western North America, discovered in Denali National Park and Preserve and Denali State Park, Alaska.
Evansia 26: 19-23.
In Prep
Nelson, P.R., Adams, L., Joly, K., Gustine, D., Roland, C. & McCune, B. Graminoid cover and decadal snow
ablation patterns predict interannual variation in winter caribou habitat selection across spatial scales.
Educational Publications
Nelson, P.R., Nelson, J. & H. Mesraty. 2013. The lichen and Bryophyte podcast (in prep). American Bryological &
Lichenological Society.
Stehn, S. & P. R. Nelson. 2011. Virtual Tour of the Lichens and Mosses of Denali National Park and Preserve.
Murie Science and Learning Center.
Nelson, P.R. & T. Wheeler. 2011. Lichens and Mosses of Denali National Park and Preserve (poster).
Nelson, P.R. & T. Wheeler. 2011. Liquenes del Bosque Templado Valdiviano (poster).
Selected Presentations
American Geophysical Union (AGU) (poster). 2014. Dec. 14-19, San Francisco, CA. "Quantitative
Modeling of Arctic Tundra Vegetation: Leveraging Field Data, Landsat Time-Series, and High-Resolution
Imagery in Northern Alaska"
Botanical Society of America (BSA) & American Bryological & Lichenological Society
(ABLS) (oral presentation) 2014. July 15, Boise, ID. "Nonlinear lichen community functional trait
variation along environmental and fire age gradients revealed by nonparametric methods"
Mycological Society of America (poster), 2011, Fairbanks, AK; “Mapping lichens using satellite imagery”.
Northwest Science Association (oral presentations):
• 2012, Boise, ID; “Mapping lichens using satellite imagery”.
• 2010, Centralia, WA; “A new species of Parmelina (Parmeliaceae) from the northern hemisphere”.
• 2009. Seattle, WA; “Observations on the disjunct population of the rare and endangered boreal felt lichen
Erioderma pedicellatum in southcentral Alaska”.
University of Maine-Fort Kent, Fort Kent, Maine
Forest Ecology (Forestry 260, lecture, Jan.-May. 2015)
Genomics Research (Biology 359, lecture and lab, Jan.-May. 2015)
Peter R. Nelson, PhD, Curriculum Vitae
Senior Project/Research Methods (Biology 339/Environmental Studies 400, lecture, Jan.-May. 2015)
Botany (Biology 202, lecture and lab, Jan.-May. 2015)
Introductory Biology (Biology 100, lab and lecture, Sept. 2014-Dec. 2014) Unique lab component
focused on isolating, purifying and sequencing the genome of mycobacteriophage as a part of the SEAPHAGES program supported by the Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI).
Taxonomy of Vascular Plants (Biology 320, lab and lecture, Sept. 2014-Dec. 2014)
Oglala Lakota College, Kyle, South Dakota
People and the Environment (Biology 113, lecture Aug. 2013-June 2014) Introductory
environmental science course at tribal college.
Oregon State University, Corvallis, Oregon
Principles of Biology (Biology 211, TA for lab, Sept.-Dec., 2008) Second of three-part biology course
series for science majors
University of Montana, Missoula, Montana
Wilderness and Civilization Field Studies (Forestry 273, Sept.-May, 2003-2005) Co-instructor in field
class (all day Fridays or over weekends) of 15-20 undergraduates. Responsibilities included designing,
implementing & grading integrated natural history & ecology lessons in natural resource management
oriented field trips, including two annual 8-10 day backcountry field trips.
Other Teaching Experience
Introduction to Bryophytes, Course for US Forest Service & National Park Service Botanists (Dec., Feb.,
2012), Rapid City, SD Lead instructor designing & teaching two different 3-day introductory bryophyte
course, including lab & lecture portions.
National Geographic Research and Explorer Grant (Co-investigator, Stanton-PI), $15,600:
Form and Function in a Fog-Sustained Desert Lichen Oasis, 2014-2015, Grant #9578-14;
See “Professional Research Experience” for details.
US Forest Service Grant (Co-investigator, Jovan-PI), $33,000, Climate Change & Lichens,
2014-2015, Grant NC-EM-B-14-01, See “Professional Research Experience” for details.
South Dakota Game, Fish & Parks, Wildlife Division Small Grant, $5000: 2013
Funded one bryophyte workshop & production of lichen & bryophyte educational materials.
Murie Science and Learning Discovery Grant, $5000: 2011
Funded design and printing of lichen and mosses of Denali educational materials, including a website
( and poster.
Leadership Roles
• Webmaster/Executive Committee Member (2010-present) - American Bryological & Lichenological
Vice President (2010-11) - Graduate Student Association - Dept. of Botany & Plant Pathology, Oregon
State University,
Board Member (2009-2013) - Northwest Lichenologist Guild,
Peer Reviewer
The Bryologist (2011)
Systematic Botany (2013)
Journal of Vegetation Science (2014)
The Lichenologist (2014-2015)
Molecular Ecology (2014)
Applied Vegetation Science (2014)
Ecological Monographs
(Subject-area Editor, 2014)
PLOSone (2014)
Remote Sensing of Environment