Ecosystem ecology focuses on the interactions among living and non-living components of an ecosystem. It includes study of the structure and function of an ecosystem, their relationships, and their responses to natural and human-induced change. Ecosystem ecology is inherently an interdisciplinary field of study, and interdisciplinary approaches are essential for accurate understanding of specific ecosystem types, as well as for designing human land-use strategies that support natural ecosystem processes. Our research focuses primarily on the ecology and management of fire-prone temperate coniferous forests. We are currently investigating the effects of fire and forest management treatments on nutrient pools and fluxes, and the biogeochemical factors that regulate carbon and nitrogen dynamics in forest soil.

Information for Prospective Students:

Prospective graduate students should go to the Opportunities page for more information about research opportunities in the Fire and Forest Ecosystem Ecology Laboratory. See the Department of Forestry’s graduate study page for more information about how to apply. Prospective students may also be interested in MSU’s Ecology, Evolutionary Biology and Behavior Program or the Environmental Science and Policy Program. I also welcome contact from students interested in pursuing independent funding for graduate study.


Jessica Miesel, Ph.D.
112 Natural Resources Building
480 Wilson Rd.
East Lansing, MI 48824
Phone: (517) 355-8239
E-mail: mieselje[at]msu.edu