Tom Veblen photo portrait
Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Geography • Biogeography; Conservation • Distinguished Research Lecturer • Arts and Sciences College Professor of Distinction • Ph.D. University of California, Berkeley, 1975
Physical Geography

Research Interests

My main research interests are in forest ecology and vegetation dynamics in relation to natural and anthropogenic disturbances, especially as related to climate variability. I use tree rings to date past disturbance events such as fire and insect outbreaks. For more than 25 years I have been investigating how disturbances such as fire, blow down and bark beetle outbreaks interact in the forested landscapes of the Colorado Rocky Mountains. Since the mid-1970s in the southern Andes of Chile and Argentina I have been investigating the effects of disturbances such as mass movements, blow down, fires, and introduced animals on forest dynamics, and increasingly under the effects of climate warming. Both my Colorado and southern Andean work are supported mainly by the National Science Foundation.

Recent Courses Include

  • Spring 2020  GEOG 5161-001 Research Design in Physical Geography
  • Spring 2019  GEOG 5161-001 Research Design in Physical Geography
  • Spring 2018  GEOG 5161-001 Research Design in Physical Geography
  • Fall 2017  GEOG 5241  Topics/Physical Geography 

Honors and Awards

  • Distinguished Professor University of Colorado, 2017
  • Distinguished Research Lectureship, University of Colorado Boulder, 2016
  • Elected Fellow of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2008
  • Faculty Fellowship, University of Colorado Boulder, 2007
  • Appointed Professor of Distinction by the College of Arts and Sciences, University of Colorado Boulder, 2006
  • Henry C. Cowles Award for the Best Publication in Biogeography, Association of American Geographers, 2005       
  • James J. Parsons Distinguished Career Award, Association of American Geographers, 2005
  • Henry C. Cowles Award for the Best Publication in Biogeography, Association of American Geographers, 2000
  • Edward J. Taafe Distinguished Lectureship, Ohio State University, 2000
  • Carl O. Sauer Distinguished Scholarship Award, Conference of Latin Americanist Geographers, 2000
  • Visiting Distinguished Ecologist, Colorado State University. 1998
  • Award for Excellence in Research, Boulder Faculty Assembly, University of Colorado Boulder, 1997
  • Faculty Fellowship, University of Colorado Boulder, 1993
  • Honors in Research Awarded by the Association of American Geographers, 1992
  • Distinguished Visiting Scholar, Western Michigan University, 1991
  • Honorary Fellow of the Royal Society of New Zealand, 1991
  • Wallace W. Atwood Lecturer, Clark University, 1990            
  • Faculty Fellowship, University of Colorado Boulder, 1985
  • John Simon Guggenheim Memorial Fellowship, 1985
  • New Zealand National Research Advisory Council Post‑Doctoral Fellowship, 1979

Recent Publications

  • Stevens-Rumann, CS, KB Kemp, PE Higuera, BJ Harvey, MR Rother, DC Donato, P Morgan, TT Veblen. 2018. Evidence for declining forest resilience to wildfires under climate change. Ecology Letters 21: 243–252, doi: 10.1111/ele.12889.
  • Andrus, RA, BJ Harvey, KC Rodman, SJ Hart, TT Veblen. 2018. Moisture availability limits subalpine tree establishment. Ecology 99: 567–575, doi:10.1002/ecy.2134.
  • Kelly, JJ, QS Latif, VA Saab, TT Veblen. 2018. Spruce Beetle outbreaks guide American Three-toed Woodpecker Picoides dorsalis occupancy patterns in subalpine forests.  IBIS, The International Journal of Avian Science. Published online March 17, 2018, doi:10.1111/ibi.12596.
  • Tepley, AJ, E. Thomann, TT Veblen, GLW Perry, A Holz, J Paritsis, T Kitzberger, KJ Anderson-Teixeira.  2018. Influences of fire–vegetation feedbacks and post-fire recovery rates on the extent and stability of forest cover across landscapes subject to changing fire regimes. Journal of Ecology. Published online March 27, 2018, doi:10.1111/1365-2745.12950.
  • Treml, V, TT Veblen. 2018. Does tree growth sensitivity to warming trends vary according to treeline form?  Journal of Biogeography 44: 1469-1480. doi:10.1111/jbi.12996.
  • Holz, A, J Paritsis , I Mundo, TT Veblen, T Kitzberger, G Williamson, E Aráoz, C Bustos-Schindler, M González, H Grau, J Quezada.  2017. Southern Annular Mode drives multi-century wildfire activity in southern South America. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 114:9552-9557, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1705168114.
  • Hart, SJ, TT Veblen, D Schneider, NP Molotch. 2017. Summer and winter drought drive the initiation and spread of spruce beetle infestation in the Southern Rocky Mountains. Ecology 98:2698-2707, doi: 10.1002/ecy.1963.

Last update March 2018