John J. Battles

University of California Berkeley
Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management
130 Mulford Hall #3114
Berkeley, CA 94720
Telephone: 510-643-0684


Ph.D. from Cornell University in forest science, May 1994.
B.S. from Yale University in biology, May 1985.

Professional Positions:
  • Professor of forest ecology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley, July 2009 to present
  • Chair, Division of Ecosystem Sciences. July 2010 to June 2014.
  • Associate/assistant professor of forest ecology, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, UC Berkeley, January 1995 to June 2009
  • Postdoctoral research associate, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, January 1994 - December 1994

  • Research Interests and Activities:
    The goal of our lab is to know how and why forests change. Given the scope of human enterprise (e.g., pollution, land transformations, biotic additions and losses), many forest ecosystems are experiencing fundamentally novel challenges. In the face of this uncertainty, we need to understand the dynamics well enough to anticipate the likely direction and magnitude of responses. These insights must apply to forests in the real world with all the attendant complexities. Therefore robust, quantitative field studies form the core of my research program. The objective is to produce answers to pertinent questions that a physicist accepts as valid and that a naturalist acknowledges as authentic. Currently our research centers on three basic questions: 1) the interactive control of the disturbance regime on ecosystem processes; 2) the explicit effects of tree demography on community composition and ecosystem function; and 3) the mechanisms of resource capture and allocation in forests under conditions of multiple resource limitation.

    Distinguished Awards and Memberships:
    Board of Editors, Ecology; Departmental Award for Student Mentoring; Departmental Award for Undergraduate Teaching Excellence; Hellman Family Junior Faculty Award

    Selected Publications:

    Su, Y, Q. Guo, D. L. Fry, B. M. Collins, N.M. Kelly, J. P. Flanagan , and J. J. Battles. In press. A vegetation mapping strategy for conifer forests by combining airborne lidar data and aerial imagery. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing.

    Shao, S., C.T. Driscoll, C.E. Johnson, T.J. Fahey, J.J. Battles and J.D. Blum. In press. Long-term responses in soil solution and streamwater chemistry at Hubbard Brook after experimental addition of wollastonite. Environmental Chemistry.

    Tempel, D.J., R. J. Gutiérrez, J. J. Battles, D. L. Fry, Yanjun Su, Qinghua Guo, M. J. Reetz, S. A. Whitmore, G. M. Jones, B. M. Collins, S. L. Stephens, M. Kelly, W. J. Berigan, and M. Z. Peery. In press. Modeling short- and long-term impacts of fuels treatments and wildfire on an old-forest species. Ecosphere.

    Glassman, S.I., C. R. Levine, A.M. DiRocco, J. J. Battles and T. D. Bruns. 2015. Ectomycorrhizal fungal spore bank recovery after a severe forest fire: Some like it hot. The ISME Journal. doi: 10.1038/ismej.2015.182

    Eitzel, M., J.J. Battles, R.A. York, and P. de Valpine. 2015. Can't see the trees for the forest: complex factors influence survival in a temperate second-growth forest. Ecosphere: art247.

    Jones, D., K.O. O'Hara, J.J. Battles, and R. Gersonde. 2015. Alternative procedures for leaf area estimation in Sierra Nevada conifer trees. Forests 6: 2631-2654.

    Falster, D.S. et al. 2015. BAAD: a biomass and allometry database for woody plants. Ecology 96: 1445. (Note: I am one of 96 contributors to this peer-reviewed database project.)

    Cousins, Stella, J.M., J.J. Battles, J.E.Sanders, and R.A. York. 2015. Decay patterns and carbon density of standing dead trees in California Mixed Conifer Forests. Forest Ecology and Management 353: 136-147.

    Gonzalez, P., J.J. Battles, B.M. Collins, T. Robards, and D.S. Saah. 2015. Aboveground live carbon stock changes of California wildland ecosystems, 2001-2010. Forest Ecology and Management 348: 68-77. Fahey, T.J., K. S. Kassam, P.H. Templer, B. T. Anderson, A, R. Fusco, J. J. Battles, J. L. Campbell, L. Rustad, C. T. Driscoll Jr., M. B. Green, N. L. Rodenhouse, P. G. Schaberg, M. A. Vadeboncoeur. 2015. The promise and peril of intensive-site-based ecological research: Insights from the Hubbard Brook Ecosystem Study. Ecology: 96:885-901.

    Dufour, S., M.K. Hayden, J. C. Stella, H. Piégay and J. J. Battles. 2014. Maintaining channel abandonment processes increases riparian plant diversity within fluvial corridors. Ecohydrology. DOI:10.1002/eco.1546

    Collins, B.M., A.J. Das, J. J. Battles, D. L. Fry, K. D. Krasnow, and S. L. Stephens. 2014. Beyond reducing fire hazard: fuel treatment impacts on overstory tree survival. Ecological Applications 24: 1870-1886.

    Cleavitt, N.L., J.J. Battles T.J. Fahey, and J.L. Blum. 2014. Determinants of survival over seven years for a natural cohort of sugar maple seedlings in a northern hardwood forest. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 44:1112-1121.

    Johnson, C.E., C.T. Driscoll, J.D. Blum, T.J. Fahey and J.J. Battles. 2014. Soil chemical dynamics after calcium silicate addition to a northern hardwood forest. Soil Science Society of America Journal 78:1458-1468.

    Eschtruth, A.K. and J.J. Battles. 2014. Ephemeral disturbances have long lasting impacts on forest invasion dynamics. Ecology 95:1770-1779.

    Roman, L.A., J.J. Battles, and J.R. McBride. 2014. Determinants of establishment survival for residential trees in Sacramento County, CA. Landscape & Urban Planning 17:387-404.

    Lydersen, J.M., B. M. Collins, C.B. Dow, P. Gonzalez, C. M. Ewell, D. S. Saah, A.L. Reiner, J. Fites and J.J. Battles. 2014. Using field data to assess model predictions of surface and ground fuel consumption by wildfire in coniferous forests of California. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences 119:223-235.

    McLauchlan, K.K., P. E. Higuera, D. G. Gavin, S. S. Perakis, M. C. Mack, H. Alexander, J. Battles, F. Biondi, B. Buma, D. Colombaroli, S. Enders, D. R. Engstrom, F. S. Hu, J. R. Marlon, J. Marshall, M. McGlone, J. L. Morris, L. E. Nave, B. N. Shuman, E. Smithwick, D. H. Urrego, D. A. Wardle, C. J. Williams, J. J. Williams. 2014. Reconstructing disturbances and their biogeochemical consequences over multiple timescales. BioScience 64:105-116.

    Battles, J.J., T.J. Fahey, C.T. Driscoll, J.D. Blum, and C. E. Johnson. 2014. Restoring soil calcium reverses forest decline. Environmental Science and Technology Letters 1: 15-19.

    Roman, L.A., J.J. Battles, and J.R. McBride. 2013. The balance of planting and mortality in a street tree population. Urban Ecosystems. DOI 10.1007/s11252-013-0320-5.

    Graduate Students:
    Stella Cousins, Carrie-Rose Levine; Carmen Tubbesing; Joan Dudney

    Graduate Advisor:
    Timothy Fahey

    Role at the Hubbard Brook:
    Senior scientist contributing to research in forest community ecology and tree population dynamics. Co-chair of the Hubbard Brook Science Coordinating Committee

    Title at Hubbard Brook:
    Principal Investigator