In her new role, Rollinson will focus on climate’s impact on plant life and what the future may hold for forests in the face of climate change, using field experimental and modeling work and tracking and researching various plants’ and trees’ phenology—key seasonal changes in plant life such as flowering, leaf out and fall color. Rollinson will also focus on oaks, leading field surveys to establish where oaks are located, assessing their growth, examining current threats and using data to inform best practices and recommendations, such as the need and frequency of controlled burns, aimed at foresters and large land managers.
“Christy brings a unique combination of skills in forest ecology to the Center for Tree Science,” said Chuck Cannon, director of the Center for Tree Science at The Morton Arboretum. “In her role, she blends traditional field experiments with insights from big data and computer models to understand how trees respond to change. This ability to connect hands-on observations with cutting-edge analytical techniques will advance the critical science and conservation work we do for trees and ecosystems in the Chicago area and far beyond our borders.”
Rollinson obtained her Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Oberlin College and attended Pennsylvania State University where she earned her Master of Science and Ph.D. in ecology. In her dissertation, Rollinson focused on climate effects on forests, centering her research in Central Appalachian forests.
About the Center for Tree Science at The Morton Arboretum
The Center for Tree Science at The Morton Arboretum brings together experts from botanical gardens, universities, government, industry, and other organizations to participate in collaborations that generate new knowledge and provide training to address key challenges facing trees in urban areas and in the wild. The Center for Tree Science supports collaborations through research projects, grants, fellowships and internships as well as through professional courses, workshops and conferences. Experts at the Center for Tree Science research, exchange ideas, and use their collective achievements and strengths to increase research, training, and funding opportunities for tree science.