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Dr. Quinn Thomas

FACULTY AFFILIATE   |   Global Change Center

Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation

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(540) 231-7608 •


Dr. Thomas is in the Department of Forest Resources and Environmental Conservation at Virginia Tech. Thomas’ research at Virginia Tech focuses on the interactions among ecosystem dynamics, climate change, and air pollution, with a particular emphasis on carbon cycling in forests. Key areas of global change research include: 1) investigating how forests and forest management influence climate through numerous pathways that include altering greenhouse gas exchange and surface energy balance, 2) simulating coupled biogeochemical cycles in Earth System Models that are used in climate change predictions, and 3) studying how nitrogen pollution and climate impact carbon storage in forests.

To address these questions, Dr. Thomas works across a wide range of spatial scales, from individual trees to the globe using a broad set of tools, including ecosystem and Earth System models, remote sensing, large dataset analysis, and whole-ecosystem experiments.

Thomas is also a Project Co-lead on the Ecological Forecasting Project at Virginia Tech. The team develops tools that forecast everyday services provided by ecosystems, like water quality, forest production, and more. They develop and deploy environmental sensors, build robust ecological models, and work closely with forecast users to co-create tools that can guide decision-making on human health and well-being. Their goal is to develop reliable forecasts and intuitive visualizations that protect communities and advance understanding of ecosystems.