Bemmels awarded NSF DDIG

Congratulations go to Jordan for his NSF Doctoral Dissertation Improvement Grant!

Jordan’s project is called “A hypothesis test for cryptic northern refugia in bitternut and shagbark hickory, with implications for migration and adaptation.”

From the EEB news release:

The DDIG will support Jordan’s research into the locations of glacial refugia for temperate tree species from eastern North America. “During the peak of the ice age around 21,500 years ago, glaciers covered much of northern North America and climatic conditions forced temperate forests into refugia along the Gulf of Mexico and southern Atlantic Coast,” Bemmels explained. “Recent research has suggested that there may have been additional cryptic refugia located much farther north, such as in the southern Appalachians and Ozarks, but this idea has been controversial. Determining where tree species survived the ice age is important for understanding how trees have migrated and adapted in response to past climate changes, and will have implications for forestry and conservation biology. Using bitternut and shagbark hickory as a study system, I will combine genetic data from populations across the United States with computer simulations in order to test competing hypotheses about glacial refugia. This will be the first time that a level of statistical support for the presence of cryptic refugia will be determined.

“Understanding migration and adaptation of trees in response to historical climate change will help us manage the forests of today and in a warming world.” He will receive $18,250 over two years.