US Forest Service Research & Development
Contact Information
  • US Forest Service Research & Development
  • 1400 Independence Ave., SW
  • Washington, D.C. 20250-0003
  • 800-832-1355
You are here: Home / People / Profile


Research Ecologist

Paula J. Fornwalt

Research Ecologist
240 West Prospect Road
Fort Collins
United States

Phone: 970-498-2581
Contact Paula J. Fornwalt

Current Research

(1) Examine the impacts of wildfire and postfire rehabilitation activities on forest overstory and understory composition and structure; (2) Clarify how, when, and why overstory and understory plant communities change as a result of ongoing insect and disease epidemics; (3) Investigate the impacts of forest management activities (e.g., slash pile burning, salvage logging) on native and exotic plants

Research Interests

My research activities address the impacts of natural and human disturbances on plant populations and communities in Rocky Mountain forests.


  • University of Delaware, Newark, DE, B.S. Environmental Science 1996
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, M.S. Forest Sciences 1999
  • Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, Ph.D. Ecology 2009

Professional Experience

  • Research Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO
    2010 - Current
  • Ecologist, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO
    2002 - 2010
  • Biological Science Technician, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO
    1999 - 2002


Research Highlights


A Decade after the 2002 Hayman Fire, Understory Plant Communities are Diverse and Productive

In 2002, Colorado’s Hayman Fire burned research plots used to sample understory plant communities, providing an opportunity to address these c ...


Ecological impacts of collaborative forest restoration treatments

Restoration treatments are being implemented at an increasing rate in ponderosa pine and other dry conifer forests across the western United Sta ...


Post-fire Conifer Regeneration in Severely Burned Southern Rocky Mountain Ponderosa Pine Forests

Wildfire is an important disturbance in ponderosa pine forests of the southern Rocky Mountains. Forest Service research results from the Colorad ...


Spatial patterns of ponderosa pine regeneration in high-severity burn patches

Over the past three decades, wildfires in Southwestern United States ponderosa pine forests have increased in size and severity, leaving large p ...


Was the 2002 Hayman Fire, Colorado, an uncharacteristically severe event?

In 2002, the Hayman Fire burned across the unlogged Cheesman Lake landscape, a 3,400 hectare dry-conifer forest landscape in Colorado that had b ...


Last updated on : 12/18/2019