M. Ross Alexander, Ph.D.


Dr. M. Ross Alexander started his work in dendrochronology while he was an undergraduate at Hanover college in southern Indiana.  Since then he has gone on to study the ecology and climate response of forests across the United States, specializing in eastern deciduous forests. He uses a variety of techniques to investigate the entire lifecycle of trees from establishment, through succession, mortality, and finally decomposition processes. He studies forests across multiple scales from individuals to landscapes and investigates the role that wood anatomy plays in affecting how trees respond to their environment.

Now located in the Chicago region, his recent projects look at how tree rings can be used to better understand the species rich and structurally complex forests of the eastern US.  He also works with conservation groups in the Chicago Wilderness area to assess how modern management efforts compare with pre-European settlement forest conditions as we prepare existing forests for predicted future changes.