Staff Profile
Sean McMahon


My lab is focused on understanding how tree demography--the growth, survival, and recruitment of individual stems--is driven by physiological and environmental processes. We also study how demographic dynamics drive large-scale patterns of forest structure, function, and diversity. Much of our work evolves from using extant data from both the Smithsonian's ForestGEO network, FIA, remote sensing data sets, and extensive research of Geoffrey Parker, a colleague and forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, where we are based. We also explore these questions by collecting new data whenever possible. If a research focus is on forest dynamics, there is no limit to the kinds of projects we want to weave into our team.

I am the Temperate Program Coordinator for the Smithsonian Institution's CTFS-ForestGEO network. There are currently 17 temperate plots in the program in North America and Europe, with a number of other partner plots in China. My responsibilities for the network involve facilitating synthetic science, assisting network partners in research, data-collection, and data vetting, storage and curation. I also work to expand the network into new biomes, with unique flora, disturbance histories, and new partner institutions to promote fundamental research to build a global understanding of forest dynamics.