Staff Profile
Photo for Geoffrey Parker


McGill University (B Sc. In Biology)
University of Virginia (MS. In Environmental Sciences)
University of Georgia (Ph. D. in Ecology)
Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (postdoctoral fellow)

Geoffrey (‘Jess’) Parker has been the forest ecologist at the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center (SERC) in Edgewater, Md., since 1987.   His research interests concern the structure and function of forest ecosystems at long temporal and large spatial scales, in the canopies of forests, the spatial relationships of forest trees, and in comparative forest ecology.   An organizing theme of the majority of studies has been the interaction between the structure of the forest canopy and:  1.) exchanges of material and energy with the atmospheric boundary layer, 2.) forest microclimates, and 3.) biotic habitats.  He is currently involved in a variety of LIDAR-based studies of forest structure, eddy covariance-based measures of forest functions, and biometrically-based studies of forest carbon budgets.  



  • Coble, Adam P., Fogel, Marilyn L. and Parker, Geoffrey G. (2017). Canopy gradients in leaf functional traits for species that differ in growth strategies and shade tolerance. Tree physiology, , 1-11.
  • Dandois, Jonathan, Baker, Matthew, Olano, Marc, Parker, Geoffrey and Ellis, Erle. (2017). What is the Point? Evaluating the Structure, Color, and Semantic Traits of Computer Vision Point Clouds of Vegetation. Remote Sensing, 9 (4) , 355.
  • LaManna, Joseph A., Mangan, Scott A., Alonso, Alfonso, Bourg, Norman A., Brockelman, Warren Y., Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Chang, Li-Wan, Chiang, Jyh-Min, Chuyong, George B., Clay, Keith, Condit, Richard, Cordell, Susan, Davies, Stuart J., Furniss, Tucker J., Giardina, Christian P., Gunatilleke, I. A. U. Nimal, Gunatilleke, C. V. Savitri, He, Fangliang, Howe, Robert W., Hubbell, Stephen P., Hsieh, Chang-Fu, Inman-Narahari, Faith M., Janik, David, Johnson, Daniel J., Kenfack, David, et al. (2017). Plant diversity increases with the strength of negative density dependence at the global scale . Science, 356 (6345) , 1389-1392.
  • Král, Kamil, Shue, Jessica, Vrška, Tomáš, Gonzalez-Akre, Erika, Parker, Geoffrey G., McShea, William J. and McMahon, Sean M. (2016). Fine-scale patch mosaic of developmental stages in Northeast American secondary temperate forests: the European perspective . European Journal of Forest Research, 135 (5) , 981-996.
  • Anderson-Teixeira, Kristina J., Davies, Stuart James, Bennett, Amy C., Gonzalez-Akre, Erika, Muller-Landau, Helene C., Wright, S. Joseph, Abu Salim, Kamariah, Almeyda Zambrano, Angélica M., Alonso, Alfonso, Baltzer, Jennifer L., Basset, Yves, Bourg, Norman A., Broadbent, Eben N., Brockelman, Warren Y., Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Burslem, David F. R. P., Butt, Nathalie, Cao, Min, Cardenas, Dairon, Chuyong, George B., Clay, Keith, Cordell, Susan, Dattaraja, Handanakere S., Deng, Xiaobao, Detto, Matteo, et al. (2015). CTFS-ForestGEO: a worldwide network monitoring forests in an era of global change . Global Change Biology, 21 (2) , 528-549.
  • Duncanson, L. I., Dubayah, R. O., Cook, B. D., Rosette, J. and Parker, Geoffrey G. (2015). The importance of spatial detail: Assessing the utility of individual crown information and scaling approaches for lidar-based biomass density estimation. Remote Sensing of Environment, 168 , 102-112.
  • McMahon, Sean M. and Parker, Geoffrey G. (2015). A general model of intra-annual tree growth using dendrometer bands. Ecology and Evolution, 5 (2) , 243-254.
  • McMahon, Sean M., Bebber, Daniel P., Butt, Nathalie, Crockatt, Martha, Kirby, Keith, Parker, Geoffrey G., Riutta, Terhi and Slade, Eleanor M. (2015). Ground based LiDAR demonstrates the legacy of management history to canopy structure and composition across a fragmented temperate woodland. Forest Ecology and Management, 335 , 255-260.
  • Chisholm, Ryan A., Muller-Landau, Helene C., Abdul Rahman, Kassim, Bebber, Daniel P., Bin, Yue, Bohlman, Stephanie A., Bourg, Norman A., Brinks, Joshua, Bunyavejchewin, Sarayudh, Butt, Nathalie, Cao, Honglin, Cao, Min, Cárdenas, Dairon, Chang, Li-Wan, Chiang, Jyh-Min, Chuyong, George, Condit, Richard S., Dattaraja, Handanakere S., Chang, Li-Wan, Duque, Alvaro, Fletcher, Christine, Gunatilleke, Nimal, Gunatilleke, Savitri, Hao, Zhanqing, Harrison, Rhett D., et al. (2013). Scale-dependent relationships between tree species richness and ecosystem function in forests . Journal of Ecology, 101 (5) , 1214-1224.
  • Stark, Scott C., Leitold, Veronika, Wu, Jin L., Hunter, Maria O., de Castilho, Carolina V., Costa, Flávia R. C., McMahon, Sean M., Parker, Geoffrey G., Shimabukuro, Mô, Lefsky, Michael A., Keller, Michael, Alves, Luciana F., Schietti, Juliana, Shimabukuro, Yosio Edemir, Brandão, Diego O., Woodcock, Tara K., Higuchi, Niro, de Camargo, Plinio B., de Oliveira, Raimundo C. and Saleska, Scott R. (2012). Amazon forest carbon dynamics predicted by profiles of canopy leaf area and light environment. Ecology Letters, 15 (12) , 1406-1414.
  • Nadkarni, Nalini M., Parker, Geoffrey G. and Lowman, Margaret D. (2011). Forest canopy studies as an emerging field of science. Annals of Forest Science, 68 (2) , 217-224.
  • McMahon, Sean M., Parker, Geoffrey G. and Miller, Dawn R. (2010). Reply to Foster et al.: Using a forest to measure trees: Determining which vital rates are responding to climate change . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (21) , E88-E89; E88-E89.
  • McMahon, Sean M., Parker, Geoffrey G. and Miller, Dawn R. (2010). Evidence for a recent increase in forest growth . Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 107 (8) , 3611-3615.
  • Bergen, K. M., Goetz, S. J., Dubayah, R. O., Henebry, G. M., Hunsaker, C. T., Imhoff, M. L., Nelson, R. F., Parker, Geoffrey G. and Radeloff, V. C. (2009). Remote sensing of vegetation 3-D structure for biodiversity and habitat: Review and implications for lidar and radar spaceborne missions. Journal of Geophysical Research. G. Biogeosciences, 114 , G00E06-G00E06.
  • Hiroaki, I., Van Pelt, R., Parker, Geoffrey G., Nadkarni, N. M. and Cushing, J. (2004). Age-related development of canopy structure and its ecological functions. Forest canopies (102-117) Elsevier .