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Global Environments

Department of Geography

Physical Geography


Biogeography is the study of the changing distributions of species and groups of species in space and time, and the physical, biological, and cultural factors that influence distribution patterns. Two faculty members, Sally Horn, and Liem Tranconduct research related to vegetation patterns and their controls over recent and long time scales. Biogeographical topics that have engaged department faculty and their students include: fire as an influence on vegetation patterns in the southern Appalachians, western United States, circum-Caribbean, and Mozambique; landscape-scale assessment and modeling of vegetation, climate, and human impacts; modern lake environments and biota; the origins and spread of domesticated plants; the biogeographical consequences of the European Conquest of the New World; and the impacts of Quaternary climate change, drought, and human activity on plants and vegetation across North and South America. These projects make use of the Laboratory of Paleoenvironmental Research, and other department