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Michael A Jenkins

Forestry and Natural Resources 

  • Associate Professor of Forest Ecology
PFEN Room 221D
715 W. State Street
West Lafayette, IN 47907

Reseach Group - Ecology of Natural Systems, Forest Biology

Facilities - Forest Ecology, Soils and Silviculture Lab, John S. Wright Center

Areas of Excellence - Sustaining Hardwood Ecosystems

Related Careers - Hardwood Tree Improvement and Regeneration Center, Center for the Environment, Purdue Climate Change Research Center, Purdue Interdisciplinary Center for Ecological Sustainability

Mike Jenkins is an Associate Professor of Forest Ecology in the Department of Forestry and Natural Resources (FNR) at Purdue University. Mike received a B.S. in Botany from Eastern Illinois University in 1989, a M.S. in Forestry from University of Missouri-Columbia in 1992, and a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology from Purdue University in 1998. Before returning to Purdue, he worked for ten years as a vegetation ecologist for the National Park Service (NPS) in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. While with the NPS, Mike collaborated on a range of research projects with scientists from across the country and currently holds adjunct appointments with four universities. 

Mike’s research focuses on the interactions between disturbance and abiotic factors and their synergistic influence on ecosystem structure and function. Specifically, he is interested in how human-induced changes to native disturbance regimes and species pools have altered the distributions, interactions, and coexistence of species through changes in ecological processes. His current research projects include exotic disease effects on nutrient cycling, invasion dynamics of exotic plants following the restoration of native disturbance regimes, long-term response of understory plant communities to chronic herbivory, and acid deposition and soil chemistry as drivers of species distribution in high-elevation spruce-fir forests.

Selected Publications

Parks, A. M., Jenkins, M. A., Ostry, M. E., Zhao, P., & Woeste, K. E. (in press). Biotic and abiotic factors affecting the genetic structure and diversity of butternut in the southern. Tree Genetics and Genomes.

Shields, J. M., Jenkins, M. A., Saunders, M. R., Zhang, H., Jenkins, L. H., & Parks, A. M. (in press). Age distribution and spatial patterning of an invasive shrub in secondary hardwood forests. Forest Science.

De Frenne, P., Rodriguez-Sanchez, F., Coomes, D. A., Baeten, L., Verstraeten, G., Vellend, M., . . . Verheyen, K. (2013). Microclimate moderates plant responses to macroclimate warming. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 110, 18561-18565.

Jenkins, M. A. (2013). The history of human disturbance in forest ecosystems of southern Indiana. In The Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment: a framework for studying responses to forest management (Vols. Gen. Tech. Rep. NRS-P-108, pp. 2-11). Newtown Square, PA: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Northern Research Station. Retrieved from

Parks, A. M., Jenkins, M. A., Woeste, K. E., & Ostry, M. E. (2013). Conservation status of a threatened tree species: establishing a baseline for restoration of Juglans cinerea L. in the southern Appalachian Mountains. Natural Areas Journal, 33, 413-426.

Quackenbush, P. M., Butler, R. A., Emery, N. C., Jenkins, M. A., Kladivko, E. J., & Gibson, K. J. (2013). Invasive earthworms and plants in Indiana old and second growth forests. Invasive Plant Science and Management, 6, 161-174.

Stehn, S. E., Jenkins, M. A., Webster, C. R., & Jose, S. (2013). Regeneration responses to exogenous disturbance gradients in southern Appalachian Picea-Abies forests. Forest Ecology and Management, 289, 98-105.

Webster, C. R., & Jenkins, M. A. (in press). Evidence of long and discontinuous juvenile periods in Trillium catesbaei under contrasting levels of herbivory. Botany.