Landscape Change Research Group


The scientists of the Landscape Change Research Group (LCRG) create original research as well as valuable tools and data sets for resource managers and decision makers. The integration of the LCRG into the NIACS team allows for more information to be made available to land managers, provides valuable feedback from users about LCRG products, and enhances work to support forest adaptation and inspire new research.

Chris Swanston

Chris has served as the director of NIACS for the past ten years and played an active role in most of the Institute’s projects, including directing the USDA Northern Forests Climate Hub. He also studies forest soil carbon dynamics as a research ecologist for the Northern Research Station. He holds a PhD in forest science from Oregon State University. Chris enjoys a range of activities, including collecting mugs, trail running, snowshoe running, bicycling, and fishing. Chris does not like cooked vegetables or mushrooms, because they’re gross.

Anantha Prasad

Prasad is a Research Ecologist and has worked for the Forest Service since 1993. His research focus is to understand within-species variation of trees with respect to genetic, ecological, and environmental differences using multiple modelling techniques. He is involved in modelling colonization likelihoods of suitable habitats under future climates. He loves tinkering with models and scripts to help management and conservation. Prasad has a degree in Electrical Engineering and Environmental Resource Analysis.

Matthew Peters

Matt is an Ecologist and provides technical support for the Climate Change Tree and Bird Atlas by conducting geospatial analyses and data processing, statistical modeling, and generates cartographic products. Matt has been with the Forest Service Northern Research Station since 2007. He graduated from Ohio University with a B.S. in GIS Analyst and Arizona State University with a M.S. in Applied Biological Sciences. Matt also provides GIS processing and analysis to other Northern Research Station researchers and the Wayne National Forest.

Stephen Matthews

Stephen is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Landscape Ecology in the School of Environment and Natural Resources at Ohio State University and also holds an affiliation as an ecologist with the Forest Service Northern Research Station.  Two general themes of his research focus are climate and land use change and wildlife habitat relationship. Collectively he aims to link these themes across scales to more fully understand and address the global change pressures faced by forests and wildlife.