Dr. Kelly M Andersen is a tropical forest ecologist who uses an interdisciplinary approach, combining studies of plant ecology and soil biogeochemistry to understand interactions between plant communities and ecosystem processes. Specifically, her research integrates studies from soil nutrient gradients and manipulation experiments to give insights on how soil nutrients regulate tropical forests, from community assembly, such as species coexistence and distribution patterns, to ecosystem processes, such as carbon dynamics and nutrient cycling. Her scientific interests in tropical ecology began at the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) in Panama, where she spent over 10 years in residence. During this time, Dr. Andersen contributed to the establishment of a forest inventory plot network in a premontane forest in western Panama and developed an independent research program examining plant-soil interactions in both premontane and lowland forests. She obtained her PhD from the University of Illinois-Urbana, USA examining soil-based habitat partitioning of understory palms in lower montane forests of western Panama. Most recently, Dr. Andersen was a Research Fellow with a joint position at the University of Edinburgh and University of Exeter to lead the first large-scale, long-term nutrient addition experiment in a mature tropical forest in Central Amazonia: the Amazon Fertilisation Experiment (AFEX). Dr. Andersen recently joined the Asian School of the Environment (ASE) as an Assistant Professor in Tropical Forest Ecology and Biogeography and is member of the rapidly expanding Forest Ecology Group in ASE.
I am interested in fundamental questions in plant ecology and use functional approaches to link community and ecosystem ecology. I seek to answer long-standing questions about the influence of above- and below-ground resource limitation on plant function and species coexistence at multiple scales. By focusing on the whole plant system, my research has implications for species diversity, plant function and ecosystem processes. I use soil nutrient gradients and large-scale nutrient addition experiments as tools to better understand and predict carbon and nutrient constraints on tropical forest responses to global change.
- Nutrient regulation of Southeast Asian tropical forest function and resilience to global change
- Phosphorus feedbacks determining forest resilience in Singapore