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Daniel Gavin

Climate Studies, Geography
Phone: 541-346-5787
Office: 254C Columbia Hall
Office Hours: Fridays from 1:00 to 2:30 PM. In 254C Columbia Hall or on Zoom by appointment
Research Interests: Biogeography, paleoecology, forest ecology.


B.A., 1992, Dartmouth College; M.S., 1997, Ph.D., 2000, U Washington (Seattle). (2006)

Research Interests

I am a biogeographer interested in understanding present and past responses of Earth's biota to climate change. The overarching theme of my research is the influence of climate change and climate-mediated natural disturbances on the composition and structure of forests, at several scales in space and time. My specific interest lies in reconstructing forest composition and natural disturbances over recent history (hundreds of years) and more distant history (thousands of years) using interdisciplinary research designs. For example, sediment records extending back to the last Ice Age (18,000 years ago) or earlier allows us to address how populations and communities reorganize through periods of fast and slow climate change. Shorter sediment records of only the past 2000 years provide context for human-induced impacts of the last 200 years. And tree-ring records of the past 400 years can be used to address tree population dynamics at annual resolution. While most of my graduate training was in sediment-based paleoecology of forests, I have subsequently branched into other subfields of biogeography as well as the sediment record of flooding and erosion.

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Selected recent publications: [Google Scholar profile]

Hendricks, L.B.†, G.Z. Anshari, and D.G. Gavin. 2024. Fire in the rainforest: A 3,200 year history of fire in a West Kalimantan, Indonesia tropical rainforests. Ecosphere. In press.

Ruwaimana, M.†, G.Z. Anshari, and D.G. Gavin. 2024. Interplay of climate, fires, floods, and anthropogenic impacts on the peat formation and carbon dynamic of coastal and inland tropical peatlands in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. Ecosystems. In press. 

Fernandez, M.C., F.S. Hu, D.G. Gavin, G. de Lafontaine, and K.D. Heath. 2021. A tale of two conifers: Migration across a dispersal barrier outpaced regional expansion from refugia. Journal of Biogeography 48: 2133-2143.

Ruwaimana, M., G.Z. Anshari, L.C.R. Silva, and D.G. Gavin. 2020. The oldest extant tropical peatland in the world: a major carbon reservoir for at least 47,000 years. Environmental Research Letters. doi:10.1088/1748-9326/abb853

Gavin, D.G., A. White, P.T. Sanborn, and R.J. Hebda. 2020. Deglacial landforms and Holocene vegetation trajectories in the northern interior cedar-hemlock forests of British Columbia. in R.B. Waitt, G.D. Thackray, and A.R. Gillespie, editors. Untangling the Quaternary Period: A Legacy of Stephen C. Porter. Geological Society of America Special Paper 548. doi:10.1130/2020.2548(05)

Colombaroli, D., D.G. Gavin, and A.E. Morey. 2018. Watershed erosion estimated from a high-resolution sediment core reveals a non-stationary frequency-magnitude relationship regulated by internal feedbacks. Earth Surface Processes and Landforms 43: 2181-2192.

Gavin, D.G., J.E. Kusler, and B.P. Finney. 2018. Millennial-scale decline in coho salmon abundance since the middle Holocene in a coastal Oregon watershed. Quaternary Research 89:432–445.

Herring, E.M., D.G. Gavin, M. Fernandez, and F.S. Hu. 2018. Ecological history of a long-lived conifer in a disjunct population. Journal of Ecology 106: 319-332. doi:

Schwörer, C., D.G. Gavin, I.R. Walker, and F.S. Hu. 2016. Holocene treeline changes in the Canadian Cordillera are controlled by climate and local topography. Journal of Biogeography 44:1148-1159. doi:

Gavin, D.G., and L.B. Brubaker. 2015. Late Pleistocene and Holocene Environmental Change on the Olympic Peninsula. Ecological Studies Vol. 222. Springer. 144 p.

Gavin, D.G., M.C. Fitzpatrick, P.F. Gugger, K.D. Heath, F. Rodríguez-Sánchez, S.Z. Dobrowski, A. Hampe, F.S. Hu, M.B. Ashcroft, P.J. Bartlein, J.L. Blois, B. C. Carstens, E.B. Davis, G. de Lafontaine, M.E. Edwards, M. Fernandez, P.D. Henne, E.M. Herring, Z.A. Holden, W. Kong, J. Liu, D. Magri, N.J. Matzke, M.S. McGlone, F. Saltré, A.L. Stigall, Y.-H.E. Tsai, and J.W. Williams. 2014. Climate refugia: joint inference from fossil records, species distribution models and phylogeography. New Phytologist 204:37–54.