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Catherine Pohlman

Catherine Pohlman, Ph.D.

Location

Australia

Education

Ph.D. in Plant Ecology and Biogeography
James Cook University (Australia)

B.S. with Honours, Plant Ecology and Biogeography
The Australian National University

Teaching

SFS 3690 Principles of Forest Management
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 4910 Directed Research
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3540 Rainforest Management Studies
(The School for Field Studies)

SFS 3550 Techniques for Rainforest Research
(The School for Field Studies)

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Catherine Pohlman, Ph.D.

Lecturer in Principles of Forest Management

About

Professional Activities


(2005 – present)
Member The Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation
(2001 – present)
Member of the Ecological Society of Australia
(2010 – present)
Adjunct Research Fellow, James Cook University

Faculty Profile


I grew up on a sugarcane farm in south-east Queensland (Australia), about 1400 km SE of the Centre for Rainforest Studies. I’ve worked as a laboratory technician at CSIRO, an occasional (and unpaid) farm hand for my parents, a postdoctoral research fellow at James Cook University and the University of Technology, Sydney, and as a lecturer at the School for Field Studies. My research interests include plant community ecology, tropical rainforest plant ecology, rainforest microclimates, biogeography, human influences on rainforest plant communities, plant functional ecology and ecophysiology, and restoration ecology. Projects I am currently working on with my colleagues at CRS include a study of forest ecology at the Robson Creek 25 ha permanent plot, examining the long-term effects of “selective logging”, a study of secondary succession in rainforest, and various projects to determine the effectiveness of different restoration methods.

Research Interests


The research conducted at SFS field stations is designed to answer key questions related to critical and related social and environmental problems and to provide our hosts with detailed and accurate information for decision making and action. Faculty and student research projects are linked to the Center’s Five-Year Research Plan, which defines an overarching research directive.

Research Projects


A 25-ha permanent research plot has been established by the CSIRO in selectively logged rainforest on the Atherton Tableland (Robson Creek, Danbulla National Park). SFS students assisted CSIRO staff to perform the first complete census of trees ≥10 cm dbh between 2011 and 2013 across the entire 25 ha plot. We are also monitoring the long-term dynamics of seedlings and saplings in two subplots (1 ha each) that were subjected to slightly different selective logging regimes.
SFS is contributing to a study (by JCU) on patterns of plant species composition and vegetation structure in secondary (regrowth) rainforests on the Atherton Tablelands. We are establishing a chronosequence of sites of different ages on different soil types on abandoned pasturelands to examine how these regrowth forests change over time and whether patterns of change differ between soil types or with other landscape factors.

Outputs:

Pohlman, C.L., Goosem, M., Laurance, S.G., Goosem, S., Laurance, W.F., Preece, N. and Fensham, R. (2014) Rainforest secondary succession on the Atherton Tablelands: some preliminary results. Poster presented at the 51st Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Cairns, Australia.

A pilot study of a number of assisted natural revegetation techniques is currently being conducted in the southern Atherton Tablelands to determine whether less-intensive (and hopefully less expensive) approaches to restoration can be as successful as high-diversity tree plantings. The techniques being examined include suppressing competition from pasture grasses and invasive shrubs (e.g. Lantana camara andSolanum mauritianum) and providing structures for frugivorous birds (i.e. artificial bird perches and the remains of poisoned invasive shrubs) to encourage seed dispersal into restoration sites.

Outputs:

Elgar, A.T., Freebody, K., Pohlman, C.L., Shoo, L.P. & Catterall, C.P. (2014) Overcoming barriers to seedling regeneration during forest restoration on tropical pasture land and the potential value of woody weeds. Frontiers in Plant Science 5: 200. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00200. URL: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpls.2014.00200/abstract

An abandoned plantation of lychee trees was present on the CRS property when the property was purchased by SFS in 1988. A mixture of invasive shrubs and native pioneer saplings have since established in this abandoned plantation. We are establishing an experiment to test a variety of restoration techniques, to explore which techniques most successfully assist rainforest regeneration in the plantation over the long term.
Academics

Publications

Elgar, A.T., Freebody, K., Pohlman, C.L., Shoo, L.P. & Catterall, C.P. (2014) Frontiers in Plant Science 5: 200. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2014.00200. URL: http://journal.frontiersin.org/Journal/10.3389/fpls.2014.00200/abstract
Pohlman, C.L., Turton, S.M. and Goosem, M. (2009) Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 149: 84 – 95.
Pohlman, C.L., Turton, S.M. and Goosem, M. (2007) Biotropica 39: 62 – 71.
Pohlman, C.L., Nicotra, A.B. and Murray B.R. (2005) Journal of Biogeography 32: 341 – 351.

Presentations

51st Annual meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation (ATBC), Cairns, QLD. Poster, “Rainforest secondary succession on the Atherton Tablelands: some preliminary results.”
Annual Meeting of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Sanur Beach, Bali, Indonesia. 15 minute presentation, "Edge effects of powerline clearings on rainforest and savanna plant communities."
10th International Congress of Ecology (INTECOL, the International Association for Ecology), held in Brisbane, Queensland. 15 minute presentation, "Prioritisation of rainforest remnants for conservation and restoration using two assessment methods." Poster presentation, "Do photosynthetic responses to leaf temperature differ between and within plant species with wide and restricted elevational distributions?"
Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA), Sydney, NSW.
Annual Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia (ESA), Perth, Western Australia. 20 minute presentation.
Rainforest Recovery Forum, Griffith University, Brisbane (Landcare Australia, SEQ Catchments, Griffith University). 15 minute presentation.
Inaugural conference of the Asia-Pacific Chapter of the Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation, Mahabalipuram, India. 20 minute presentation.