Ellis Margolis, Ph.D.
Ellis Margolis is a research ecologist at the Jemez Mountains Field Station, a Fort Collins Science Center facility in New Mexico. Ellis received a Ph.D. in Watershed Management from the Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research at the University of Arizona, in Tucson, AZ. Since joining the USGS in 2015, he has continued his research on the interactions between fire, forests, and climate and specializes in dendrochronology (the study of tree ring dating). Presently, his research focuses on land use and climate effects on fire regimes and forests in the southwestern U.S. to guide fire regime and forest restoration for watershed management.
- Ph.D. Watershed Management, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 2007
- M.S. Watershed Management, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 2003
- B.S. Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, Arizona 1995
- 2015 - present, Research Ecologist, USGS Jemez Mountains Field Station, Fort Collins Science Center, Santa Fe, NM
- 2009 - 2015, Research Associate, University of Arizona Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Tucson, AZ
- 1999 - 2008, Graduate Teaching and Research Assistant, University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research, Tucson, AZ
- 1998 - 1999, Fire Technician, The Nature Conservancy National Fire Management and Research Program, Tall Timbers, FL
- 1997 - 1998, Biologist, The Nature Conservancy Albany Pine Bush Preserve and Eastern NY Chapter, Albany, NY
In the News
Science and Products
The New Mexico Landscapes Field Station is a place-based, globally-connected, ecological research group that studies and interprets ecosystem and wildlife dynamics, working with land managers and community leaders to deliver solutions that foster the linked health of human and natural systems.
Our partnerships, and co-location, with land management agencies provide us with opportunities...
Using tree ring analysis as a primary research tool, we conduct landscape-scale ecological research that focuses on the effects of climate variability on forest ecology, fire ecology, and ecohydrology.
We are the only tree-ring lab in New Mexico, working in close collaboration with Bandelier National Monument and Emeritus Regents’ Professor Dr. Thomas Swetnam. However, we were not the...
Limits to ponderosa pine regeneration following large high-severity forest fires in the United States Southwest
High-severity fires in dry conifer forests of the United States Southwest have created large (>1000 ha) treeless areas that are unprecedented in the regional historical record. These fires have reset extensive portions of Southwestern ponderosa pine (Pinus ponderosa Lawson & C. Lawson var. scopulorum Engelm.) forest landscapes. At least two...Haffey, Collin; Sisk, Thomas D.; Allen, Craig D.; Thode, Andrea E.; Margolis, Ellis
burnr: Fire history analysis and graphics in R
We developed a new software package, burnr, for fire history analysis and plotting in the Rstatistical programming environment. It was developed for tree-ring fire-scar analysis, but is broadly applicable to other event analyses (e.g., avalanches, frost rings, or culturally modified trees). Our new package can read,...Malevich, Steven B.; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Margolis, Ellis
Advancing dendrochronological studies of fire in the United States
Dendroecology is the science that dates tree rings to their exact calendar year of formation to study processes that influence forest ecology (e.g., Speer 2010, Amoroso et al., 2017). Reconstruction of past fire regimes is a core application of dendroecology, linking fire history to population dynamics and climate effects on tree growth and...Harley, Grant L.; Baisan, Christopher H.; Brown, Peter M.; Falk, Donald A.; Flatley, William T.; Grissino-Mayer, Henri D.; Hessl, Amy; Heyerdahl, Emily K.; Kaye, Margot W.; Lafon, Charles W.; Margolis, Ellis; Maxwell, R. Stockton; Naito, Adam T.; Platt, William J.; Rother, Monica T.; Saladyga, Thomas; Sherriff, Rosemary L.; Stachowiak, Lauren A.; Stambaugh, Michael C.; Sutherland, Elaine Kennedy; Taylor, Alan H.
Long-term persistence and fire resilience of oak shrubfields in dry conifer forests of northern New Mexico
Extensive high-severity fires are creating large shrubfields in many dry conifer forests of the interior western USA, raising concerns about forest-to-shrub conversion. This study evaluates the role of disturbance in shrubfield formation, maintenance and succession in the Jemez Mountains, New Mexico. We compared the environmental conditions of...Guiterman, Christopher H.; Margolis, Ellis; Allen, Craig D.; Falk, Donald A.; Swetnam, Thomas W.
Drought, multi-seasonal climate, and wildfire in northern New Mexico
Wildfire is increasingly a concern in the USA, where 10 million acres burned in 2015. Climate is a primary driver of wildfire, and understanding fire-climate relationships is crucial for informing fire management and modeling the effects of climate change on fire. In the southwestern USA, fire-climate relationships have been informed by tree-ring...Margolis, Ellis; Woodhouse, Connie A.; Swetnam, Thomas W.
Pruning high-value Douglas-fir can reduce dwarf mistletoe severity and increase longevity in central Oregon
Mid- to very large-sized Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menzieseii var. menziesii) that were lightly- to moderately-infected by dwarf mistletoe (Arceuthobium douglasii) were analyzed over a 14-year period to evaluate whether mechanical pruning could eradicate mistletoe (or at least delay the onset of severe infection) without significantly affecting...Maffei, Helen M; Filip, Gregory M; Gruelke, Nancy E; Oblinger, Brent W; Margolis, Ellis; Chadwick, Kristen L
Historical dominance of low-severity fire in dry and wet mixed-conifer forest habitats of the endangered terrestrial Jemez Mountains salamander (Plethodon neomexicanus)
Anthropogenic alteration of ecosystem processes confounds forest management and conservation of rare, declining species. Restoration of forest structure and fire hazard reduction are central goals of forest management policy in the western United States, but restoration priorities and treatments have become increasingly contentious. Numerous...Margolis, Ellis; Malevich, Steven B.