Assistant Professor
Columbia University, 2017, PhD
University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, MSc
Duke University, BA


Our lab’s research addresses questions about the causes and consequences of disturbance and extreme events in tropical forest landscapes. Climate and land-use change are already altering the frequency and intensity of disturbance and climate extremes. Can we predict which forests will be most vulnerable to these events? What are the processes that underlie spatial heterogeneity in forest responses to disturbance and climate extremes? How do these events shape forest landscapes? To address these themes, we use a variety of tools including remote sensing and GIS, forest censuses, plant functional trait measurements, and socio-economic surveys.


Fagan, M., and N. Schwartz. 2018. Exploring the social and ecological trade-offs in tropical reforestation: a role-playing exercise. Network of Conservation Educators and Practitioners, Center for Biodiversity and Conservation, American Museum of Natural History, New York, NY.

Menge, DNL, AC MacPherson, TA Bytnerowicz, AW Quebbeman, NB Schwartz, BN Taylor, & AA Wolf. 2018. Logarithmic scales in ecological data presentation may cause misinterpretation. Nature Ecology and Evolution.

Schwartz, N.B., M. Uriarte, R. DeFries, K. Bedka, V. Gutierrez-Velez, K. Fernandes, M.A. Pinedo-Vasquez (2017) Fragmentation increases wind disturbance impacts on forest structure and carbon stocks in a Western Amazonian landscape. Ecological Applications 27, 1901-1915.

Schwartz, N.B., M. Uriarte, R. DeFries, V.H. Gutierrez-Velez, M.A. Pinedo-Vasquez. (2017) Land-use dynamics influence estimates of carbon sequestration potential in tropical second-growth forest. Environmental Research Letters 12, 074023.

Uriarte, M., N.B. Schwartz, J.S. Powers, E. Marin-Spiotta, W. Liao, and L. Werden. (2016)Impacts of climate variability on tree demography in tropical second-growth forests: The importance of regional context for predicting successional trajectories. Biotropica 48, 780-797.

Chazdon, R.L., Broadbent, E.N., Rozendaal, D.M.A., + 57 others including N.B. Schwartz (2016) Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics. Science Advances 2, e1501639.

Poorter L., F. Bongers, T.M. Aide, + 62 others including N.B. Schwartz (2016) Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests. Nature 530, 211-214.

Schwartz, N.B., D.L. Urban, P.S. White, A. Moody, and R.N. Klein (2016) Vegetation dynamics vary across topographic and fire severity gradients following prescribed burning in Great Smoky Mountains National Park. Forest Ecology and Management 365, 1-11.

Locatelli, B., C. Catterall, P. Imbach, C. Kumar, R. Lasco, E. Marín-Spiotta, B. Mercer, J. Powers, N. Schwartz and M. Uriarte (2015) Tropical reforestation and climate change: beyond carbon. Restoration Ecology 23, 337-343.

Lasky, J.R., B. Bachelot, R.A. Muscarella, N.B. Schwartz, et al (2015) Ontogenetic shifts in trait mediated mechanisms of plant community assembly. Ecology 96, 2157-2169.

Schwartz, N.B., M. Uriarte, V.H. Guiterrez-Velez, W. Baethgen, R. DeFries, K. Fernandes, and M.A. Pinedo-Vazquez (2015) Climate, landowner residency, and land cover predict local scale fire activity in the Western Amazon. Global Environmental Change 31, 144-153.