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.


POORTER, L. and many others including SCHWARTZ, N. B. 2019 ‘Wet and dry tropical forests show opposite successional pathways in wood density but converge over time’ Nature Ecology and Evolution 3(6), 928-934   DOI:  10.1038/s41559-019-0882-6

ROZENDAAL, D. M. A., + 85 others including SCHWARTZ, N. B. 2019 ‘Biodiversity recovery of Neotropical secondary forests’ Science Advances 5(3), eaau3114    DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aau3114

SCHWARTZ, N. B., BUDSOCK, A. and URIARTE, M. 2019 ‘Fragmentation, forest structure, and topography modulate impacts of drought in a tropical forest landscape’ Ecology 100(6), e02677   DOI: 10.1002/ecy.2677

FAGAN, M. and SCHWARTZ, N. B. 2019 ‘Exploring the Social and Ecological Trade-offs in Tropical Reforestation: A Role-Playing Exercise’ Lessons in Conservation 9(1), 38-54



MENGE, D. N. L., MACPHERSON, A. C., BYTNEROWICZ, T. A., QUEBBERMAN, A. W., SCHWARTZ, N. B., TAYLOR, B. N. and WOLF, A. A. 2018 ‘Logarithmic scales in ecological data presentation may cause misinterpretation’ Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 1393-1402

GEI, M., ROZENDAAL, D. M. A., + 68 others including SCHWARTZ, N. B. 2018 ‘Legume abundance along successional and rainfall gradients in Neotropical forests’ Nature Ecology and Evolution 2, 1104-1111



SCHWARTZ, N. B., URIARTE, M., DEFRIES, R., BEDKA, K., GUTIERREZ-VELEZ, V., FERNANDES, K. and PINEDO-VASQUEZ, M. A. 2017 ‘Fragmentation increases wind disturbance impacts on forest structure and carbon stocks in a western Amazonian landscape’ Ecological Applications 27(6), 1901-1915

SCHWARTZ, N. B., URIARTE, M., DEFRIES, R., GUTIERREZ-VELEZ, V. H. and PINEDO-VASQUEZ, M. A. 2017 ‘Land-use dynamics influence estimates of carbon sequestration potential in tropical second-growth forest’ Environmental Research Letters 12(7), 074023

TAYLOR, B. N., PATTERSON, A. E., + 21 others including SCHWARTZ, N. B. 2017 ‘Growth and physiology of a dominant understory shrub, Hamamelis virginiana, following canopy disturbance in a temperate hardwood forest’ Canadian Journal of Forest Research 47(2), 193-202



URIARTE, M., SCHWARTZ, N. B., POWERS, J. S., MARIN-SPIOTTA, E., LIAO, W. and WERDEN, L. 2016 ‘Impacts of climate variability on tree demography in second growth tropical forests: the importance of regional context for predicting successional trajectories’ Biotropica 48(6), 780-797

CHAZDON, R. L., BROADBENT, E. N., ROZENDAAL, D. M. A., + 57 others including SCHWARTZ, N. B., 2016 ‘Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics’ Science Advances 2(5), e1501639   DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501639

POORTER, L., BONGERS, F., AIDE, T. M., + 62 others including SCHWARTZ, N. B. 2016 ‘Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests’ Nature 530, 211-214   doi:10.1038/nature16512

SCHWARTZ, N. B., URBAN, D. L., WHITE, P. S., MOODY, A. and KLEIN, R. N. 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, P., KUMAR, C., LASCO, R., MARIN-SPIOTTA, E., MERCER, B., POWERS, J., SCHWARTZ, N. B. and URIARTE, M. 2015 ‘Tropical reforestation and climate change: beyond carbon’ Restoration Ecology 23(4), 337-343   DOI: 10.1111/rec.12209

LASKY, J. R., BACHELOT, B., MUSCARELLA, R. A., SCHWARTZ, N. B., et al 2015 ‘Ontogenetic shifts in trait‐mediated mechanisms of plant community assembly’ Ecology 96(8), 2157-2169

SCHWARTZ, N. B., URIARTE, M., GUITERREZ-VELEZ, V. H., BAETHGEN, W., DEFRIES, R., FERNANDES, K. and PINEDO-VAZQUEZ, M. A. 2015 ‘Climate, landowner residency, and land cover predict local scale fire activity in the Western Amazon’ Global Environmental Change 31, 144-153



Winter 2019

GEOB270 Geographic Information Science Sections

Computer-based graphical methods of data input and analysis. Emphasis on data visualization techniques such as cartographic modelling and exploratory data analysis. Preclusion: Not available to those who completed GEOG 370 before September 2005.

Winter 2019

GEOB373 Introductory Remote Sensing Sections

Aerial photography; measurement from aerial photographs; photo-interpretation in geographic analysis; remote sensing of the earth's surface and atmosphere.