Smithsonian Voices

From the Smithsonian Museums

Jenny Zambrano

Jenny Zambrano is a recipient of a ForestGEO Research Grant that funded a project titled: Are leaves and root traits functionally coordinated to maximize resource acquisition along a soil fertility gradient?. This project is currently being developed in one of the permanent plots of the ForestGEO network in Michigan. Jenny is an Assistant Professor in the School of Biological Sciences at Washington State University ( She is a forest ecologist and her primary research interest is to understand the processes that govern forest structure and dynamics. Her work addresses fundamental questions in ecology by testing and integrating ecology theory at different organizational and spatial scales to better understand and predict the function and stability of forest ecosystems. A primary reason for developing this understanding is to apply it to questions regarding how forests are responding to changing environments and the implications of those changes for the long-term persistence of forests.

Connecting Roots to Leaves: Studying the Diversity of Plant Functions in a Temperate Forest

When looking at forests, we hardly get to see beyond a bunch of green. However, for a plant ecologist, forests represent a much more complex world consisting of different species. This diversity of species also reflects diverse forms and functions that define how plants work. Using information of plant function could help predict forests' responses to changing environments.