Dr. Ajay Sharma
Applied Forest Ecology/Silviculture
Dr. Ajay Sharma has a joint appointment at the West Florida Research and Education Center (WFREC) in Milton, FL and the School of Forest, Fisheries, and Geomatics Sciences (SFFGS) in Gainesville. Dr. Sharma's role is to develop teaching and research programs that meet the needs of both WFREC and SFFGS. He is one of two faculty members responsible for administering the Natural Resource Conservation (NRC) undergraduate teaching program at the WFREC and delivering upper division courses leading to a B.S. degree in the SFFGS with a major in NRC. Dr. Sharma's research program is focused on silviculture, restoration, and disturbance ecology of forest ecosystems, designed to inform forest management for multiple benefits.
The Sharma Forestry Lab is interested in advancing science on structural and functional understanding of forests and natural systems and designing approaches for their sustainable management. Over the past 17 years, the members of the Sharma Forestry lab have conducted forestry and ecological research in diverse forest types of the United States and India. Most of our current research, however, has focused on applied forest ecology and restoration of southern pine ecosystems and floodplain forests. We employ empirical, experimental, and modeling approaches to understand the effects of alternative forest management and disturbances (fire, windstorms, etc.) on stand structure, composition, and development over time, particularly for stands with multiple-use or restoration management objectives. This understanding of stand dynamics helps forest managers to devise appropriate interventions to meet the diverse goals of management including timber production, enhancement of wildlife habitat and biodiversity, structural complexity, carbon sequestration, and forest restoration.
Research at the Sharma Lab covers a wide variety of topics related to even-aged and uneven-aged silviculture, long-term stand dynamics, fire ecology, hurricane impacts, and forest restoration. Please visit The Sharma Forestry Lab website to know more about our ongoing projects and join our team.