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Carl Salk

Carl Salk
Forest ecology, land management, human livelihoods, creative data analysis.


I study forests and how people benefit from and impact them. Specific topics include temperate tree phenology, forest self-governance by small communities, biodiversity assessment, and land-cover mapping. I also have an interest in quantitative analysis of unusual and awkward datasets. My research uses techniques like simulation modeling, field-based games, and online crowdsourcing.


I have recently taught courses on data analysis and graphics in R, scientific writing, and research design.


Doctor of Philosophy in Biology (forest ecology), Minor in Statistics, 2011, Duke University, Durham, NC, USA.

Bachelor of Science with Distinction in Plant Biology, Bachelor of Science in Geology, Minor in Mathematics, 1999, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL, USA.

Selected publications

Please see my Google Scholar page for a complete publication list.

Londres, M, C Salk, K Andersson, M Tengö, ES Brondizio, G Russo Lopes, SMO Siani, A Molina-Garzón, T Gonzales, D Rivera, C Futemma, F de Castro (2023). Place-based solutions for global social-ecological dilemmas: an analysis of locally grounded, diversified, and cross-scalar initiatives in the Amazon. Global Environmental Change, 82:102718.

Salk, CF, E Moltchanova, L See, T Sturn, I McCallum, S Fritz (2022). How many people need to classify the same image? A method for optimizing volunteer contributions in binary geographical classifications. PLoS One, 17(5): e0267114.

Brondizio, ES, K Andersson, F de Castro, C Futemma, C Salk, M Tengö, M Londres, DCM Tourne, T González, A Molina, G Russo, S Siani (2021). Making place-based sustainability initiatives visible in the Brazilian Amazon. Current Opinions in Environmental Sustainability, 49(S1):66-78.

de Freitas Chagas, G, CF Salk, EJ Vidal, SEXF Sousa, PHS Brancalion (2021). Exploiting fruits of a threatened palm to trigger restoration of Brazil’s Atlantic Forest. Restoration Ecology, 29(1):e13294.

Salk, CF (2020). Interpreting common garden studies to understand cueing mechanisms of spring leafing phenology in temperate and boreal tree species. Silva Fennica, 54(5):10381.

Loft, L, S Gehrig, C Salk, J Rommel (2020). Fair payments increase effectiveness of environmental conservation. PNAS, 117(25):14094-14101.

Salk, CF, R Chazdon, D Waiswa (2020). Thinking outside the plot: Monitoring forest biodiversity for social-ecological research. Ecology and Society, 25(1):7.

Andersson, K, N Cook, T Grillos, M-C Lopez, GD Wright, C Salk, E Mwangi (2018).  Experimental evidence on payments for forest commons conservation.  Nature Sustainability, 1: 128–135.

Salk, CF, M-C Lopez and G Wong (2017).  Simple incentives and group dependence for successful payments for ecosystem services programs:  Evidence from an experimental game in rural Lao PDR.  Conservation Letters, 10: 413-420.

Augspurger, CK and CF Salk (2017).  Constraints of cold and shade on the phenology of spring ephemeral herb species.  Journal of Ecology, 105: 246-254.

Salk, CF, T Sturn, L See, S Fritz and C Perger (2016).  Assessing quality of volunteer crowdsourcing contributions: Lessons from the Cropland Capture game.  International Journal of Digital Earth, 9(4): 410-426.

Marchin, RM, CF Salk, WA Hoffmann, RR Dunn (2015). Temperature alone does not explain phenological variation of diverse temperate plants under experimental warming.  Global Change Biology, 21: 3138–3151.

Burge, DO and CF Salk (2014).  Climatic niche shifts in the serpentine soil flora of California. Journal of Vegetation Science, 25(3): 873-884.

Salk, CF, RL Chazdon and KP Andersson (2013).  Detecting landscape-level changes in tree biomass and biodiversity: Methodological constraints and challenges of plot-based approaches. Canadian Journal of Forest Research, 43(9): 799-808.

Salk, CF (2012).  Within-species leaf trait variation reveals ecological flexibility in resprouting tropical trees.  Journal of Tropical Ecology, 28: 527-530.