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Ann M. Lynch

Research Entomologist

1215 E Lowell St
Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
Tucson, AZ 85721-0045
Contact Ann M. Lynch

Current Research

My principle research involves understanding insect disturbance ecology in Southwestern high elevation forests. My goals are to determine the effects of climate and human activities on historical and contemporary disturbance regimes and ecosystem stability, and to determine the causes of, and climate associated with, contemporary severe and anomalous insect outbreaks. Individual studies include dendrochronologically reconstructing fire, insect outbreak, logging, and climate effects on tree population dynamics at the mountain range scale; investigating the ecology and impact of emergent (native but previously innocuous) and range-expansive insect pests. I am also involved with investigating the ecology and impact of the exotic and invasive spruce aphid in western North American montane and maritime ecosystems, where it threatens ecosystem stability and biodiversity.

Research Interests

My research interests are focused on disturbance ecology of western forest insects, high elevation disturbance ecology, climate change effects, fire exclusion effects, insect impact assessment, modeling, decision support systems, and the Sky Island mountain ecosystems of the Southwest.

Past Research

  1. Developed tree-ring methodology and used that methodology to reconstruct multi-century chronologies of western spruce budworm outbreaks in Colorado & New Mexico, providing scientists with key methodology to investigate the long-term temporal variability of forest insect outbreaks, and providing managers with information on temporal and spatial variability in western spruce budworm, including information about outbreak frequency, duration, extent, and response to change in forest condition.
  2. Developed hazard-rating systems for spruce budworm and pales weevil, allowing managers to assess the probability of resource damage.
  3. Developed statistically sound sampling strategies for spruce budworm and western spruce budworm damage, allowing pest managers to accurately estimate populations and their damage.
  4. Characterized spruce budworm outbreak severity associations with different ecological factors in northern Michigan, providing resource managers with information on hazard relationships that they could use to mitigate the effects of this insect.

Why This Research is Important

My research is important because it provides managers with information about the effects of legacy conditions, past disturbance events, climate and human activities on Southwestern historical and contemporary disturbance regimes and ecosystem stability. It develops tools for quantifying and assessing insect effects, and informs predictive models. Southwestern ecosystems are especially vulnerable to climate- and human-induced changes because of their southern latitude and vertical landscape connectivity, and because of their history of fire exclusion. Managers need this information in order to develop adaptive management strategies that promote forest health and resiliency, and to mitigate the negative effects of future disturbances and climate change. My research on spruce aphid is important because it provides information needed to mitigate negative effects and to develop control strategies.


  • University of Michigan, M.F., Forest Biometrics, 1984
  • University of Michigan, Ph.D., Natural Resources (Entomology/ Pest Management), 1984
  • University of Michigan, M.S., Natural Resources (Entomology/ Pest Management ), 1981
  • Pennsylvania State University, B.S., Forest Science, 1977
  • Professional Experience

    Adjunct Associate Professor of Dendrochronology, The University of Arizona, Laboratory of Tree-Ring Research
    2006 to present

    Tucson AZ
    Research Entomologist, US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station
    1987 to present

    Currently in Tucson AZ, but previously in Flagstaff AZ and Fort Collins CO
    Assistant Professor of Watershed Management (Forest Resources Management), The University of Arizona, School of Renewable Natural Resources
    1985 to 1987

    Tucson AZ
    Research Assistant in Forest Entomology, The University of Michigan, School of Natural Resources
    1980 to 1987

    Iron River and Ann Arbor MI
    Regional Plans and Operations Forester, Weyerhaeuser Company, Oklahoma Region
    1978 to 1979

    Wright City OK
    Professional Intern I (Entomology), Weyerhaeuser Company, Southern Forestry Research Center

    Hot Springs AR
    Professional Intern I (Forest Regeneration), Weyerhaeuser Company, Western Forestry Research Center
    1977 to 1978

    Centralia WA
    Field Research Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Entomology Department

    University Park PA
    Technical Assistant, The Pennsylvania State University, Entomology Department, Gypsy Moth Technical Information Project
    1975 to 1976

    University Park PA
    Laboratory Technician in Microbiology, Behrend College, The Pennsylvania State University
    1973 to 1975

    Erie PA


    Performance Award, Rocky Mountain Research Station, 2013
    For superior performance, 2012.
    Certificate of Merit, Coronado N.F., 2012
    For Resource Management: in recognition of outstanding work performed for the forest vegetation sections of the Draft Revised Forest Plan & DEIS, which has been recognized by the Regional Office as "the best that they have seen".
    Certificate of Merit, Rocky Mountain Forest & Range Experiment Station, 1998
    For outstanding technology transfer in the form of participation in scientific meetings and work conferences in the field of forest entomology.
    Certificate of Merit, Rocky Mountain Forest & Range Experiment Station, 1988
    For continuous dedication to excellence in forestry education.
    Distinguished Alumni Award, Alumni Society of the University of Michigan, 1986
    Alumni Society of the School of Natural Resources
    Donald M. Matthews Award in Forest Management, University of Michigan, 1984
    Faculty of the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan
    Samuel A. Graham Award for Outstanding Scholarship in Forest Biology and Superior Writing Capability, 1983
    Faculty of the School of Natural Resources, University of Michigan
    Traveling Scholar, CIC Michigan State University, 1982
    Committee on Institutional Cooperation, Michigan State University.
    Xi Sigma Pi, 1982
    Eta Chapter 1976, Upsilon Chapter 1989. National forestry honor society.
    National Honor Society, 1972
    Recognition of outstanding student achievement in (high school)

    Featured Publications


    Klesse, Stefan; DeRose, Robert Justin; Babst, Flurin; Black, Bryan A.; Anderegg, Leander D. L.; Axelson, Jodi; Ettinger, Ailene; Griesbauer, Hardy; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Harley, Grant; Harvey, Jill E.; Lo, Yueh-Hsin; Lynch, Ann M.; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Restaino, Christina; Sauchyn, Dave; Shaw, John D.; Smith, Dan J.; Wood, Lisa; Villanueva-Díaz, Jose; Evans, Margaret E. K., 2020. Continental-scale tree-ring-based projection of Douglas-fir growth: Testing the limits of space-for-time substitution
    Malesky, Danielle M.; Bentz, Barbara J.; Brown, Gary R.; Brunelle, Andrea R.; Buffington, John M.; Chappell, Linda M.; ; Guyon, John C. II; Jorgensen, Carl L.; Loehman, Rachel A.; Lowrey, Laura L.; Lynch, Ann M.; Matyjasik, Marek; McMillin, Joel D.; Mercado, Javier E.; Morris, Jesse L.; Negron, Jose; Padgett, Wayne G.; Progar, Robert A.; Randall, Carol B., 2018. Effects of climate change on ecological disturbances [Chapter 8]
    Klesse, Stefan; ; Guiterman, Christopher H.; Lynch, Ann M.; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Shaw, John D.; Evans, Margaret E. K., 2018. Sampling bias overestimates climate change impacts on forest growth in the southwestern United States
    O'Connor, Christopher D.; Falk, Donald A.; Lynch, Ann M.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Wilcox, Craig P., 2017. Disturbance and productivity interactions mediate stability of forest composition and structure
    Panyushkina, Irina P.; Mukhamadiev, Nurjan S.; Lynch, Ann M.; Ashikbaev, Nursagim A.; Arizpe, Alexis H.; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Abjanbaev, Danyar; Mengdbayeva, Gulnaz Z.; Sagitov, Abay O., 2017. Wild apple growth and climate change in southeast Kazakhstan
    Swetnam, T. L.; Lynch, Ann M.; Falk, D. A.; Yool, S. R.; Guertin, D. P., 2015. Discriminating disturbance from natural variation with LiDAR in semi-arid forests in the southwestern USA
    Anhold, John; Mitchell, Brent; Wilcox, Craig; Mellin, Tom; Merrick, Melissa; Lynch, Ann M.; Walterman, Mike; Falk, Donald; Koprowski, John; Laes, Denise; Evans, Don; Fisk, Haans., 2015. Using LiDAR to evaluate forest landscapes and health factors and their relationship to habitat of the endangered Mount Graham red squirrel on the Coronado National Forest, Pinaleno Mountains, Arizona [Chap. 12]
    O’Connor, Christopher D.; Koprowski, John L.; Lynch, Ann M.; Falk, Donald A., 2014. Mt. Graham red squirrel use of forest habitat: Historical, present, and future perspectives
    Mukhamadiev, N.; Lynch, Ann M.; O'Connor, Christopher D.; Sagitov, A.; Ashikbaev, N.; Panyushkina, I., 2014. The historical role of Ips hauseri (Coleoptera: Curculionidae) in the spruce forest of Ile-Alatausky and Medeo National Parks
    Austin, Terry; Begay, Yolynda; Biedenbender, Sharon; Biggs, Rachael; Boyle, Erin; Curiel, Eli; Davis, Sarah; Dechter, Sara; Emmett, Tami; Farrell, Mary; Gerhart, Richard; Gillespie, William; Haessig, Polly; Holloway, Ed; Jenkins, Melissa; Jones, Larry; Kriegel, Debby; Lefevre, Robert; Stamer, Mark; Lehew, Mindi; Lynch, Ann M.; McKay, George; Peery, Linda; Peralta, Albert; Ruyle, Jennifer; Sautter, Jeremy; Schoenle, Kenna; Shafiqullah, Salek; Stetson, Christopher; Vogel, Mindi Sue; White, Laura; Wilcox, Craig; York, Judy, 2013. Coronado National Forest Draft Land and Resource Management Plan: Cochise, Graham, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona, and Hidalgo County, New Mexico
    Peralta, Albert; Campbell, Andrea Wargo; Lynch, Ann M.; Bowen, Cheri; Stetson, Christopher; Wilcox, Craig; Zormeier, Daniela; Kriegel, Debby; Jaworski, Delilah; Walters, Dustin; Curiel, Eli; Boyle, Erin; McKay, George; Moser, Janet; Morrissey, Jennifer; Ruyle, Jennifer M.; Sautter, Jeremy; York, Judy; Schoenle, Kenna; Jones, Larry; White, Laura; Peery, Linda; Farrell, Mary; Lehew, Mindi; Vogel, Mindy Sue; Laluk, Nicholas; Biggs, Rachael; Lefevre, Robert; Gerhart, Richard; Shafiqullah, Salek; Dechter, Sara; Davis, Sarah; Biedenbender, Sharon; Emmett, Tami; Austin, Terry; Gillespie, William; Begay, Yolynda, 2013. Draft Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement for Revision of the Coronado National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan: Cochise, Graham, Pima, Pinal, and Santa Cruz Counties, Arizona; Hidalgo County, New Mexico
    Friggens, Megan M.; Bagne, Karen; Finch, Deborah M.; Falk, D.; Triepke, J.; Lynch, Ann M., 2013. Review and recommendations for climate change vulnerability assessment approaches with examples from the Southwest
    Mitchell, Brent; Walterman, Mike; Mellin, Tom; Wilcox, Craig; Lynch, Ann M.; Anhold, John; Falk, Donald A.; Koprowski, John; Laes, Denise; Evans, Don; Fisk, Haans, 2012. Mapping vegetation structure in the Pinaleno Mountains using lidar-phase 3: Forest inventory modeling
    Amelon, Sybill; Brooks, Robert T.; Glaeser, Jessie; Friggens, Megan M.; Lindner, Daniel; Loeb, Susan C.; Lynch, Ann M.; Minnis, Drew; Perry, Roger; Rowland, Mary M.; Tomosy, Monica; Weller, Ted, 2012. U.S. Forest Service Research and Development (USFS R/D) national science strategy on White Nose Syndrome (WNS)
    O'Connor, Christopher D.; Falk, Donald A.; Lynch, Ann M.; Wilcox, Craig P.; Swetnam, Thomas W.; Swetnam, Tyson L., 2010. Growth and demography of Pinaleno high elevation forests
    Witter, John A.; Lynch, Ann M.; Montgomery, Bruce A., 1983. Management Implications of Interactions between the Spruce Budworm and Spruce-Fir Stands
    Photo of a forest fire
    The 20th Century was a period of enormous change for western forests. Fire used to maintain distinct forest vegetation communities – pine, dry mixed-conifer, mesic mixed-conifer, and spruce-fir – in close proximity to one another along steep vertical gradients in the topographically diverse forests of the American Southwest. How did these forests change in response to fire exclusion? In what ways and how rapidly? What are the consequences of these changes? It is important to provide context for the condition of today’s forests, but more importantly, how can this information help today’s managers?
    This large Douglas-fir died in 2012 and is surrounded by many smaller Douglas-fir, white fir, and Southwestern white pine that recruited during fire exclusion.  Stand density in mesic mixed conifer forests increased on average 1725% during fire exclusion.
    The onset of fire exclusion in western North American forests in the late 1800s began one of the largest unintended landscape ecology experiments in human history. The current ecology of these forests and the ecological impacts of returning fire to these forests is strongly influenced by the amount of forest change that has occurred during the fire-free period. Understanding how different forest types responded to fire exclusion is important for implementing management strategies that restore fire as a natural process, promote forest health, and maintain well-functioning forests for future generations.  
    The Pinaleno Demography project was established by the USDA Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station and the University of Arizona to determine how forest vegetation, wildfire, insect outbreaks, humans, and climate interact. By using tree-ring analysis, researchers can provide a historical context for modern wildfire events.