Eight new faculty members have joined the Auburn University College of Forestry, Wildlife and Environment to diversify its expertise and capacities. This new group of researchers and professors will propel the college’s innovative research efforts and various educational programs.
The faculty members joining the school in the 2022-2023 academic year are:
Georgios Arseniou, assistant professor and Extension specialist of urban forestry
Georgios Arseniou is an expert in urban forestry, forest measurements and modeling, tree biomass quantification and laser scanning technologies. His research interests and teaching responsibilities focus on Urban Forestry. Arseniou earned a doctorate from Michigan State University in forestry, specializing in forest measurements and modeling and urban forestry.
Hao Chen, assistant professor in forestry genomics/biotechnology forestry
Hao Chen, an assistant professor in forestry genomics/biotechnology, received his doctorate and postdoctoral training from North Carolina State University. His current research goal is to develop forest trees that exhibit high productivity of cellulose-based biofuels and enhanced environmental resilience
using a gene-editing approach.
George Matusick, Director, Center for Natural Resources Management on Military Lands
George Matusick’s expertise is in forest biology and ecology. He has professional experience managing forest ecosystems for multiple objectives,
including drinking water protection, biodiversity conservation, military training and timber production. He earned a doctorate from the School of Forestry and Wildlife Sciences at Auburn University.
Samuel Tate, forest systems management manager
Samuel Tate oversees the forest management activities on land owned or managed by Auburn University. He is a registered forester with extensive
experience in timber management and markets across Alabama. Tate earned a
Bachelor of Science in Forestry from Auburn University.
Aniruddha Belsare, assistant professor of disease ecology wildlife
Aniruddha Belsare is an expert in agent-based modeling, disease modeling,
epidemiology, human-wildlife conflict, One Health and wildlife immobilization
and restraint. In addition to his research, he will teach Disease Ecology. Belsare earned a doctoral degree from the University of Missouri in fisheries and wildlife.
Chen Ding, assistant professor of forest ecophysiology forestry
Chen Ding is an expert in tree improvement, tree physiology, tree genetics
and genomics. His teaching responsibilities will include Forest Tree Physiology, and he will lead Auburn’s Southern Nursery Management Cooperative. He earned a doctorate from the University of Alberta, Canada.
Ajay Sharma, assistant professor of silviculture forestry
Ajay Sharma’s research is in the development of novel silvicultural and restoration approaches for multifunctional management of forest ecosystems,
including the management interventions to enhance forest productivity, health, diversity and resilience to disturbances. He earned his doctorate in forest resources and conservation at the University of Florida.
Jonathon Valente, assistant unit leader and research professor Al. coop fish and wildlife research
Jonathon Valente is an expert in avian ecology, landscape ecology and quantitative ecology. Valente’s research focuses on understanding the factors
impacting the distributions and population dynamics of individual species and
entire communities. He earned a doctorate in forest ecosystems and society from Oregon State University.