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Heather McCarthy, PhD

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Heather McCarthy, Ph.D.

Graduate Program Director

149 George Lynn Cross Hall
770 Van Vleet Oval 
Norman, OK 73019

McCarthy Lab Website

B.S. Environmental Science, Oregon State University, 2000
Ph.D. Ecology, Duke University, 2007
Postdoc,University of California, Irvine, 2007-2011

Research areas:
Plant Biology, Environmental Science, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Ecosystems Ecology, Global Change Biology, Physiological Plant Ecology, Forest ecology, Urban ecology

Research interests:
Dr. McCarthy's research interests include: plant physiological ecology, global change, urban ecology, ecohydrology and elevated carbon dioxide (CO2) effects on forest ecosystems. Her research addresses how trees and forests respond to environmental changes, and, conversely how can they be managed to moderate environmental changes. This research draws on physiological and ecosystem ecology to explore how tree and forest-scale water and carbon cycle processes respond to global change factors, including changes in water availability, extreme weather events, elevated atmospheric CO2, and urbanization. Recent projects include measuring elevated CO2 effects on southern pine forest productivity, and quantifying tradeoffs between water use and carbon uptake in the urban forests of Los Angeles.

Relevant publications:

McCarthy HR, Pataki DE, Jenerette GD (2011). Plant water use efficiency as a metric of urban ecosystem services. Ecological Applications, 21, 3115-3127.

McCarthy HR, Pataki, DE (2010). Drivers of variability in water use of native and non-native urban trees in the greater Los Angeles area. Urban Ecosystems, 13, 393-414.

McCarthy HR, Oren R, Johnsen KH, Gallet-Budynek A, Pritchard SG, Cook CW, LaDeau SL, Jackson RB, Finzi AC (2010). Reassessment of plant carbon dynamics at the Duke free air CO2 enrichment site: interactions of atmospheric [CO2] with nitrogen and water availability over stand development. New Phytologist, 185, 514-528.

McCarthy HR, Oren R, Finzi AC, Johnsen KH (2006). Canopy leaf area constrains [CO2]-induced enhancement of productivity and partitioning among aboveground carbon pools. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 103, 19356-19361.

McCarthy HR, Oren R, Kim H-S, Johnsen KH, Maier C, Pritchard SG, Davis MA (2006) Interaction of ice storms and management practices on current carbon sequestration in forests with potential mitigation under future CO2 atmosphere. Journal of Geophysical Research - Atmospheres, 111, D15103, doi: 10.1029/2005JD006428.