Sharon A. Cowling

Associate Professor
Department of Geography
University of Toronto

Contact Information

Room 201C
Physical Geography Building
45 St. George Street

Tel: +1(416) 978-0714
Fax:: +1(416) 946-3886
e-mail: cowling@geog.utoronto.ca

Employment and Education

2006 Invited to join Graduate Faculty of the Centre for the Environment
2004 Cross-Appointed, Department of Geology
2004 Promoted, Associate to Full Member of the Graduate Faculty
2003 Cross-Appointed, Faculty of Forestry

Doctorate of Philosophy
Climate Impacts Group , Department of Plant Ecology
Lund University , Sweden (May 2000)

Plant-climate interactions over historical and geological time
My doctoral research focused on the application of vegetation models to evaluate issues of plant diversity on different spatial and temporal scales.  A forest gap model was used to simulate forest succession in Scandinavia over the past 1500 years, to highlight the importance of land-use change in promoting the dominance of Fagus (at the expense of Tilia ) in northwest Europe, and to provide a framework for future forest management. Additional theoretical research was conducted using a global vegetation model to investigate the relevance of last glacial maximum changes in vegetation composition versus vegetation structure for explaining modern patterns of biodiversity in the lowland Amazon, as well as vegetation patterns in glacial North America . My doctoral research culminated in my proposing a theory advocating the significance of changes in plant carbon balance for explaining changes in plant diversity over geological time-scales. 

Master of Science
Department of Botany
University of Toronto, Canada (January 1997)
The influence of low atmospheric CO2 on temperature stress in Phaseolus vulgaris: implications for Pleistocene environments .

Graduate Diploma in Natural Resources Management
Faculty of Forestry
University of Toronto, Canada (1994) 

Honours Bachelor of Science
Faculty of Arts and Sciences (double major in Biophysics and Archaeology)
University of Toronto, Canada (1989)

More Information

Updated April 2006-curriculum vitae (pdf)

Last Updated: June 11, 2008