Faculty Biography

Dominik Kulakowski Ph.D.

Professor of Geography
Adjunct Professor of Biology
Graduate School of Geography
Department of Biology
Clark University
Worcester, MA 01610-1477

Office: Jefferson 205B

Phone: (508) 793-7838

Email: dkulakowski@clarku.edu

Curriculum Vitae

Professor Dominik Kulakowski earned a B.S. in Environmental Resource Management and a M.S. in Ecology at Pennsylvania State University and a Ph.D. in Geography of Colorado-Boulder. Prior to joining the Clark faculty, he was a research scientist at the University of Colorado-Boulder and at the Swiss Federal Institute of Snow and Avalanche Research (SLF) in Davos. Dr. Kulakowski's research is focused on the effects of climate, disturbances, and land use on mountain forest ecosystems in the U.S. Rocky Mountains and in Europe. Important recent research themes include:

  • The causes and consequences of forest disturbances such as fires and insect outbreaks;

  • Effects of climate on tree mortality and forest dieback;

  • Interactions and feedbacks among forest disturbances under climatic variability, especially how previous disturbances affect the spread and severity of subsequent disturbances and how compounding disturbances affect ecological dynamics; 

Dr. Kulakowski has authored over 60 peer-reviewed articles on various aspects of ecology and ecosystem management, has been widely interviewed in the popular press, and has testified about his research before the United States Congress on three occasions.

Courses Offered

Geog 104: Earth System Science
Geog 116: Forest Ecology
Geog 216/316: Field Methods for Environmental Science
Geog 323: Forest Ecology and Management
Geog 372: Seminar on Contemporary Environmental Issues in Forest Ecosystems

Selected Publications

Guz, J. and D. Kulakowski. 2021. Forest Disturbances in the Anthropocene. Annals of the Association of American Geographers.

Kulakowski, D., B. Buma, J. Guz, and K. Hayes. 2020. The Ecology of Forest Disturbances. In: Goldstein, M.I., DellaSala, D.A. (Eds.), Encyclopedia of the World's Biomes, vol. 3. Elsevier, pp. 35–46.

Gill, N., D. Jarvis, J. Rogan, and D. Kulakowski. 2020. Disturbance history modulates how litter and herbaceous cover influence conifer regeneration. International Journal of Wildfire Research. DOI:10.1071/WF19028.

Rogers, P. C. , B.D. Pinno, J. Šebesta, B. R. Albrectsen, G. Li, N. Ivanova, A. Kusbach, T. Kuuluvainen, S.M. Landhäusser, H. Liu, T. Myking, P. Pulkkinen, Z. Wen, and D. Kulakowski. 2019. A global view of aspen: conservation science for widespread keystone systems. Global Ecology and Conservation. DOI:10.1016/j.gecco.2019.e00828

Sommerfeld, A., C. Senf, B. Buma, A. D'Amato, T. Després, I. Díaz-Hormazabal, S. Fraver, L.E. Frelich, Á.G. Gutiérrez, S. Hart, B.J. Harvey, H.S. He, T. Hlásny, A. Holz, T. Kitzberger, D. Kulakowski, D. Lindenmayer, A.S. Mori, J. Müller, J. Paritsis, G. Perry, S. Stephens, M. Svoboda , M.G. Turner, T.T. Veblen, R. Seidl. 2018. Patterns and drivers of recent disturbances across the temperate forest biome. Nature Communications. DOI: 10.1038/s41467-018-06788-9.

Casteller, A., T. Häfelfinger, E. Cortés Donoso, K. Podvin, D. Kulakowski, and P. Bebi. 2018. Assessing the interaction between mountain forests and natural hazards at Nevados de Chillán, Chile, and its implications for Eco-DRR. Natural Hazards and Earth System Sciences. 18: 1173–1186.

Schurman, J.S., V. Trotsiuk, R. Bace, V. Cada, S. Fraver, P. Janda, D. Kulakowski, J. Labusova, M. Mikolas, T. Nagel, R. Seidl, M. Synek, K. Svobodova, O. Chaskovskyy, M. Teodosiu, and M. Svoboda. 2018. Disturbance legacies drive large-scale dynamics of Central-Eastern Europe’s primary Picea abies forests. Global Change Biology. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14041.

Mietkiewicz, N., D. Kulakowski, and T. T. Veblen. 2018. Pre-outbreak forest conditions mediate the effects of spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis (Kirby)) outbreaks on fuels in subalpine forests of Colorado.  Ecological Applications. DOI: 10.1002/eap.1661.

Gill, N., F. Sangermano, B. Buma, and D. Kulakowski. 2017. Post-fire conditions conducive to quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) seedling establishment may facilitate forest persistence. Forest Ecology and Management. 404: 156-164.         

Speer, J.H. and D. Kulakowski. 2017. Creating a Buzz: Insect Outbreaks and Disturbance Interactions. in M. Amoroso, L. Daniels, P. Baker and J.J. Camarero, eds. Dendroecology: Tree-ring Analyses Applied to Ecological Studies. Springer. New York, NY. 

Gill, N., D. Jarvis, T.T. Veblen, S.T.A. Pickett, and D. Kulakowski. 2017. Is initial post-disturbance regeneration indicative of longer-term trajectories? Ecosphere. 8(8):e01924. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1924

Rossi E., I. Granzow de la Cerda, C.D. Oliver, and D. Kulakowski. 2017. Tree and stand attributes determine hurricane damage patterns after Hurricane Felix (2007) in Northern Nicaragua. Forest Ecology and Management. 400: 199-207. 

Kulakowski, D., R. Seidl, J. Holeksa, T. Kuuluvainen, T. Nagel, M. Panayotov, M. Svoboda, S. Thorn, G. Vacchiano, C. Whitlock, T. Wohlgemuth, and P. Bebi. 2017. A walk on the wild side: disturbance dynamics and the conservation and management of European mountain forest ecosystems. Forest Ecology and Management. DOI: 10.1016/ j.foreco.2016.07.037. 388: 120-131.

Bebi P., R. Seidl, R. Motta, M. Fuhr, D.Firm, F. Krumm, M. Conedera, C. Ginzler, T. Wohlgemuth, L. Ramstein and D. Kulakowski. 2017. Changes of forest cover and disturbance regimes in the mountain forests of the Alps. Forest Ecology and Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.foreco.2016.10.028. 388:43-56.

Panayotov, M., G. Gogushev, E. Tsavkov, P. Vassileva, N. Tsvetanov, D. Kulakowski, and P. Bebi. 2017. Abiotic disturbances in Bulgarian mountain coniferous forests – an overview. Forest Ecology and Management. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ j.foreco.2016.10.034. 388: 13-28.

Kulakowski, D., M. Svoboda, and P. Bebi. 2017. The central role of disturbances in mountain forests of Europe. Forest Ecology and Management. DOI: 10.1016/ j.foreco.2016.07.034. 388: 1-2.

Mietkiewicz, M. and D. Kulakowski. 2016. Relative importance of climate and mountain pine beetle outbreaks on the occurrence of large wildfires in the western US. Ecological Applications: 26 (8): 2523–2535. DOI: 10.1002/eap.1400.

Kulakowski, D., T. T. Veblen, and P. Bebi. 2016. Fire severity controlled susceptibility to a 1940s spruce beetle outbreak in Colorado, USA. PloS ONE. 11(7): e0158138. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0158138. 

Bakaj, F., N. Mietkiewicz, T. T. Veblen, and D. Kulakowski. 2016. The relative importance of tree and stand properties in predicting susceptibility to spruce beetle outbreak in the mid-20th century. Ecosphere. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1485. 388: 

Kulakowski, D., I. Barbeito, A. Casteller, R.J. Kaczka, and P. Bebi. 2016. Not only climate – interacting drivers of treeline change in Europe. Geographia Polonica. 89 (1): 7-15.

Panayotov, M., D. Kulakowski, N. Tsvetanov, F. Krumm, I. Barbeito, and P. Bebi. 2016. Climate extremes during high competition contribute to mortality in unmanaged self-thinning Norway spruce stands in Bulgaria. Forest Ecology and Management. 369: 74–88.

Temperli, C., S. Hart, T. T. Veblen, D. Kulakowski, and A. J. Tepley. 2015. Interactions among spruce beetle disturbance, climate change and forest dynamics captured by a forest landscape model. Ecosphere. 6(11):1.

Panayotov, M., P. Bebi, N. Tsvetanov, N. Alexandrov, L. Laranjeiro Dos Santos, and D. Kulakowski. 2015. The disturbance regimes of Norway spruce forests in Bulgaria. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 45: 1143–1153.

Hart, S. J., T. T. Veblen, N. Mietkiewicz, and D. Kulakowski. 2015. Negative feedbacks on bark beetle outbreaks: Widespread and severe spruce beetle infestation restricts subsequent infestation. PLoS ONE. 10(5): e0127975. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0127975

Ghimire, B., C.A. Williams, G. J. Collatz, M. Vanderhoof, J. Rogan, D. Kulakowski, and J.G. Masek. 2015. Large carbon release from bark beetle outbreaks across Western United States imposes climate feedback. Global Change Biology. 21: 3087–3101. 

Kulakowski, D. and T. T. Veblen. 2015. Bark Beetles and High-Severity Fires in Rocky Mountain Subalpine Forests. pp. 149-174 in DellaSalla, D. and C. Hanson, eds. Mixed-high severity fires: ecosystem processes and biodiversity. Elsevier. San Francisco, CA. 409 pages.

Jarvis, D. and D. Kulakowski. 2015. Long-term history and synchrony of mountain pine beetle outbreaks. Journal of Biogeography. 42: 1029–1039.

Temperli, C., S. Hart, T. T. Veblen, D. Kulakowski, J. Hicks, and R. Andrus. 2014.
Are density reduction treatments effective at managing for resistance or resilience to spruce beetle disturbance in the southern Rocky Mountains? Forest Ecology and Management. 334: 53-63.

Hart, S. J., T. T. Veblen, K.S. Eisenhart, D. Jarvis, and D. Kulakowski. 2014. Drought induces spruce beetle (Dendroctonus rufipennis) outbreaks across northwestern Colorado. Ecology. 95 (4): 930-939.

Vanderhoof, M., C.A. Williams, Y. Shuai, D. Jarvis, D. Kulakowski and J. Masek. 2014. Albedo-induced radiative forcing from mountain pine beetle outbreaks and forests, south-central Rocky Mountains: Magnitude, Persistence, and Relation to Outbreak Severity. Biogeosciences. 11: 563-575.

Hart, S. J., T. T. Veblen, and D. Kulakowski. 2014. Do tree and stand-level attributes determine susceptibility of spruce-fir forests to spruce beetle outbreaks? Forest Ecology and Management. 318: 44-53.

Nguon, P. and D. Kulakowski. 2013. Natural forest disturbances and the design of REDD+ initiatives. Environmental Science and Policy. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.envsci.2013.04.011

Kulakowski, D., M.W. Kaye, and D.M. Kashian. 2013. Long-term aspen cover change in the western US. Forest Ecology and Management. 299: 52–59.

Shinneman, D. J., W.L. Baker, P. C. Rogers and D. Kulakowski. 2013. Fire regimes of quaking aspen in the Intermountain West. Forest Ecology and Management. 299: 22–34.

Kulakowski, D., C. Matthews, D. Jarvis, and T. T. Veblen. 2013. Compounded disturbances in subalpine forests in western Colorado favor future dominance by quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides). Journal of Vegetation Science. 24: 168–176.

Black, S.H., D. Kulakowski, B.R. Noon, and D.A. DellaSala. 2013. Do bark beetle outbreaks increase wildfire risks in the central U.S. Rocky Mountains and what is the best remedial measure? Natural Areas Journal. 33(1):59-65.

Kulakowski, D. and D. Jarvis.  2013. Low-severity fires increase susceptibility of lodgepole pine to mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Colorado. Forest Ecology and Management. 289: 544–550.

Aronson, G. and D. Kulakowski. 2012. Bark beetle outbreaks, wildfires, and defensible space: how much area do we need to treat to protect homes and communities? International Journal of Wildland Fire. 22(2) 256-265.

Kulakowski, D., D. Jarvis, T.T. Veblen, and J. Smith. 2012. Stand-replacing fires reduce susceptibility to mountain pine beetle outbreaks in Colorado. Journal of Biogeography. 39: 2052–2060.

Hanna, P. and D. Kulakowski. 2012.The influences of climate on aspen dieback. Forest Ecology and Management. 274: 91-98.

Krumm, F., D. Kulakowski, A.C. Risch, H. Spiecker, and P. Bebi. 2012. Stem exclusion and mortality in passively managed subalpine forests of the Swiss Alps. European Journal of Forest Research. DOI: 10.1007/s10342-012-0625-6.

Kulakowski, D.and D. Jarvis. 2011. The influence of mountain pine beetle outbreaks on severe wildfires in northwestern Colorado and southern Wyoming: a look at the past century. Forest Ecology and Management. 261 (1): 1686–1696.

Panayotov, M., D. Kulakowski, L. Laranjeiro, and P. Bebi. 2011. Wind disturbances shape old Norway spruce forests in Bulgaria. Forest Ecology and Management. DOI: 10.1016/j.foreco.2011.04.013.

Krumm, F., D. Kulakowski, H. Spiecker, P. Duc, and P. Bebi. 2011. Stand development of Norway spruce dominated subalpine forests of the Swiss Alps. Forest Ecology and Management. 262 (4): 620–628.

Kulakowski, D., P. Bebi., and C. Rixen. 2011. The interacting effects of land use change, climate change, and suppression of disturbances on landscape forest structure in the Swiss Alps. Oikos. 120 (2): 216–225.

Rogan, J., N. Bumbarger, D. Kulakowski, Z.J. Christman, D.M. Runfola, and S.D. Blanchard. 2010. Improving forest type discrimination with mixed lifeform classes using fuzzy classification thresholds informed by field observations. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 36 (6): 699–708.

Bebi, P., D. Kulakowski and C. Rixen. 2009. Snow avalanche disturbances in forest ecosystems – state of research and implications for management. Forest Ecology and Management. 257 (9): 1883-1892.

Kurzel, B. P., T. T. Veblen, and D. Kulakowski. 2007. A typology of stand structure and dynamics of Quaking askpen in northwestern Colorado. Forest Ecology and Management.252 (1-3): 176-190.

Schoennagel, T., T.T. Veblen, D. Kulakowski, A. Holz. 2007. Multidecadal climate variability and climate interactions affect subalpine fire occurrence, western Colorado (USA). Ecology. 88 (11): 2891-2902.

Rixen, C., S. Haag, D. Kulakowski, and P. Bebi. 2007. Natural distrubance modulates plant diversity and species composition in subalpine forest. Journal of Vegetation Science.18 (5): 735-742.

Kulakowski, D. and T.T. Veblen. 2007. Effect of prior distrubances on the extent and severity of a 2002 wildfire in Colorado subalpine forests. Ecology. 88 (3): 759-769.

Romme, W.H., J. Clement, J. Hicke, D. Kulakowski, L.H. MacDonald, T.L. Schoennagel, and T.T. Veblen. 2006. Recent Forest Insect Outbreaks and Fire Risk in Colorado Forests:A Brief Synthesis of Relevant Research. Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Fort Collins, CO.

Kulakowski, D. and T.T. Veblen. 2006.The effect of fires on susceptibility of subalpine forests to a 19thcentury spruce beetle outbreak in western Colorado. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 36 (11): 2974-2982.

Kulakowski, D. and T.T. Veblen. 2006. Historical range of variability for forest vegetation of the Grand Mesa National Forest, Colorado. USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Region, Golden, CO and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute, Fort Collins, CO.

Kulakowski, D., T.T. Veblen, and B.P. Kurzel. 2006. Influences of infrequent fire, elevation and pre-fire vegetation on the persistence of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) in the Flat Tops area, Colorado, USA. Journal of Biogeography. 33: 1397-1413.

Kulakowski, D., C. Rixen, and P.Bebi. 2006. Changes in forest structure and in the relative importance of climatic stress as a result of suppression of avalance disturbances. Forest Ecology and Management. 223 (1-3):66-74.

Bigler, C., D. Kulakowski, and T.T. Veblen. 2005. Multiple distrubance interactions and drought influence fire severity in Rocky Mountain subalpine forests. Ecology. 86 (11): 3018-3029.

Kulakowski, D., T.T. Veblen, and S. Drinkwater. 2004. THe persistence of quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) in the Grand Mesa area, Colorado. Ecological Applications. 14 (5): 1603-1614.

Kulakowski, D. and T.T. Veblen. 2003. Subalpine forest development following a blowdown in the Mount Zirkel Wilderness, Colorado, USA. Journal of Vegetation Science. 14.5: 653-660.

Kulakowski, D., T.T. Veblen, and P. Bebi. 2003. Effects of fire and spruce beetle outbreak legacies on the distrubance regime of a subalpine forest in Colorado. Journal of Biogeography. 30 (9): 1445-1456.

Bebi, P., D. Kulakowski, and T.T. Veblen. 2003. Interactions between fire and spruce beetles in a subalpine Rocky Mountain forest landscape. Ecology. 84 (2): 362-371.

Kulakowski, D. and T.T.Veblen. 2002. Influences of fire history and topography on the pattern of severe wind blowdown in a Colorado subalpine forest. Journal of Ecology. 90 (5):806-819.

Baker, W.L., Ph.H. Flaherty, J.D. Lindemann, T.T. Veblen, K.S. Eisenhart, and D. Kulakowski. 2002. Effects of vegetation on the impact of a severe blowdown in the Southern Rocky Mountains, USA. Forest Ecology and Managment. 168 (1-3): 63-75.

Veblen, T.T., D. Kulakowski, K.S. Eisenhart, and W.L. Baker. 2001. Subalpine forest damage from a severe windstorm in Northern Colorado. Canadian Journal of Forest Research. 31 (12): 2089-2097.

Uhl, C., D. Kulakowski, J. Gerwing, M. Brown, and M. Cochrane. 1996. Sustainability: A touchstone concept for univeristy operations, education, and research. Concervation Biology. 10 (5):1308-1311.