Tom Powell is a forest ecologist that uses empirical and theoretical approaches to understand how terrestrial ecosystems respond to and recover from anthropogenic and natural disturbances. Prior to joining the lab, Tom received a PhD from Harvard University. His thesis was about the effects of severe drought on the Amazon rainforest. He received a MS in forestry from the University of Florida and a BS in natural resources from the University of the South. Tom also worked as a research scientist with the Smithsonian Environmental Research Center investigating the effects of elevated CO2 and fire on Florida scrub-oak ecosystems. He started his career working as a forester in Nepal securing non-timber forest products and water resources for Himalayan village communities.