West Named as American Fulbright Scholar

 Posted on July 14, 2015 by 

Dr. Jason West, an associate professor of Ecosystem Science and Management, will represent Texas A&M University as a Fulbright Scholar in France during the 2015-2016 academic year.

The Fulbright Commission in France seeks to develop mutual understanding between France and the United States through educational and cultural exchanges. The Commission provides grants to French and American students, youth professionals, and scholars wishing to expand their educational experience during a year in the host country.


Dr. Jason West, associate professor of ecosystem science and management

From September 2015 to May 2016, West will participate in the Aquitaine Regional Program where he will work with scientists at the Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique to uncover how future environmental change might affect the ability of forests to grow, therefore, supplying wood, fiber, and ecosystem services.

“We will utilize cutting-edge technologies that allow us to study small-scale processes occurring inside leaves to better understand how these physiological responses are connected to the rest of the tree and, ultimately to growth,” West said.

“We are also interested in the role of genetics and will utilize approaches that allow us to ‘see’ how nearly all of the genetic material of an individual is utilized as trees respond to, say, a drought,” West explained. “We hope that what we learn will not only advance our basic understanding of tree physiology, but also yield tools for forest managers to plan for and adapt to a changing future.”

West received a Ph.D. from the University of Georgia where he conducted research on the physiological ecology of longleaf pine savannas. He then obtained a postdoctoral fellowship from the University of Minnesota and studied the impacts of global change on grasslands, focusing on elevated carbon dioxide, nitrogen deposition, and loss of biodiversity.

After completing the fellowship, he took a research position at the University of Utah where he established a leading role in advancing the understanding of stable isotope variation, particularly from the standpoint of large-scale spatial application.

West currently leads a research lab at Texas A&M University and co-directs a stable isotope facility. His work is focused on understanding the dynamic responses of terrestrial ecosystems to change, often emphasizing changes that are driven, at least in part, by human activity.

West’s group works in a variety of ecological systems and is motivated primarily by a desire to link across scales and develop integrated frameworks for understanding a dynamically changing biosphere.

“I am thrilled to have been selected as a Fulbright Scholar by the Franco-American Commission and look forward to the coming year in France,” West said. “For the past nearly 70 years the Fulbright program has supported numerous cultural and intellectual exchanges, contributing to better understanding across national borders, and I am proud to be part of that tradition.”

Department of Ecosystem Science and Management  http://essm.tamu.edu/