Nat is currently the vegetation scientist on site at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest (HBEF) working as a team with Tim Fahey (Cornell University), John Battles (UC Berkeley) and Jackie Matthes (Wellesley College). Quantification of the plant community’s response to the press of chronic perturbations (e.g., warming climate, air pollution, invasive pest and diseases) and the pulse of catastrophic disturbances (e.g., ice storms, floods, windstorms) allows us to understand and anticipate the consequences of these responses on the structure and function of the forest.
Since 2003, Nat’s main research focus has been at HBEF and the NSF-funded Long-term Ecosystem (LTER) project. Since 2011, she has supervised the vegetation measurements vital to making accurate biomass estimates and for understanding the trajectory of the Northern Forest. A defining aspect of the research at HBEF is the long-term nature, the quantity, and the quality of the data. She spends summers working in the woods side-by-side with the undergraduates, mostly from Cornell, but also from Wellesley and other colleges for the Research for Undergraduate projects. In addition, she leads community science and public engagement projects in collaboration with the Society for Protection of NH Forests and Hubbard brook Research Foundation.
Cleavitt, NL; Battles, JJ, Fahey, TJ, and van Doorn, N. (2021). Disruption of the competitive balance between foundational tree species by chronic multiple interacting stressors in a northern deciduous temperate forest. Journal of Ecology: accepted May 2021.
Berry, E, and Cleavitt, NL. 2021. Population dynamics and comparative demographics of the regionally threatened species pair of round-leaved orchids Platanthera macrophylla and P. orbiculata. Population Ecology.
Cleavitt, NL and Fahey, TJ. 2017. Seed production of sugar maple and American beech in northern hardwood forests, New Hampshire, USA. Can. J. For. Res. 47(7): 985-990
Cleavitt, NL; Berry, EJ, Hautaniemi, J, and Fahey, TJ. 2017. Life stages, demographic rates, and leaf damage for the round-leaved orchids, Platanthera orbiculata (Pursh.) Lindley and P. macrophylla (Goldie) PM Brown in a northern hardwood forest in New Hampshire, USA. Botany 95 (1): 61-71.
Cleavitt, NL; Hinds, JW, Poirot, RL, Geiser, LH, Dibble, AC, Leon, B, Perron, R, and Pardo, LH. 2015.
Epiphytic macrolichen communities correspond to patterns of sulfur and nitrogen deposition in the northeastern United States. The Bryologist 118 (3): 304-324.
Cleavitt, NL. 2015. Seeking the Wolf Tree. Illustrated by Marjorie Leggitt. Taylor Trade Publishing. 32 pp. This book is designed for use in 5th grade science and is fully aligned with national and New Hampshire core curriculum guidelines. Please also refer to lessons that accompany the book online.
Awards & Honors
2016 Tuckerman Award for best paper published on lichens in The Bryologist in 2015 (2016) American Bryological and Lichenological Society