Laura E. DeWald
Associate Professor of Environmental Science, Natural Resource Conservation and Management, and Biology; Program Director, Environmental Science Program

Laura DeWald

Phone: 828-227-2478
Office Address: Stillwell 136

Areas of Interest:

Conserving biodiversity in managed ecosystems; ecological genetics; restoration ecology.


  • ES 101: "Careers and Issues in Environmental Science"
  • ES 150: "Introduction and Approaches in Environmental Science"
  • ES 495: "Senior Research Seminar in Environmental Science"
  • NRM 140: "Natural Resource Conservation and Management"
  • NRM 351: "Forest Ecology"
  • BIOL 254: "Dendrology"
  • BIOL 441/541: "Conservation Biology"
  • BIOL 438/538: "Ecological Restoration"
  • BIOL 439/539: "Ecological Genetics"


  • Ph.D., Forestry, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, 1986
  • M.S., Forestry, Pennsylvania State University, 1982
  • B.S., Forest Management, Michigan Technological University, 1980


  • McRae, B.H., P. Beier, L.Y. Huynh, L. DeWald, and P. Keim.  2005. Habitat barriers limit gene flow and illuminate historical events in a wide ranging carnivore, the American puma. Molecular Ecology 14:1965-1977.
  • Steed, J.E. and L.E. DeWald. 2003. Transplanting Sedges (Carex spp.) in  southwestern riparian meadows. Restoration Ecology 11(2):247-256
  • Steed, J.E., L.E. DeWald, and T.E. Kolb. 2002. Physiological and growth responses of riparian sedge transplants to groundwater depth. International Journal of Plant Science 163:925-936.
  • Fischer, D.G., T.E. Kolb and L.E. DeWald. 2002. Changes in whole-tree water relations during ontogeny of Pinus flexilis and Pinus ponderosa in a high-elevation meadow. Tree Physiology  22(10):675-685.
  • Chen, Z., T.E. Kolb, K.M. Clancy, V.D. Hipkins and L.E. DeWald. 2001. Allozyme variation in interior Douglas-fir: association with growth and resistance to western spruce budworm herbivory. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 31:1691-1700.
  • Naumburg, E., L.E. DeWald, and T.E. Kolb.  2001.  Shade responses of five grasses native to southwestern U.S. Pinus ponderosa forests.   Canadian Journal of Botany 79:1001-1009.
  • Namburg, E. and L.E. DeWald. 1999. Relationships between Pinus ponderosa forest structure, light characteristics, and understory graminoid species presence and abundance. Forest Ecology and Management 124:205-215
  • Zimmerman, J.A.C., L.E. DeWald and P.G. Rowlands. 1999. Vegetation diversity in an interconnected ephemeral riparian system of north-central Arizona, USA. Biological Conservation.  90:217-228.


  • DeWald, LE and S Grant. 2007. Changes in northern red oak genetic population structure following decline of the American chestnut and harvesting on genetic diversity of northern red oak in western NC. WFGA/SFTIC Joint meeting. Galveston Island, TX. June 19-22
  • Lett, C and LE DeWald.  2007. Influence of mycorrhizal fungi on Celastrus orbiculatus. Assoc. Southern Biol. annual meeting. Columbia, SC, April 18-21
  • Extine, J and LE DeWald. 2007. Golf courses and their ability to provide landscape connectivity in Western North Carolina. Assoc. Southern Biol. annual meeting. Columbia, SC, April 18-21
  • DeWald, L.E. 2006 (Invited). Using genetics to compare population structure and movement of puma. Natural Science Seminar Series, Warren Wilson College, Asheville, NC 11/27/06
  • DeWald, L.E. 2006. (Invited). Using biotechnology to improve productivity of northern red oak: converting ideas into action. The Millennial Initiative: i7 Futures Forum: Molecular Biotechnology Symposium. Western Carolina University, April 5, 2006.
  • Zhang, H., L.E. DeWald, and S.E. Smith. 2005. From trees to grasses: Understanding community genetics with geography and climate. 8th Biennial Conference of Research on the CO Plateau: Integrating Science and Management. Nov. 7-10, Flagstaff, AZ
  • Zhang, H. and L.E. DeWald. 2005. Genetic differentiation of ponderosa pine and a dominant grass in northern Arizona: Implications for restoration. Western Forest Genetics Association Annual Meeting, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR July 19-21, 2005.
  • McRae, BH, P Beier, LE DeWald and P. Keim. 2005. Gene flow among mountain lion populations in the American southwest. 8th Mountain Lion Workshop. Leavenworth, WA, May 16-20, 2005
  • DeWald, LE 2005. Science and policy issues associated with using native seed for re-vegetation. Biology Department Seminar Series, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC, Jan. 28, 2005.

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