Webinar on Whitebark Pine
Monday, April 2 at 3:30 pm ET
Watch the webinar recording below

– Diana F. Tomback, University of Colorado, Denver – View Bio | View Slides

Diana F. Tomback is Professor of Integrative Biology at the University of Colorado Denver. Her expertise includes evolutionary ecology, with application to forest ecology and conservation biology. She received her B.A. and M.A. degrees at UCLA in Zoology, and her Ph.D. at the University of California Santa Barbara in Biological Sciences. She is known for her pioneering studies of the coevolved, mutualistic interaction between Clark’s nutcracker (Nucifraga columbiana), a bird of high mountain forests, and five-needle white pine species, particularly whitebark pine (Pinus albicaulis). Her research, spanning more than four decades, has revealed major ecological and evolutionary consequences to pines from avian seed dispersal, including growth form, population structure, regeneration biology, the effects of exotic disease and mountain pine beetles on the bird-pine mutualism. Tomback was lead organizer and editor of the book, Whitebark Pine Communities: Ecology and Restoration, published by Island Press in 2001, which provided important information for the status review of whitebark pine under the Endangered Species Act in by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Her recent research has included collaborative studies of the abundance and functional role of whitebark pine at treeline, and the threat posed by the exotic pathogen that causes white pine blister rust; the relationship between whitebark pine health, cone production, and stand visitation by Clark’s nutcracker; and, syntheses and modelling of the ecology, decline, and conservation biology of western five-needle white pines and the impact on Clark’s nutcrackers. In 2001, Tomback and several colleagues started the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF) http://www.whitebarkfound.org, a non-profit based in Missoula, Montana.dedicated to the restoration of whitebark pine ecosystems and educating the public and resource management agencies about the importance of this pine and the extent of its decline. Tomback served as volunteer Director of this organization for 16 years, and then recently stepped into role of Policy and Outreach Coordinator. During her tenure, the WPEF has partnered with federal agencies and non-profit organizations, organized workshops and symposia, developed monitoring protocols, and raised funding for restoration projects.