Research Interests

I am Research Associate primarily working in the fields of plant ecophysiology, ecological genetics and climate change adaptation. I received my PhD in Forest Biology and Management from the University of Alberta in 2012. My current research aims to answer three main questions:
  1. How are plants adapted to the environments in which they occur?
  2. What are the underlying genetic and environmental factors for developmental change in response to stress?
  3. How can this information be utilized in forest resource management?
To answer these questions, I use physiological and anatomical techniques to study plant hydraulics, xylem anatomy and xylem development. In addition, I analyze common garden experiments to disentangle genetic and environmental contributions of plant response to environmental change. I am also competent in species distribution modeling, which I use for landscape-level analyses of plant-climate interactions.

During my past research, I found that the diameter of the water conducting pipes (known as xylem vessels) in trembling aspen and hybrid poplars plays an important role for growth performance and survival in the boreal forest (Schreiber et al., 2011, 2013b). Furthermore, I found that long-distance transfers of aspen seeds in a northwest direction resulted in superior growth performance, particularly for genotypes from Minnesota, compared to locally adapted populations from Alberta and British Columbia (Schreiber et al., 2013a). Using a reciprocal transplant experiment with six trembling aspen provenances replicated at four test sites in Western Canada, my research also showed that vessel diameter is highly plastic in response to different environments and is positively correlated with precipitation levels (Schreiber, Hacke & Hamann 2015). 

Presently, I am working on an economical valuation model for tree improvement in Alberta. This project is quite different from my previous research but provides me with experience in applied forest management and forest economy. My goal here is to use the economical model 'Tree Improvement Investment Priorities and Value in British Columbia' (Jack Woods 2001, Forest Genetic Council of B.C.) as a foundation to build a new tree improvement valuation model for Alberta. This research is underway and result will be published later this year.