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Dr. Kathy Kelsey

Kathy Kelsey, Ph.D.

Postdoctoral Fellow
Department of Biological Sciences
EBL 116
(907) 786-1287


  • 2015, PhD, University of Colorado, Environmental Biogeoscience, Boulder, CO
  • 2011, M.S., University of Colorado, Geology, Boulder, CO
  • 2007, B.S., Geology & Environmental Studies, University of Puget Sound, Tacoma, WA

Research Interests

I am a broadly trained environmental scientist.  I explore ecological responses to interactions of climate, vegetation and locally relevant processes such as human land management actions, and grazing and habitat for important wildlife species.  

​I believe science is a vital tool for society, and in addition to my research I am also active in efforts to make the power of scientific information accessible and pertinent to all.  I work to strengthen our field by reaching across traditional discipline boundaries, and making science inclusive to people from all backgrounds.


Peer Reviewed Publications

2018 Redmond, M.D. and Kelsey, K. C. (equal contribution), Topography and overstory mortality interact to control tree regeneration in spruce-fir forests of the southern Rocky Mountains, Forest Ecology and Management, Vol. 427, pp. 106-133.

2018 Kelsey, K.C., Leffler, J.A., Beard, K.H., Choi, J. T., Schmutz, J. A., Welker, J. M., Phenological mismatch in coastal western Alaska may increase summer season greenhouse gas uptake, Environmental Research Letters, 13:

Kelsey, K. C., Redmond, M. D., Barger N. N., Neff, J. C., Species, Climate and Landscape Physiography Drive Variable Growth Trends in Subalpine Forests, Ecosystems.  DOI: 10.1007/s10021-017-0139-7

2017 Redmond, M.D., Kelsey, K.C., Urza, A. K., Barger, N.N., Variation in piñon growth responses to climate across an abiotic stress gradient, Ecosphere.

2017 Lu, X., Kelsey, K. C., Yan, Y., Sun, J., Wang, X., Cheng G., Neff J., Effects of grazing on ecosystem structure and function of alpine grasslands in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, Ecosphere, Vol. 8, No. 1

2016 Kelsey, K. C., Leffler, A. J., Beard K. H., Schmutz J. A., Choi R. T., Welker J. M., Interactions among vegetation, climate, and herbivory control greenhouse gas fluxes in a subarctic coastal wetland, JGR - Biogeosciences

2016 Dilling, L., Kelsey, K.C., Fernandez, D.P., Huang, Y.D., Milford, J.B., Neff, J.C., Managing carbon on federal public lands: Opportunities and challenges in southwestern Colorado, Environmental Management, Vol. 58, No. 2, pps: 283-296. doi: 10.1007/s00267-016- 0714-2

2015 Kelsey, K.C., Carbon Balance of Forest Thinning and Bioenergy Production, National Center for Case Study Teaching in Science, University at Buffalo, State University of New York, Published May 7, 2015

2014 Kelsey, K.C., Barnes, K. L., Ryan, M.G., Neff, J.C., Short and long-term carbon balance of bioenergy electricity production fueled by forest treatments, Carbon Balance and Management, Vol. 9, No. 6. doi: 10.1186/s13021-014- 0006-1

2014 Kelsey, K.C., Neff, J.C., Improving Regional Estimates of Aboveground Biomass from Texture Analysis of Landsat Imagery, Remote Sensing, Vol. 6, No. 7, pp. 6407-6422. doi:10.3390/rs6076407

2012 Kelsey, K.C., Wickland, K.P., Striegl, R.G., Neff, J.C., Variation in Soil Carbon Dioxide Efflux at Two Spatial Scales in a Topographically Complex Boreal Forest; Arctic, Antarctic and Alpine Research, Vol. 44, No. 4, pp. 457-468

Other Publications

“Transforming Graduate Training in STEM Education,” Love Stowell, S.M., Churchill, A.C., Hund, A.K., Kelsey, K.C., Redmond, M.D., Seiter, S.A., Barger, N.N; Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America, Vol. 96, No. 2, pp. 317-323

Career History/Work Experience

  • Field Hydrology Technician, US Forest Service Southwest Research Station, Arcata, CA
  • Naturalist, Camp Seymour Outdoor and Environmental Education School, Gig Harbor, WA
  • Physical Scientist, US Geological Survey, Boulder, CO
  • Research Assistant, Terrestrial Biogeochemistry Lab, University of Colorado, Boulder
  • Teaching Assistant, University of Colorado, Boulder