Laura P. Leites, Ph.D.

  • Assistant Professor of Quantitative Forest Ecology
Laura P. Leites, Ph.D.
312 Forest Resources Bldg.
University Park, PA 16802
Work Phone: 814-865-4244


  1. B.S., Universidad de la Republica, Uruguay (1997)
  2. M.S., University of Idaho (2001)
  3. Ph.D., University of Idaho (2009)

Academic Interests

  • Modeling forest ecosystem responses to climatic change.
  • Quantification and modeling of forest ecosystem attributes and processes.
  • Development of decision support tools for adaptive forest management and conservation.

Courses Taught

  • FOR 350 - Forest Ecosystem Monitoring and Data Analysis
  • FOR 597A - Quantitative Forest Ecosystem Modeling

 Recent Research/Educational Projects

  • Forest tree species and populations growth responses to changes in climate
  • Downscaling forest communities and tree species habitat suitability models
  • Modeling and mapping forest attributes at landscape and regional scales
  • Modeling natural regeneration in Northeastern forests

Selected Publications

Rehfeldt, G.E., B.C. Jaquish, J. López-Uptonc, C. Sáenz-Romerod, J.B. St Claire, L. Leites, and D.G. Joyce. 2014. Comparative Genetic Responses to Climate for the Varieties of Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii: Realized Climate Niches. Forest Ecology and Management. 324: 126-137.

Rehfeldt, G.E, L. Leites, J. B. St Clair, B.C. Jaquish, C. Saenz-Romero, J. Lopez-Upton, D.G. Joyce. 2014. Comparative Genetic Responses to Climate in the Varieties of Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii: Clines in Growth Potential. Forest Ecology and Management. 324: 138-146.

Rehfeldt, G.E., B.C. Jaquish, C. Saenz-Romero, D.G. Joyce, L. Leites, J.B. St Clair, J. Lopez-Upton. 2014. Comparative genetic responses to climate in the varieties of Pinus ponderosa and Pseudotsuga menziesii: reforestation. Forest Ecology and Management. 324: 147-157.

Brubaker, K., S. Johnson, J. Brinks, and L. Leites. 2014. Estimating canopy height of deciduous forests at a regional scale with leaf-off, low point density LiDAR. Canadian Journal of Remote Sensing. 40(2):123-134.

Leites, L., A. Zubizarreta-Gerendiain, A. Robinson. 2013. Modeling the mensurational relationships of plantation-grown loblolly pine (Pinus taeda L.) in Uruguay. Forest Ecology and Management. 289:455-462.

Leites, L., G. Rehfeldt, A. Robinson, N. Crookston, B. Jaquish. 2012. Possibilities and limitations of using historic provenance tests to infer forest species growth responses to climate change. Natural Resource Modeling. 25(3): 409-433.

Leites, L., A. Robinson, G. Rehfeldt, J. Marshall, N. Crookston. 2012. Height-growth response to climatic changes differ among populations of Douglas-fir: a novel analysis of historic data. Ecological Applications. 22(1): 154-165.

Rollinson, C., M. Kaye, and L. Leites. 2012. Community assembly and plant cover responses to experimental warming and increased precipitation of an early successional forest. Ecosphere. 3(12): Art122.

Leites, L., A. Robinson, N. Crookston. 2009. Accuracy and equivalence testing of crown ratio models and assessment of their impact on diameter growth and basal area increment predictions of two variants of the Forest Vegetation Simulator. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39:655-665.

Leites, L., A. Robinson. 2004. Improving taper equations of loblolly pine with crown dimensions in a mixed-effects modeling framework. Forest Science. 50(2):204-212.