Erda Celer published her M.S. thesis based on the Douglas-fir Drought Hardiness Study

Erda recently defended her M.S. thesis, entitled Douglas-fir Seedlings in the Pacific Northwest: The Genetics of Drought Adaptation. Her thesis research focused on the Drought Hardiness Study, which was established in March 2015, as a joint project between the Northwest Tree Improvement Cooperative, Bureau of Land Management, Plum Creek Timber Company (now Weyerhaeuser), and Silver Butte Timber Company. More than 400 families from Oregon and Washington breeding programs were planted on three hot and dry sites in southern Oregon. Erda measured and analyzed firstyear survival, damage, and height growth in 2015, and then measured the timing of bud flush in the spring of 2016. Her thesis objectives were to (1) obtain baseline measurements and climate data to help in the analysis and interpretation of future measurements in the Drought Hardiness Study; (2) characterize the quantitative genetics of drought adaptation traits; and (3) determine whether drought adaptation traits are associated with the climatic origin of the seedlings. What's next? Later this summer, we'll visit the sites to judge whether we'll take measurements at the end of the third growing season. Although the study will be monitored long-term, early measurements will be valuable for understanding the causes of early mortality—is it drought? We thank Erda for all her hard work, and the Turkish government, who provided a scholarship that made this research possible.