Piers Evans


Northern EDGE Lab (SN1031)

Email: pe7572@mun.ca


Dr. Carissa Brown

Committee members

Drs. Evan Edinger (MUN) and Shawn Leroux (MUN)

Title of Project

An investigation of non-climatic factors influencing range expansion of 4 northern temperate tree species in Newfoundland

Project Description

My project is aimed at bettering our understanding of the forces at
work under climate change-driven forest change at the boreal forest -
deciduous forest ecotone. Anthropogenic global warming is producing
favourable climatic conditions for southern tree species north of
their current range limits. However, climate is only one factor
influencing biome shifts, with other drivers operating at regional
(e.g. soil characteristics, topography) and local (e.g. pest
outbreaks, herbivory) scales. The complex suite of non-climatic agents
makes the question of whether or not the deciduous forest will advance
northward into the southern boreal forest more difficult to answer. My
experimental field study will manipulate a combination of non-climatic
factors to observe their influence on seed germination and early
seedling survival of four temperate tree species, Acer saccharum,
Betula alleghaniensis, Fraxinus nigra and Thuja occidentalis, beyond
their northern distributional range. It is my ambition that the
findings from this project will contribute to our understanding of how
this and other forest – forest ecotones will change with a warming


  • GEOG 2102 Physical Geography: The Global Perspective; TA, Winter 2016 & Fall 2017
  • GEOG 3140 Biogeography; TA, Fall 2016
  • GEOG 4170 Advanced Biogeography; TA, Winter 2017
  • GEOG 2102 Physicap Geography: The Global Perspective; Instructor, Winter 2018

Previous Education:

  • Diploma in Outdoor Adventure Tourism, Algonquin College (Pembroke, ON; 2010)
  • BSc Geography (major), Earth Sciences (minor), Memorial University of Newfoundland (St. John's, NL; 2015)


  • Evans, P., & Brown, C. D. (2017). The boreal – temperate forest ecotone response to climate change. Environmental Reviews. DOI: 10.1139/er-2017-0009

Research Interests

  • Biogeography
  • Climate change and impacts 
  • Ecology
  • Forestry


Department of Geography

230 Elizabeth Ave, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1B 3X9

Postal Address: P.O. Box 4200, St. John's, NL, CANADA, A1C 5S7

Tel: (709) 864-8000