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Clemson University
college of agriculture, forestry and life sciences clemson university

Skip J. Van Bloem

Forestry and Environmental Conservation Department, Experiment Station, Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science

Office: Baruch Institute, Georgetown, SC
Phone: 843-546-1013
Fax: x 230

Vita: Download CV


Educational Background

Ph.D. Ecology and Plant Biology
Michigan State University 2004

M.S. Environmental Sciences
The Ohio State University 1996

B.A. Biology and Environmental Studies
Western Michigan University 1991


I'm transitioning back to research from an administrative appointment. Active projects are broadly related to disturbance ecology and include: 1. wind stress responses in coastal forests, both physiological and demographic; 2. Functional traits related to drought, nutrient limitation, and wind stress in tropical dry forests; 3 Community assembly in novel forests and after disturbances.


Are you taking graduate students?
At the moment, I am not accepting graduate students because I do not have extra graduate student funding available. If you have your own funding, I'm happy to consider your application.

What is your last name?
Van Bloem (two words, it's Dutch, but with American capitalization)

What is your publication strategy?
I try to target publications that serve the folks most interested in my work, like tropical journals for my tropical research, also journals that have liberal copyright policies. I'm not a big believer in impact factors, though I consider those when publishing with students.

Research Interests

Disturbance ecology; ecophysiology, particularly wind stress physiology in trees; effects of invasive species on ecosystem function; long term forest community dynamics; tropical ecology

Lab Members

Clemson University
Julian Halil. M.S. Expected 2023. Biophysics of wind on trees in coastal bottomland forests.

Tristan A. P. Allerton. Ph.D. 2020. Functional traits related to drought and disturbance in tropical dry forests.

James K. Garrett. M.S. 2019. Understory vegetation response to stand basal area and soil drainage.

Axel Acevedo Morales. M.S. 2016. Hyperspectral responses to changes in leaf pigments from tropical dry forest trees

Prior to Clemson
José G. Martínez Rodríguez M.S. 2012. Effects of mulching, irrigation and planting management on growth and survival of native trees used in restoration for tropical dry forests in southwestern Puerto Rico

Osé Pauléus M.S. 2012. Predicting seedling establishment in tropical dry forest using plant traits and microsites

Ricardo J. Santiago Garcia M.S. 2010. Planting and management techniques for reforestation projects using nurse trees in subtropical dry zones in Puerto Rico

Brett T. Wolfe M.S. 2009 Post-fire regeneration in Subtropical Dry Forest of Puerto Rico

Freddie O. Pérez Martínez. M.S. 2007. Effect of Exotic Canopy on Understory Species Composition in Degraded Subtropical Dry Forest of Puerto Rico

Extension and Outreach

President, International Society of Tropical Ecology
Vice-President, Organization of Biological Field Stations


*denotes student advisees. ^denotes other students

Edited volume:

SC Garkoti, SJ Van Bloem, P Fulé, R Semwal, eds. 2019. Tropical Ecosystems: Structure, Functions and Challenges in the Face of Global Change. Springer Singapore. 320 pp.

Journal Articles:

KV Beidler, JS Powers, JM Dupuy-Rada, C Hulshof, D Medvigy, C Pizano, B Salgado-Negret, SJ Van Bloem, G Vargas G^, BG Waring, PG Kennedy. 2023. Seasonality regulates the structure and biogeochemical impact of ectomycorrhizal fungal communities across environmentally divergent neotropical dry forests. Journal of Ecology. 2023;00:1–16. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.14112

TAP Allerton*, SJ Van Bloem and RJ Manlay. In review. Novel fires in Caribbean tropical dry forest shift biological legacies away from natural regeneration. Journal of Vegetation Science

Seldon^, J. VA Snyder, E Harmsen, SJ Van Bloem. 2021. Water requirements for growth and survival of Swietenia macrophylla and Tabebuia heterophylla juvenile trees in relation to water production capacity of dew condensers. Journal of Agriculture of the University of Puerto Rico 105(2): 143-162.

G Vargas-G^., TJ Brodribb, JM Dupuy, R González-M., CM Hulshof, D Medvigy, TAP Allerton*, C Pizano, B Salgado-Negret, NB Schwartz, SJ Van Bloem, BG Waring, and JS Powers. 2021. Beyond leaf habit: Generalities in plant function across 97 tropical dry forest tree species. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.17584

TD Jackson, S Sethi, E Dellwik, N Angelou, A Bunce, T van Emmerik, M Duperat^, J-C Ruel, A Wellpott, SJ Van Bloem, A Achim, B Kane, DM Ciruzzi, SP Loheide II, K James, D Burcham, J Moore, D Schindler, S Kolbe, K Wiegmann, M Rudnicki, VJ Lieffers, J Selker, AV Gougherty, T Newson, A Koeser, J Miesbauer, R Samelson, J Wagner, D Coomes, and B Gardiner. 2021. The motion of trees in the wind: a data synthesis. Biogeosciences 18(13):4059-4072

F Maillard, E Andrews^, M Moran^, D Du^, PG Kennedy, JS Powers, SJ Van Bloem, and JS Schilling. 2021. Early chemical changes during wood decomposition are controlled by fungal communities inhabiting stems at treefall in a tropical dry forest. Plant and Soil. 10.1007/s11104-021-05048-y

B Waring, M De Guzman, D Du^, J Dupuy, M Gei^, J Gutknecht, C Hulshof, N Jelinski, A Margenot, D Medvigy, C Pizano, B Salgado-Negret, N Schwartz, A Trierweiler, SJ Van Bloem, G Vargas^, J Powers. 2021. Soil biogeochemistry across Central and South American tropical dry forests. Ecological Monographs. doi:10.1002/ecm.1453

SJ Van Bloem and PH Martin. 2021. Socio-ecological lessons from the multiple landfalls of Hurricane Georges. Ecosphere doi:10.1002/ecs2.3373

F Maillard, E Andrews^, M Moran^, PG Kennedy, SJ Van Bloem, and JS Schilling. 2020. Stem-inhabiting fungal communities differ between intact and snapped trees after Hurricane Maria in a Puerto Rican tropical dry forest. Forest Ecology and Management 475:118350.

BT Wolfe*, R Machiavelli, and SJ Van Bloem. 2019. Seed rain along a gradient of degradation in Caribbean dry forest: effects of dispersal limitation on the trajectory of forest recovery. Applied Vegetation Science 22 (3): 423-434.

XA Jaime*, SJ Van Bloem, FH Koch, SAC Nelson. 2017. Spread of common native and invasive grasses and ruderal trees following anthropogenic disturbances in a tropical dry forest. Ecological Processes 6: 38.

JA Holm, SJ Van Bloem, GR Larocque, and HH Shugart. 2017. Shifts in biomass and productivity for a subtropical dry forest in response to simulated elevated hurricane disturbances. Environmental Research Letters. 12(2): 025007.

K Allen, JM Dupuy, M Gei, C Hulshof, D Medvigy, C Pizano, B Salgado Negret, C Smith, A Trierweiler, SJ Van Bloem, B Waring, X Xu and JS Powers. 2017. Will seasonally dry tropical forests be sensitive or resistant to future changes in rainfall regimes? Environmental Research Letters 12(2): 023001

BT Wolfe*, GE Saldaña Diaz, and SJ Van Bloem. 2014. Fire resistance in a Caribbean dry forest: inferences from bark thickness allometry. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 30:133-142 doi:10.1017/S0266467413000904

DA Jenkins, RF Mizell III, SJ Van Bloem, SL Whitmire, L Wiscovitch, C Zaleski, and R Goenaga. 2014. An analysis of arthropod interceptions by APHIS-PPQ and Customs and Border Protection in Puerto Rico. American Entomologist 60(1):44-55.

DA Jenkins, PE Kendra, SJ Van Bloem, SL Whitmire, RF Mizell III, and R Goenaga. 2013. Forest Fragments as Barriers to Fruit Fly Dispersal: Anastrepha (Diptera: Tephritidae) Populations in Orchards and Adjacent Forest Fragments in Puerto Rico. Environmental Entomology. 42(2):283-292.

M Goenaga, M Torres-Madronero, M Velez-Reyes, SJ Van Bloem, JD Chinea. 2012. Unmixing Analysis of a Time-Series of Hyperion Images Over the Guánica Dry Forest in Puerto Rico. Journal of Selected Topics in Applied Earth Observations and Remote Sensing. (99):1-10.

JM Thaxton, SJ Van Bloem and SL Whitmire. 2012. Fuel conditions associated with native and exotic grasses in a subtropical dry forest in Puerto Rico. Fire Ecology 8(3):9-17.

BT Wolfe* and SJ Van Bloem. 2012. Subtropical dry forest regeneration in grass-invaded areas of Puerto Rico: Understanding why Leucaena leucocephala dominates and native species fail. Forest Ecology and Management 267:253-261

JA Holm, HH Shugart, SJ Van Bloem, GR Larocque. 2012. Gap model development, validation, and application to succession of secondary subtropical dry forests of Puerto Rico. Ecological Modeling 233: 70-82

MC Torres-Madronero, M Velez-Reyes, SJ Van Bloem, and JD Chinea. 2011. Multi-temporal unmixing analysis of Hyperion images over the Guánica Dry Forest. Proceedings of the Third Workshop on hyperspectral imaging and signal processing: Evolution of remote sensing (reviewed). Lisbon, Portugal, July 2011.

SPS Kushwaha, VK Dadhwal and SJ Van Bloem (Guest Editors). 2010. Remote sensing of tropical ecosystems. Tropical Ecology 51(1):1-2.

SP Singh, SJ Van Bloem and AR Nautiyal (Series Editors). 2009. Papers from Tropical Ecology Congress. Tropical Ecology 50(1):1-4.

RJ Santiago*, S Molina Colón, P Sollins, and SJ Van Bloem. 2008. The role of nurse trees in mitigating fire effects on tropical dry forest restoration: A case study. Ambio 37: 604-608

CS Hopkinson, AE Lugo, M Alber, AP Covich, SJ Van Bloem. 2008. Forecasting effects of sea-level rise and windstorms on coastal and inland ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, 6 (5): 255-263.

Extension and Technical Publications:

TAP Allerton* and SJ Van Bloem. 2018. Forest health conditions of St. Thomas and St. Croix, U.S. Virgin Islands. USDA Forest Service International Institute of Tropical Forestry, State and Private Forestry Program

SL Whitmire, SJ Van Bloem, CA Toline, and C McCreedy. 2018. Quantification of microplastics on national park beaches. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


You can download some of my papers here.
Google Scholar Page here (fwiw)

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