Women’s History Month: Dr. Suzanne Simard, a trailblazer in forest ecology

Last updated on March 18th, 2021 at 03:43 pm

Over the past few years, we’ve been learning more about how connected trees are to one another. I’m a big fan of ‘The Daily’ podcast from the New York Times and was super excited to see this topic covered during one of their Sunday Reads. ‘The Social Life of Forests’ inspired me to write about Dr. Suzanne Simard for Women’s History Month.

Dr. Suzanne Simard
Dr. Suzanne Simard | The Mother Tree Project

From her interview with Ferris Jabr, I learned that Dr. Simard has been fascinated by forest systems for her whole life. She turned that fascination into a career of research about the connectedness of trees, even when others in the industry doubted her hypothesis. This quote really stood out to me:

 

“The old foresters were like, Why don’t you just study growth and yield?” Simard told me. “I was more interested in how these plants interact. They thought it was all very girlie.”

 

Dr. Simard is a trailblazer in forest ecology for her work on symbiotic networks amongst trees and other organisms in the forest. She has challenged the misconception that trees are independent of each other by showing how they share resources and communicate. Our team at Vermont Woods Studios is so grateful for her dedication and perseverance that led to her discoveries.

Photo by pure julia on Unsplash

I highly recommend Dr. Simard’s TED talk on ‘How trees talk to each other’. And of course, listening to or reading ‘The Social Life of Forests’ by Ferris Jabr of the New York Times.

 

Dr. Simard is currently a Professor of Forest Ecology at the University of British Columbia (UBC). She also leads The Mother Tree Project, a research study on forestry practices that can promote forest health and resiliency as climate change intensifies.

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This blog is written by your friends at Vermont Woods Studios. Check out our Vermont made furniture and home decor online and visit our showroom and art gallery at Stonehurst, the newly restored 1800s farmhouse nestled in the foothills of the Green Mountains.

Alexandra Thompson

Alexandra Thompson is a Zero Waste & Recycling Expert and the Sustainability Programming Manager for Waste Free Earth. Waste Free Earth is on a mission to reinvent how society produces and consumes waste through education, engagement, and empowerment. They are changing the current business culture to one that prioritizes zero waste systems over single-use landfill items.