D. Scott Mackay

Department of Geography
State University of New York
105 Wilkeson Quadrangle
Buffalo, NY 14261 USA

Phone: +1-716-645-0477
Fax: +1-716-645-2329

dsmackay at buffalo dot edu

Curriculum vitae

Water Resources Research
American Geophysical Union

Ecohydrology Group
Department of Geography
Department of Environment and Sustainability

About our research
Ecohydrology is the study of how traits of living things both affect and are affected by the availability and quality of water. Our research focuses on understanding these traits by studying mechanisms of vegetative stress responses to environmental dynamics, such as drought, elevated temperature, and nutrient limitation. A key activity of our research involves the development of novel biophysical models that assimilate physical and physiological observations to identify emergent traits of plants that are difficult to quantify empirically.

Our work is predominantly on forests and crops. We are specifically combining canopy physiology with soil-plant hydraulics to understand the mechanisms of drought- and biotic-related mortality of trees. By integrating these mechanisms with hydrologic processes we can better understand why some trees survive drought and biotic attack by tapping into sources of water subsidy. For crops we are acquiring predictive understanding of productivity rates in response to novel drought, heat, and nutrient stresses. This work is facilitated by new modeling frameworks that combine biophysical modeling, genomics, and hierarchical Bayesian statistics.

Our research addresses many important issues facing society, including severe and prolonged droughts that promote widespread forest mortality, increase pressure on water resources, and stress food production.

AGU Editor's Vox:
Ecohydrology: What's in a name?

Representative products: Drought-related tree mortality

WRR July 2018 Cover Photo
Tai, X., D.S. Mackay, J.S. Sperry, P. Brooks, W.R.L. Anderegg, L.B. Flanagan, S.B. Rood, and C. Hopkinson. 2018. Distributed plant hydraulic and hydrological modeling to understand the susceptibility of riparian woodland trees to drought-induced mortality. Water Resources Research, doi:10.1002/2018WR022801.

Johnson, D.M., J.-C. Domec, Z.C. Berry, A.M. Schwantes, D.R. Woodruff, K.A. McCulloh, H.W. Polley, R. Wortemann, J.J. Swenson, D.S. Mackay, N.G. McDowell, and R.B. Jackson. 2018. Co-occurring woody species have diverse hydraulic strategies and mortality rates during an extreme drought. Plant, Cell and Environment, 41(3), 576-588, doi:10.1111/pce.13121.

Tai, X.., D.S. Mackay, W.R.L. Anderegg, J.S. Sperry, and P.D. Brooks. 2017. Plant hydraulics improves and topography mediates prediction of aspen mortality in southwestern U.S. New Phytologist, 213(1), 113-127. DOI: 10.111/nph.14098.

McDowell, N.G., A.P. Williams, C. Xu, W.T. Pockman, L.T. Dickman, S. Sevanto, R. Rangle, J. Limousin, J. Plaut, D.S. Mackay, J. Ogee, J.C. Domec, C.D. Allen, R.A. Fisher, X. Jiang, J.D. Muss, D.D. Breshears, S.A. Rauscher, and C. Koven. 2016. Multi-scale predictions of massive conifer mortaility due to chronic temperature rise. Nature Climate Change, 6, 295-300, doi:10.1038/nclimate2873.

Mackay, D.S., D.E. Roberts, B.E. Ewers, J.S. Sperry, N.G. McDowell, and W.T. Pockman. 2015. Interdependence of chronic hydraulic dysfunction and canopy processes can improve integrated models of tree response to drought. Water Resources Research, 51(8), 6156-6176, doi:10.1002/2015WR017244.

Representative products: Ecophysiological function

Mackay, D.S., P.R. Savoy, C. Grossiord, X. Tai, J.R. Pleban, D.R. Wang, N.G. McDowell, H.D. Adams, and J.S. Sperry. In Press. Conifers depend on established roots during drought: results from a coupled model of carbon allocation and hydraulics. New Phytologist. doi:10.1111/nph.16043

Wang, D.R., C.R. Guadagno, X. Mao, D.S. Mackay, J.R. Pleban, R.L. Baker, C. Weinig, J.-L. Jannink, and B.E. Ewers. 2019. A framework for genomics-informed ecophysiological modeling in plants. Journal of Experimental Botany.,  70(9), 2561-2574, doi: 10.1093/jxb/erz090.

Pleban, J.R., D.S. Mackay, B.E. Ewers, T.L. Aston, and C. Weinig.2018. Phenotypic trait identification using a multimodel Bayesian method: a case study using photosynthesis in Brassica rapa genotypes. Frontiers in Plant Science, 8, 448, doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00448.

Millar, D., B.E. Ewers, D.S. Mackay, S.D. Peckham, D. Reed, and A. Sekoni. 2017. Improving ecosystem-scale modeling of evapotranspiration using ecological mechanisms that account for compensatory responses following disturbance. Water Resources Research, 53, 7853-7868, doi:10.1002/2017WR020823.

Mackay, D.S., B.E. Ewers, M.M. Loranty, E.L. Kruger, and S. Samanta. 2012. Bayesian analysis of canopy transpiration models: A test of posterior parameter means against measurements. Journal of Hydrology, 432-433, 75-83, doi: 10.1016/j.hydrol.2012.02.019.

Current research projects:

> Integrating plant hydraulics with climate and hydrology to understand and predict responses to climate change

> A systems analysis of plant growth promotion by the rhizosphere microbiome
(see Project web site)

> Predicting genotypic variation in growth and yield under abiotic stress through biophysical process modeling

> Improving hydrologic representation in earth systems modeling
(see Hydrologic Process Team)

Relevant education and research:

Department of Environment and Sustainability

Graduate Program in Evolution, Ecology,
& Behavior

National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA)

Ecosystem Restoration through Interdisciplinary Exchange (ERIE)

Consortium of Universities for the Advancement of Hydrologic Science (CUAHSI)

Chequamegon Ecosystem-Atmosphere Study (ChEAS)

Susquehanna Shale Hills Critical Zone Observatory (SSHCZO)

North American Carbon Program (NACP)

Publons Researcher ID

ResearchGate Profile

Google Scholar Profile

D.S. Mackay 
Last Update: May 2, 2019