Brendan M. Buckley

Lamont Associate Research Professor
Brendan M. Buckley
Lamont Research Professor
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory
Biology and Paleo Environment
Tree Ring Lab
61 Route 9W - PO Box 1000


(845) 365-8782


(845) 365-8150

Fields of interest: 

Dendrochronology, Dendroclimatology, Tropical Forest Ecosystems, Arctic Treeline Studies

Research Statement: 

  • I have spent the past several years focused on dendrochronology in the Asian tropics, particularly mainland Southeast Asia.  This work resulted in two long records from north Thailand and north Vietnam, respectively, that appear in Buckley et al. (2007 Climate Dynamics), and Sano, Buckley and Sweda (2009, also in Climate Dynamics) showing that periods of decadal drought occurred during the past 5 centuries and often coincided with societal turmoil.  Most recently, we developed a near-millennial aged tree ring chronology from southern Vietnam, at 12 degrees north latitude, from the rare cypress Fokienia hodginsii.  This record was used to reconstruct the hydroclimate for the region going back 750 years, and highlighted periods of multi-decadal drought that coincided with the collapse of Angkor (These results are now published as Buckley et al. 2010, in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences).  Furthermore, we show the links between sea surface temperature variability (i.e., ENSO) in the tropical Pacific and hydroclimate over mainland Southeast Asia.  During the course of this research I have found multiple tree species from the mountains of Vietnam and Laos that have annual rings and can be used for developing records similar to that for Fokienia.  This work is ongoing, and ought to make significant contribution to the fields of paleoclimatology and tropical forest ecology.  
  • Prior to the work in Southeast Asia I spent years working along the northern treeline in Alaska and Canada, working largely on reconstructing temperature.  I also spent years in the southern hemisphere, studying the long-lived souther conifer Huon pine, of the family Podocarpaceae, as well as New Zealand's ancient Kauri, of the family Auracauriaceae.  In all of these studies I like to look at tree rings as incorporating multiple aspects of the environment, and taking into account the physiology and ecological aspects of how trees grow.  I am currently focused on understanding in far greater detail the physiological and ecological aspects of tree growth in response to climate.  There is much exciting work yet to be done, and along with my colleagues from around the world, I plan to be addressing these important questions for a long time to come.  
List of Degrees from highest to lowest
Institute of Antarctic and Southern Ocean Studies, University of Tasmania, Hobart Australia
Dept. of Geography, Arizona State University
Dept. of Geography, Plymouth State College, New Hampshire

Primary Discipline: 

Secondary Discipline: 

Other Disciplines: 

Selected Publications:
High-resolution palaeoclimatology of the last millennium: a review of current status and future prospects, Jones, P. D.; Briffa, K. R.; Osborn, T. J.; Lough, J. M.; van Ommen, T. D.; Vinther, B. M.; Lutherbacher, J.; Wahl, E. R.; Zwiers, F. W.; Mann, M. E.; Schmidt, G. A.; Ammann, C. M.; Buckley, B. M.; Cobb, K. M.; Esper, J.; Goosse, H.; Graham, N.; Jansen, E Holocene Feb, Volume: 19, Issue: 1 p.: 3-49 (2009) Doi 10.1177/0959683608098952
Tree-ring based hydroclimate reconstruction over northern Vietnam from Fokienia hodginsii: eighteenth century mega-drought and tropical Pacific influence, Sano, M.; Buckley, B. M.; Sweda, T. Climate Dynamics Aug, Volume: 33, Issue: 2-3 p.: 331-340 (2009) DOI 10.1007/s00382-008-0454-y
Analyses of growth rings of Pinus merkusii from Lao PDR, Buckley, B. M.; Duangsathaporn, K.; Palakit, K.; Butler, S.; Syhapanya, V.; Xaybouangeun, N. Forest Ecology and Management Dec 15, Volume: 253, Issue: 1-3 p.: 120-127 (2007) DOI 10.1016/j.foreco.2007.07.018
Arsenic in tree rings at a highly contaminated site, Cheng, Z. Q.; Buckley, B. M.; Katz, B.; Wright, W.; Bailey, R.; Smith, K. T.; Li, J. B.; Curtis, A.; van Geen, A. Science of the Total Environment Apr 15, Volume: 376, Issue: 1-3 p.: 324-334 (2007) DOI 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2007.01.074
Decadal scale droughts over northwestern Thailand over the past 448 years: links to the tropical Pacific and Indian Ocean sectors, Buckley, B. M.; Palakit, K.; Duangsathaporn, K.; Sanguantham, P.; Prasomsin, P. Climate Dynamics Jul, Volume: 29, Issue: 1 p.: 63-71 (2007) DOI 10.1007/s00382-007-0225-1
Millennia-long tree-ring records from Tasmania and New Zealand: a basis for modelling climate variability and forcing, past, present and future, Cook, E. R.; Buckley, B. M.; Palmer, J. G.; Fenwick, P.; Peterson, M. J.; Boswijk, G.; Fowler, A. Journal of Quaternary Science Oct, Volume: 21, Issue: 7 p.: 689-699 (2006) Doi 10.1002/Jqs.1071
Global surface temperature signals in pine ring-width chronologies from southern monsoon Asia, Buckley, B. M.; Cook, B. I.; Bhattacharyya, A.; Dukpa, D.; Chaudhary, V. Geophysical Research Letters Oct 19, Volume: 32, Issue: 20 p.: - (2005) Doi 10.1029/2005gl023745
Inferred summer precipitation for southern Ontario back to AD 610, as reconstructed from ring widths of Thuja occidentalis, Buckley, B. M.; Wilson, R. J. S.; Kelly, P. E.; Larson, D. W.; Cook, E. R. Canadian Journal of Forest Research-Revue Canadienne De Recherche Forestiere Dec, Volume: 34, Issue: 12 p.: 2541-2553 (2004) Doi 10.1139/X04-129
Interannual to multidecadal modes of Labrador climate variability inferred from tree rings, D'Arrigo, R.; Buckley, B.; Kaplan, S.; Woollett, J. Climate Dynamics Jan, Volume: 20, Issue: 2-3 p.: 219-228 (2003) DOI 10.1007/s00382-002-0275-3
A changing temperature response with elevation for Lagarostrobos franklinii in Tasmania, Australia, Buckley, B. M.; Cook, E. R.; Peterson, M. J.; Barbetti, M. Climatic Change Jul-Aug, Volume: 36, Issue: 3-4 p.: 477-498 (1997)