About Daniel

Dr. Dan Binkley has worked on ecosystem productivity and nutrient cycling for 30 years, blending applied and basic perspectives in his research and teaching. Some of the applied perspectives have focused on sustaining the productivity of forests by sustaining soil fertility – and providing useful information in textbooks and courses for people who manage forests, and working with collaborative citizen groups on forest restoration at landscape scales. His basic research perspectives include long-term changes in vegetation and soils (along rivers, with tree invasion of tundra as climate warms, and in common-garden experiments), and fundamental controls on ecosystem productivity over time (using plantations of Eucalyptus species in Hawaii and Brazil as model systems). Dr. Binkley has been at Colorado State University for 25 years, teaching courses on a wide range of topics in ecology and sustainable forestry. He is the past Director of CSU’s cross-campus Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, and the Colorado Forest Restoration Institute.

Website CV


  • The naturalist John Muir reminds us that “When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the universe.” But these “hitches” are sometimes strong and direct (like the connection between a tree and the soil), and often indirect and even surprising (like the effect of wolves on streams in Yellowstone National Park). These connections are vital within ecosystems, and across ecosystems; our future is bound to be brighter when our insights about ecological hitches help us avoid unpleasant glitches. That’s the task for our new department. My interests in forests and other types of ecosystems are very broad, which is why ecology has been such an appealing career choice for me. I’ve focused on how plants grow, examining connections with soils, influences of animals, and patterns across landscapes over long periods of time. Opportunities for research have led to projects on the world’s fastest growing Eucalyptus forests in Brazil, the encroachment of spruce trees into Alaskan tundra ecosystems, and the influence of deer populations on aspen forests


Ph.D., Forest Ecology, Minor in Soil Science and Botany - Oregon State University
Corvallis, Oregon, 1982

Awards, Honors, Grants

  • Honorary Doctorate from the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, 2008