Picture of Franco Biondi

Contact Info

Institution: University of Nevada, Reno

Phone: (775) 784-6921

Address: DendroLab, Mail Stop 0186 NRES Dept., 1664 N. Virginia St., Nevada 89557, US


Research Disciplines

  • Ecology

  • Forest Management

  • Historical Ecology

  • Natural Resource Management

  • Paleoecology

  • Physiological Ecology

  • Forestry

  • Rangeland Ecology

  • Climate Change

  • Climatology

  • Water Resources

  • Watershed Management

  • Wildland Fire

Research Interests

drought and wildfire history, climate and forest dynamics, dendrochronology, wood anatomy, mountain ecoclimatology, quantitative methods.


Fire History and Climate Change in Old-Growth Ponderosa Pine Habitats of the Sheep Range, Desert National Wildlife Refuge, Nevada, US Fish & Wildlife Service, Pacific Southwest Region, $85,000; sole P.I., 2015-2022.


Prof. Franco Biondi is an environmental scientist with a specialty in dendroecology. His main interests are climate and forest dynamics, ecohydrological changes, wildfire and drought history, particularly in mountain watersheds. He holds an Italian doctorate in forestry from the Università di Firenze, and MS and PhD degrees in watershed management and geosciences from the University of Arizona in Tucson. He is currently Professor and DendroLab Director in the Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science at the University of Nevada, Reno, where he is also a member of four interdisciplinary graduate programs: Environmental Sciences; Hydrologic Sciences; Atmospheric Sciences; and Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology. Together with his students and colleagues, he has conducted research in tree-dominated landscapes of the North American West, Mexico, and southern Europe on how climate (especially drought) impacts wood formation and tree-ring chronologies. He has been funded by the National Science Foundation for about 25 years (including a CAREER award in 2002-2008 and an EAGER award in 2012-2014), the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the Bureau of Land Management, and the National Geographic Society. He has contributed to more than 200 publications and conference presentations, including papers published in Science and Nature. Eleven of his articles have been cited more than 100 times in ISI‐listed scientific journals, and one article has been cited more than 1000 times according to Google Scholar. Since 2010 he has served as Subject Matter Editor for Ecosphere, the open‐access journal published by the Ecological Society of America; currently he is also Specialty Chief Editor for the Paleoecology section of Frontiers in Ecology and Evolution. His US awards are from the Association of American Geographers (2001 Paper of the Year), Stanford University (2007), the Fulbright Senior Specialist program (2011), CIRES at the University of Colorado-Boulder (2013), and Harvard University (2014). In 2006 he served on a US National Academy of Science Committee, and he has been a member of NSF review panels in 2006, '09, '12, '16, '17, and '18. His work has also been recognized by awards from international research centers and universities in Switzerland, Italy, France, and Germany.


University Degrees

1990-'94            Ph.D., Watershed Management and Geosciences; University of Arizona, Tucson.

1985-'87            M.S., Watershed Management; University of Arizona, Tucson

1980-'85            Laurea summa cum laude (Italian Doctorate [1]), Forestry; Università di Firenze, Italy.


Academic Appointments (post-graduate)

2011-present     Full Professor with Tenure, Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science (2017-present) and Department of Geography (2011-2016), University of Nevada, Reno, USA (UNR).

2008-present     Faculty Member, Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Environmental Sciences, UNR.

2007-present     External Faculty Member, PhD Program in “Scienze e Tecnologie per la Gestione Forestale e Ambientale”, University of Tuscia, Viterbo, Italy.

2005-present     Faculty Member, PhD Program in Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, UNR.

2000-present     Faculty Member, Graduate Program of Hydrologic Sciences, UNR.

2000-present     Director, DendroLab, UNR.

2005-2010         Associate Professor with Tenure, Department of Geography, UNR.

2000-2005         Assistant Professor, Department of Geography, UNR.

1998-2000         Adjunct Professor and Lecturer, Biology Department, San Diego State University, California.

1997-2000         Assistant Project Scientist, Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla.

1997                 Lecturer, Math/Science/Engineering Division, Southwestern College, San Diego County, California.

1994-1997         Postgraduate Researcher, Geosciences Research Division, Scripps Institution of Oceanography, University of California-San Diego, La Jolla.

[1] No higher degree in this major was awarded by Italian Universities at that time.