Andy Vander Yacht

Andy Vander Yacht

Department of Forestry

Academic Specialist, Forest Ecology Research

Telephone: 517-355-7599

Natural Resources Building
480 Wilson Rd, Rm. 126
East Lansing, MI 48824-1222

Dr. Andy Vander Yacht currently manages the forest ecology laboratory and teaches classes on ecosystem services (FOR 110) and wildland fire ecology and management (FOR 413). His research seeks to understand how disturbances affect the structure, composition, health, and resiliency of temperate forest ecosystems and how this knowledge can inform forest management. His specific interests include forest mesophication, fire and fuel ecology, community succession, seed dispersal, and the restoration of disturbance-dependent biodiversity. He is currently exploring oak regeneration success and Reid’s Paradox within red pine plantations in Michigan, and the potential for red pine to oak conversions to mitigate climate-change effects on regional forest resources. He also manages and analyzes long-term data sets on temperate (Huron-Manistee National Forest) and tropical (La Selva, Costa Rica) forest regeneration and is a key contributor to MSU’s Urban WildF.I.R.E. program. He currently serves as the vice chair for the Michigan Prescribed Fire Council. Before coming to MSU, Andy gained applied experience with the MI DNR, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, and as a private land management consultant.


Ph.D. in Natural Resources, Emphasis in Fire Ecology, Center for Native Grasslands Management, The University of Tennessee (2014-2017)

M.S. in Wildlife Science, Statistics Minor, Center for Native Grasslands Management, The University of Tennessee (2010-2012)

B.S. in Biology, Chemistry and Environmental Science Minors, Hope College (2005-2009)


Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M.C., and Clatterbuck, W.K. 2020. Thresholds in woody and herbaceous component coexistence inform the restoration of a fire-dependent community. Applied Vegetation Science 23: 159-174.

Keyser, P.D., Vander Yacht, A.L., Henderson, C.A., Willcox, E.V., Cox, M.R., Buehler, D.A., Harper, C.A., Kwit, C., and Stambaugh, M.C.  2019. Wildlife response to oak ecosystem restoration. In: Clark, S.L. and Schweitzer, C.J. (eds.) Oak symposium: sustaining oak forests in the 21st century through science-based management e-Gen. Tech. Rep. SRS-237. Asheville, NC: U.S. Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Southern Research Station. pg. 157.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P. D., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M. C., Clatterbuck, W. K., and Simon, D. M. 2019. Fuel dynamics during oak woodland and savanna restoration in the Mid-South USA. International Journal of Wildland Fire 28(1): 70-84.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Barrioz, S.A., Kwit, C., Stambaugh, M.C., Clatterbuck, W. K., and Simon, D. M. 2018. Reversing mesophication effects on understory woody vegetation in Mid-Southern oak forests. Forest Science fxy053.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Kwit, C., and Stambaugh, M.C. 2018. Effectiveness of joint fuel treatments and vegetation management in restoring Eastern upland oak ecosystems. Joint Fire Science Program Project ID 13-1-04-14 Final Report.

Vander Yacht, A.L. 2018. Effects of canopy disturbance and fire on vegetation and fuel dynamics in oak forests of the Mid-South USA. Doctoral Dissertation, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P. D., Harper, C. A., Buckley, D. S., and Saxton, A. S. 2017. Restoration of Oak Woodlands and Savannas in Tennessee Using Canopy-Disturbance, Fire-season, and Herbicides. Forest Ecology and Management 406: 351-360.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Barrioz, S.A., Keyser, P.D., Harper, C.A., Buckley, D.S., Buehler, D.A. & Applegate, R.D. 2017. Vegetation response to canopy disturbance and season of burn during oak woodland and savanna restoration in Tennessee. Forest Ecology and Management 390: 187-202.

Vander Yacht, A.L., Keyser, P.D., Buehler, D.A., Harper, C.A., Buckley, D.S. & Applegate, R.D. 2016. Avian occupancy response to oak woodland and savanna restoration. The Journal of Wildlife Management 80: 1091-1105.

Cox, M.R., Willcox, E.V., Keyser, P.D., and Vander Yacht, A.L. 2016. Bat Response to Prescribed Fire and Overstory Thinning in Hardwood Forest on the Cumberland Plateau, Tennessee. Forest Ecology and Management 359: 221-231.

Keyser, P.D., Harper, C.A., Anderson, M. and Vander Yacht, A.L. 2016. Chapter 15: How do I Manage for Woodlands and Savannahs? In: Managing Oak Forests in the Eastern United States. Keyser, P.D., Fearer, T., and Harper, C.A., editors. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.

Burger, G., Keyser, P.D., and Vander Yacht, A.L. 2016. Ecology and Management of Oak Woodlands and Savannahs. University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture Extension Publication PB 1812.

Vander Yacht, A.L. 2013. Vegetation Response to Oak Savanna and Woodland Restoration in the Mid-South USA. M.S. Thesis, The University of Tennessee.