Paul Hanson

Paul J Hanson

Environmental Sciences Division


For environmental-effects research related to energy technologies and their use, focusing on the impacts of climate and atmospheric changes on the physiology, growth, and biogeochemical cycles of North American forest ecosystems.

Dr. Hanson is a Corporate Fellow and the Group Leader of the Environmental Sciences Division and the Climate Change Science Institute of Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Dr. Hanson has a B.A. degree in biology from St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, in 1981, and both M.S. (1983) and Ph.D. (1986) degrees from the University of Minnesota, St. Paul in plant and forest tree physiology. Dr. Hanson’s current research focuses on impacts of climatic change on the physiology, growth, and biogeochemical cycles of North American forest ecosystems. He has authored or co-authored over 250 journal articles and book chapters, and has co-edited (and authored) a book titled “North American Temperate Deciduous Forest Responses to Changing Precipitation Regimes”. Dr. Hanson is a Subject Editor of the journal Global Change Biology.

Dr. Paul J. Hanson has over 30 years of experience conducting environmental effects research related to energy technologies and their use.  His expertise focuses on the physiological, growth, and biogeochemical cycling responses of woody plant ecosystems, and has encompassed research on acid rain, nitrogen deposition, mercury deposition, ozone effects on woody plants, and environmental and atmospheric change effects associated with precipitation change, elevated CO2 atmospheres, and warming.  Dr. Hanson is known for developing manipulative experimental infrastructures for evaluating plant and whole-ecosystem responses to environmental change.

While Dr. Hanson’s career has not involved teaching as a primary activity, since 1986 he has served as a scientific advisor and mentor to more than 25 individuals ranging from students, visiting teachers, postdoctoral researchers, and visiting scientists. In his role as the coordinating, principal investigator for the DOE-funded SPRUCE warming and CO2 exposure experiment, he fosters opportunities for collaborative research and development with outside University and other Laboratory colleagues.