Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation (WPEF)

We are a science-based non-profit dedicated to counteracting the decline of whitebark pine and enhancing knowledge about the value of its ecosystems.


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Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation
PO Box 17943
Missoula, Montana 59808

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The three WPEF webinar team members smiling.

Student Spotlight: 2023-2024 Webinar Series Team

The “High-Elevation, Five-Needle White Pines: Science and Management Webinar Series” by the Whitebark Pine Ecosystem Foundation provides a platform for sharing scientific findings and management insights about high-elevation pines in the U.S. and Canada. This year’s talks covered various topics, including the cultural significance of whitebark pine, population trends based on forest inventory data, drone use for predicting forest mortality, physiological responses to environmental stressors, identification of priority conservation areas, and ongoing restoration projects. Recordings of all sessions are available on our YouTube channel. The webinar series is coordinated by WPEF board member Cara Nelson and Danielle Ulrich with a team of graduate student researchers and professionals. Thanks to Lou Duloisy, Enzo Martelli Moya, and Laurel Sindewald for another year of informative talks! To extend our appreciation, we reached out to each team member to learn more about their research, career goals, and interests.


Woman taking physiological measurements on a whitebark pine needle sample.

Lou Duloisy taking physiological measurements near Jackson, Wyoming.

Lou Duloisy is a second-year Ph.D. student in Dr. Danielle Ulrich’s lab at Montana State University in Bozeman, Montana. Her research focuses on comparing the physiology of two high-elevation five-needle pines, whitebark and limber pine. Lou aims to better understand the mechanisms driving tree growth and survival by uncovering potential differences in leaf-level photosynthesis, respiration, and transpiration between these two tree species. Through her work, she hopes to contribute to improved predictions of future forest distributions. Lou finds her research compelling due to its critical role in helping conserve threatened species like whitebark pine and being able to scale up physiological processes to the ecosystem level. Outside of her academic pursuits, Lou enjoys outdoor activities such as skiing, biking, hiking, and climbing. You can connect with Lou on LinkedIn.






Man standing among a whitebark pine forest.

Enzo Martelli Moya in the Boulder Mountains, Idaho.

Enzo Martelli Moya is a PhD student in Dr. Cara Nelson’s Restoration Ecology Lab at the University of Montana in Missoula, Montana. His research interests range from ecological monitoring and restorative silvicultural treatments to the ecology of subalpine forests, spanning from the Andes of Chile to the Rocky Mountains of western North America. Enzo’s dissertation focuses on the variability in spatiotemporal dynamics of whitebark pine canopy recruitment and its relationship to natural disturbances. He is motivated by the fragility and complexity of whitebark pine communities, believing they offer invaluable opportunities to expand ecological knowledge for designing effective conservation and restoration strategies. Enzo plans to graduate within the next three years and hopes to continue his research on whitebark pine recruitment dynamics while pursuing a teaching career in forest sciences. Additionally, Enzo wants to continue working with the Society of Ecological Restoration (SER) to help develop opportunities for students and emerging professionals in ecological restoration. Outside of academia, Enzo enjoys fly fishing in the creeks of Missoula and Lostine (OR) and experimenting with new flavors for empanada recipes, including his popular Steelhead empanada. You can connect with Enzo on LinkedIn, Google Scholar, and Instagram.


Woman standing along timberline.

Laurel Sindewald in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado.

Laurel Sindewald is an ORISE Postdoctoral Research Fellow working with Karin Riley from Missoula Fire Sciences Lab and Shawn Urbanski from Rocky Mountain Research Station in Fort Collins. Her team is working to quantify trade-offs in smoke and emissions risks between prescribed and wildland fires over a 20-year period in Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, a priority landscape identified by the USFS 10-Year Wildfire Crisis Strategy. Laurel is also working to finish publications from her PhD work on anticipated climate change effects on limber pine communities at treeline. She graduated from Dr. Diana Tomback’s Forest Ecology lab at CU Denver in 2023. In her spare time, Laurel enjoys trail running for science and fun. She recently completed the Bryce Canyon 50-mile Ultras with a charity bib to raise funds for WPEF. You can follow Laurel on Twitter and connect with her on LinkedIn.