John Lhotka received a B.S. and M.S in forestry from Southern Illinois University and a Ph.D. in silviculture from Auburn University. Between his M.S. and Ph.D. programs, he was a Forester for the US Forest Service Rocky Mountain Research Station.
John has been a faculty member at the University of Kentucky since June 2007. Upon arriving at the University of Kentucky, he has built a silvicultural research program that promotes the health and sustainability of region’s forest resources through research related to forest regeneration and growth.
Research efforts have primarily addressed the following emphasis areas:
1) regeneration practices for oak-dominated forests,
2) modeling forest structure, growth, and mortality in a silvicultural context,
3) development of gap-based silvicultural systems that balance forest production with wildlife habitat sustainability,
4) forest restoration following surface mining disturbance, and
5) woody biomass production and utilization for bioenergy.
Other primary research interests include: irregular silviculture, linkages between canopy structure and understory environments, climate and biophysical effects on tree growth, and stand density relationships.
Since joining the faculty at the University of Kentucky, John has been responsible for teaching three required undergraduate courses as part of an accredited forestry B.S. program including Silviculture, Field Silviculture, and Integrated Forest Resource Management. Beyond instruction, John has demonstrated strong commitments to forestry education through service. Since January 2015, he have served on the Society of American Foresters (SAF) national Committee on Accreditation and now entering his second three-year term he serves as this committee’s chair.