Thomas H. DeLuca headshot

Thomas H. DeLuca

Co-Principal Investigator University of Montana


Thomas H. DeLuca is professor and dean of the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation (FCFC) at the University of Montana (UM). A forest soil scientist and ecosystem ecologist, Professor DeLuca efforts in research, teaching and administration have been focused on sustainable land management and advancing our understanding of natural ecosystem function. Professor DeLuca currently directs a College with over 40 faculty members, 133 graduate students, and more than 750 undergraduate students. FCFC manages two external research facilities, Lubrecht Experimental Forest (a 27,000 acre forest) and Bandy Ranch (a 3,600 acre cattle ranch). Prior to his post at FCFC, Professor DeLuca served as the Director of the School of Environmental and Forest Sciences at the University of Washington (2012 – 2017), was the NERC-University Joint Chair in Environmental Sciences in the School of Environment, Natural Resources and Geography at Bangor University, UK (2009 – 2012), served as a Senior Forest Ecologist with the Wilderness Society (2006 – 2009), was a Professor of Forest Soils at the University of Montana in the College of Forestry and Conservation (1994 – 2006), and Assistant Professor of Sustainable Systems at Slippery Rock University (1993 – 1994).

During the past 20 years, Professor DeLuca has conducted research in a variety of topics across temperate, boreal, maritime and Arctic settings. Primary research interests include the influence of disturbance on N and C cycling in forest, prairie and tundra ecosystems, the fire ecology of temperate and boreal forests, biological N2 fixation in forest ecosystems, sustainable forest management and forest restoration. Professor DeLuca has authored more than 100 refereed research papers, including senior authored papers in Science and Nature.

Professor DeLuca received his Ph.D. from Iowa State University in May 1993 (Soil Biology and Biochemistry) while working for the Leopold Center for Sustainable Agriculture; his M.S. from Montana State University in soils; and his B.S. from the University of Wisconsin-Madison in Natural Science (Soil Science).