Brian Harvey's research focuses on understanding forest disturbances — like fires and insect outbreaks — and how forest structure and function are shaped by disturbances, interactions among disturbances, and climate. His work emphasizes field studies that are integrated with large spatial datasets and analyses, drawing on insights from landscape and community ecology. Over a decade, he has conducted research on the disturbance ecology of forests in coastal California, the Rockies, and the interior Pacific Northwest.