Research

At the broadest level, research conducted by our group addresses the roles of mechanisms that underlie ecological interactions at levels spanning the range from biochemistry to ecosystems. We are particularly interested in how plant chemistry influences interactions among plants, herbivores, and natural enemies, and ecosystem dynamics such as decomposition and nutrient cycling. Our research focuses on northern temperate forest species (aspen, maple, birch) and western riparian species (cottonwood), although some studies address herbaceous systems (e.g., Mimulus, Trifolium). Our research is funded by multiple sources, principally NSF, USDA-AFRI, DOE, and NASA.

Current focal areas include:

Genetic and environmental mediation of plant defense

Global environmental change and plant-insect interactions

Community and ecosystem genetics

Bioenergy and plant-insect interactions

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