Evolution, Ecology & Organismal Biology

Cooperating Faculty Members

Edith Allen, Ph.D. Emeritus Professor of Botany & Plant Sciences office: 951-827-2123
fax: 951-827-4437
Plant ecology, restoration ecology: Effects of nitrogen deposition on native plant communities, restoration of native vegetation, importance of mycorrhizal fungi in native plant communities. 
Emma Aronson, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Plant Pathology  office: 951-827-4201
fax: 951-827-4294
Soil microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. 
Matthew Daugherty, Ph.D.  Cooperative Extension Specialist of Entomology  office: 951-827-2246
Population biology, pest and disease management, quantitative ecology  
Jeff Diez, Ph.D.   Assistant Professor of Plant Ecology  jeffrey.diez@ucr.edu  His research is focused on understanding what controls the distributions of species and the composition of communities. These can seem like straight-forward questions but are ultimately really difficult due to the complexity of interacting processes and limitations of available theory and data. Questions about the processes underlying species distributions and community composition are foundational to ecology but have also become more challenging and more urgent in this era of rapid global changes. Climate change and unprecedented rates of species’ movement around the globe (biological invasions) are creating many “novel ecosystems”.  He uses these changes as natural experiments to understand ecosystems, while also building capacity to predict changes in the coming decades.  He also uses field experiments, greenhouse experiments, and statistical modeling that can test hypotheses and quantify processes at different spatial and temporal scales. 
Mary Droser, Ph.D.  Professor of Geology  office: 951-827-3797
Evolutionary paleoecology, ichnology, the Pre-Cambrian-Cambrian Ordovician radiations, Phanerozoic trends in ecospace utilization, Cambrian and Ordovician of the Great Basin. 
Norm Ellstrand, Ph.D.  Distinguished Professor of Genetics and Geneticist 

office: 951-827-4194


The significance of gene flow as an evolutionary force. Applied plant population genetics: (a) gene flow and hybridization as factors in the evolution of increased invasiveness, (b) consequences of unintentional gene flow from domesticated plants to their relatives, and (c) positive and negative impacts of genetically engineered crops, especially with regard to unintentional transgene flow. 
Marilyn Fogel, Ph.D.  Professor of Ecology, Wilbur W. Mayhew Endowed Professor of Geoecology, and Director of the EDGE Institute  office: 209-205-6743
Stable isotopes of the biologically relevant elements are powerful tools for tracing ecological and geochemical processes on Earth and in planetary materials and environments. Her research for nearly 40 years has concentrated on understanding the flow of elements through modern biogeochemical cycles using stable isotope compositions of organic and inorganic matter as tracers. As she researched elemental cycling in modern ecosystems, she applied this knowledge to understanding how biogeochemical cycles functioned over Earth's history. Her research extends to the fields of paleontology and to astrobiology - searching for evidence of life in the Universe beyond our planet. Inherent in most of the work that she does is the concept of the Earth as a constantly changing entity. 
Janet Franklin, Ph.D. Professor of Botany and Plant Sciences office: 951-827-4619
Conservation biogeography, global change biology, species distribution modeling, plant community ecology, spatial ecology, landscape ecology, geographic information science.
Sydney I. Glassman, Ph.D. Assistant Professor, Plant Pathology & Microbiology office: TBA
My research focuses on understanding patterns and processes governing microbial diversity, and their ecosystem functions such as terrestrial symbioses and decomposition. I am interested in microbial biogeography and fungal symbioses.
Erica Heinrich, Ph.D Assistant Professor, Dept. of Biomedical Sciences

office: 951-827-9198

Integrative Physiology; Hypoxia; Control of Breathing

John Heraty, Ph.D. Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-6351
Morphological and molecular systematics of Chalcidoidea cladistic methodology; biological control evolutionary biology. 
Nigel Hughes, Ph.D.  Professor of Geology office: 951-827-3098
Field and specimen based approaches to questions of evolutionary mechanism in the early Phanerozoic. Trilobite paleobiology. Lower Paleozoic paleogeography and tectonics (particularly the early Paleozoic history of India and the peri-Gondwanan region), shape restoration of deformed fossils, trace fossil paleobiology, and clastic sedimentology/stratigraphy.  
Darrel Jenerrette, Ph.D.  Professor of Landscape Ecology  office: 951-827-7113
fax: 951-827-4437
Ecological scaling coupled biogeochemical cycles, terrestrial-aquatic linkages, ecosystem responses to altered precipitation regimes, societal-biophysical interactions. 
Loralee Larios, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Plant Ecology office: 951-827-4001
fax: 951-827-4437
As an ecologist, my research focuses on the classic but never tiring quest to understand the mechanisms that contribute to species coexistence and ultimately contribute to the diversity we observe. My interest in these dynamics is driven by how we can use this information to inform successful management and restoration practices.
Amy Litt, Ph.D. Assistant Professor & Assistant Biologist of Plant Evolution & Development 

office: 951-827-2113
fax: 951-827-4437

Our research is aimed at understanding the genetic basis of plant diversity – how genes have changed over the course of evolutionary time, and how those changes have led to the current diversity of plant form and function. We take a comparative interdisciplinary approach, integrating phylogenetics, morphology, and molecular biology methods to characterize changes in gene function across species and how they have influenced plant development.  Current areas of interest include (1) identifying genetic changes that allow some plants to produce edible fleshy fruits, whereas close relatives produce seeds in a dry woody pod; (2) understanding the novel regulatory interactions that occur when two species hybridize, resulting in the combination of two distinct genomes in one nucleus, and often producing unexpected phenotypes; (3) the genetic basis of individual variation in plant development and how selection on this individual variation leads to species diversity; (4) the role of epigenetic factors in domestication, ecological adaptation, and evolution.  
Paul Nabity, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Botany and Plant Sciences  office: 951-827-3927
fax: 951-827-4437
I am interested in how arthropods alter the phenotype of their plant hosts and why these changes may be adaptive for either plant or insect (or both!). I focus on the genetic and physiological mechanisms in both plants and insects that interact to alter plant metabolism and morphology.
Tim Paine, Ph.D.   Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-5835
Biology and ecology of introduced insects in urban environments; interactions of host suitability, host species susceptibility, and natural enemies on insect population biology; pheromone communication systems of bark beetles; interactions between mycorrhizal fungus colonization of plants and the herbivore populations, and the influence of ozone and nitrogen deposition on arthropod communities associated with black oak, ponderosa pine, and bracken fern. 
Lauren Ponisio Assistant Professor, Entomology office: 951-827-5857
With continued degradation of ecosystems, we need to know how to restore biodiversity, both for conservation and to ensure the provision of essential services provided by nature. To manage and restore diversity in human-modified systems, however, we need to understand the mechanisms that originally maintained biodiversity. I study the mechanisms operating in complex systems, specifically ecological communities, that underlie diversity maintenance.
Jessica Purcell, Ph.D. Assistant Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-7258
I seek the proximate and ultimate drivers of 
social organization in arthropods.
Erin Rankin, Ph.D.  Assistant Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-5735
Invasive species, food webs and trophic dynamics, community ecology
Khaleel A. Razak, Ph.D. Associate Professor of Psychology  office: 951-827-5060
Development of auditory and visual systems, vocalization processing, sound localization and echolocation behaviors, visual motion processing. 
Rick Redak, Ph.D. Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-7250
Plant-insect interactions, conservation biology, community ecology, integrated pest management. 
Louis Santiago, Ph.D.  Associate Professor of Botany and Plant Sciences  office: 951-827-4951
Employ a variety of plant physiological techniques, stable isotopes, modeling, phylogenetic analyses, and statistical approaches to understand the ecological implications of the connection between plants and their environment. 
Jason Stajich, Ph.D.  Professor, Department of Plant Pathology and Microbiology and Institute for Integrative Genome Biology  office: 951-827-2363
Fungal cell wall evolution, early diverging Chytrid and Zygomycete fungi, post-transcriptional gene regulation, evolution of multicellularity in Fungi, methods in comparative and evolutionary genomics, human pathogenic fungi. 
Bill Walton, Ph.D.  Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-3919
IPM of vector and pest arthropods particularly mosquitoes, biogeography of freshwater flora and fauna, trophic interactions of freshwater food webs. 
Hollis S. Woodard, Ph.D.   Assistant Professor of Entomology  office: 951-827-5761
Ecology, evolution, and conservation of native bees, with a focus on bee nutritional ecology and feeding biology. 

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