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ECOLOGY AND PLANT BIOLOGY

The Ecology and Plant Biology faculty in the Department of Biology is an internationally recognized group of scientists addressing a diverse set of key questions about plants, including the evolution and regulation of gene networks, adaptive life history and physiology, species interactions, and plant community and biogeochemical responses to climate change. This is a highly interactive group that enjoys collaborating on scientific problems from multiple perspectives—from within cells to entire ecosystems—using many modern techniques, such as functional genomic, genetic, physiological, and computational techniques, as well as satellite image interpretation and field experiments.

Examples of current research foci include:

  • the use of molecular, genetic, ecological and biogeochemical approaches to study the evolution and ecology of plant-herbivore interactions;
  • the molecular regulation of plant-pathogen interactions and cell wall formation, and how this might link to plant adaptations to different environments;
  • the evolution of plant life history strategies;
  • adaptive physiology of invasive plants;
  • the ecology of acoustic communication in marine mammals and insects;
  • the evolution and ecology of trophic regulation of production and biogeochemical processes—including sequestration of greenhouse gases—in terrestrial systems;
  • studying the environmental, ecological and evolutionary drivers of biodiversity.

In addition to local field sites in upstate New York, our faculty work in a number of different field locations, including the Atlantic Coast, Pacific Northwest and Northern California, Yellowstone, Florida, Smoky Mountains and Appalachia, England, New Zealand, and East Africa.