Dr. Magda Garbowski – Postdoctoral Scholar
Community resistance and resilience to invasion in rangelands










Dr. Andrew Siefert – Postdoctoral Scholar
Trait-based demographic rates shape the contours of fitness landscapes








Hailey Mount
MS student: Functional traits and demographic rates of mixedgrass prairie species









Dave Atkins
PhD student: The net effect of functional traits on population fitness of perennial grasses









Sienna Wessel
MS student: Restoration of sagebrush steppe in Grand Teton NP








Former members in the lab:

Alice Stears (PhD)
Stears, A.E., Adler, P.B., Albeke, S.E., Atkins, D.H., Studyvin, J., & Laughlin, D.C. 2022. plantTracker: An R package to translate maps of plant occurrence into demographic data. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. In Press.

Stears, A.E., Adler, P.B., Blumenthal, D.M., Kray, J.A., Mueller, K.E., Ocheltree, T.W., Wilcox, K. R., Laughlin, D.C. 2022. Water availability dictates how plant traits predict demographic rates. Ecology, In press, e3799.



Trevor Carter (MS)

Carter, T.A, P.J. Fornwalt, K.A. Dwire, and D.C. Laughlin. 2022. Understory plant community responses to widespread spruce mortality in a subalpine forest. Journal of Vegetation Science, n/a, e13109.


Loïc Chalmandrier PhD (postdoc)

Chalmandrier, L., Stouffer, D.B., Purcell, A.S.T., Lee, W.G., Tanentzap, A.J., and Laughlin, D.C. 2022. Predictions of biodiversity are improved by integrating trait-based competition with abiotic filtering. Ecology Letters 25:1277-1289.


Kiri Wallace PhD

Wallace, K.J., D.C. Laughlin, B.D. Clarkson, L.A. Schipper. 2018. Forest canopy restoration has indirect effects on litter decomposition and no effect on denitrification. Ecosphere 9(12): e02534.

Wallace, K.J., D.C. Laughlin, B.D. Clarkson. 2017. Exotic weeds and fluctuating microclimate can constrain native plant regeneration in urban forest restoration. Ecological Applications 27:1268-1279.


Adam Purcell MSc

Purcell, A. S. T., W. G. Lee, A. J. Tanentzap, and D. C. Laughlin. 2019. Fine root traits are correlated with flooding duration while aboveground traits are related to grazing in an ephemeral wetland. Wetlands 39(2): 291-302.


Angela Simpson MSc

Simpson, A.H., S.J. Richardson, D.C. Laughlin. 2016. Soil-climate interactions explain variation in foliar, stem, root, and reproductive traits across temperate forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography 25:964-978.


Kris Kramer-Walter MSc

Kramer-Walter, K.R. & Laughlin, D.C. 2017. Root nutrient concentration and biomass allocation are more plastic than morphological traits in response to nutrient limitation. Plant and Soil 416: 539-550.

Kramer-Walter, K. R., P. J. Bellingham, T. Millar, R. Smissen, S. J. Richardson, D. C. Laughlin. 2016. Root traits are multidimensional: specific root length is independent from root tissue density and the plant economic spectrum. Journal of Ecology 104:1299-1310.


Melissa Jager MSc

Jager, M.M., S.J. Richardson, P.J. Bellingham, M.J. Clearwater, and D.C. Laughlin. 2015. Soil fertility induces coordinated responses of multiple independent functional traits. Journal of Ecology 103(2):374-385.


Robert Strahan PhD

Strahan, R.T., D.C. Laughlin, J.D. Bakker, M.M. Moore. 2015. Long-term protection from heavy livestock grazing affects ponderosa pine understory composition and functional traits. Rangeland Ecology and Management 68:257-265.

Strahan, R., A. Sanchez Meador, D. Huffman, D.C. Laughlin. 2016. Shifts in community-level traits and functional diversity in a mixed conifer forest: a legacy of land-use change. Journal of Applied Ecology 53:1755-1765.


Claudia Lyons BScHonours thesis: Leaf and wood decomposition rates

Zach Bastow Undergraduate research assistant

Justy Leppert Undergraduate research assistant


Celebratory high-five after collecting the highest elevation leaf and wood trait samples on Fremont Peak on the San Francisco Peaks, Arizona (3648 m)