Ecology faculty study plant ecology across the continuum from organismal, community to whole ecosystem levels and look for integration across these scales. We have interests in diverse biomes from drylands to tropical environments and work in wildland, agricultural, and urban dominated land uses throughout the world. Our research is directed towards expanding basic understanding that develops and tests new theoretical approaches as well as applying our research to enhancing conservation of native species, reducing the invasion of exotics, and improving the provisioning of ecosystem services.

Evolution and Systematics examines the evolutionary relationships among plant species, the evolutionary history of genetic elements, and the consequences of evolutionary changes on plant adaptation, gene function, and genome structure. The time scale can be as short as a single generation (microevolution) to hundreds or millions of generations (macroevolution). We use a combination of experimental, molecular, and comparative approaches and we study evolutionary changes in both natural systems and those under human disturbance or management.


DIEZ, Jeffrey

Assistant Professor of Plant Ecology/Plant Ecologist

Plant Community Ecology with emphasis on climate change effects on phenology shifts, shifts in distributions, and plant invasions.


Professor of Genetics

Applied population genetics emphasizing gene flow and its role in evolution of invasiveness, extinction, and transgene dispersal.

EZCURRA, Exequiel

Professor of Ecology/Director of UC Mexus

Conservation science, ecology and biogeography of coastal deserts, land-ocean interactions and their impact on marine and terrestrial environments


Associate Professor of Landscape Ecology

Ecological scaling, coupled biogeochemical cycles, terrestrial aquatic linkages, ecosystem responses to altered precipitation regimes, societal-biophysical interactions

LARIOS, Loralee 

Assistant Professor and Plant Ecologist

Links population and community ecology to invasion biology and restoration ecology and provides insights to how environmental change may influence plant invasions and ecosystem management

LI, Bai-Lian (Larry)

Professor of Plant Ecology

Quantitative Plant Ecology; Ecological Complexity and Modeling; Theoretical and Mathematical Ecology; Systems Ecology; Landscape Ecology; Computational Biology; Ecological Informatics

LITT, Amy 

Associate Professor and Plant Evolution & Develop Biologist

Plant diversity, evolution, and development


Professor of Genetics

Cytogenetics of crop plants, Meiotic chromosome pairing


Assistant Professor and Plant-Insect Ecologist

Ecology and evolution of plant-insect interactions

ROOSE, Mikeal L. 

Department Chair & Professor of Genetics

Genetics, genomics and breeding of citrus and asparagus; linkage mapping; marker assisted breeding; evolutionary relationships of cultivated citrus.

SACHS, Joel L.

Associate Professor of Biology (Cooperating Faculty Member)

Investigate the forces that shape bacterial cooperation with hosts as well as the origins and evolution of harmful strains. Current focus is on rhizobial bacteria that live in soils throughout the world and nodulate the roots of many legume hosts.


Associate Professor of Physiological Ecosystem Ecology

Environmental Physiology, Ecosystem Science, Evolutionary Physiology, Stable Isotopes, and Tropical Biology


Assistant Professor & Assistant Bioinformaticist (Cooperating Faculty Member)

We are interested in the set of genes that are required to synthesize, maintain, and remodel the cell wall as part of growth, response to stress, and developmental programs.


Distinguished Professor of Genetics

Transposable elements in plants with a focus on the characterization of active transposable elements and a determination of how they contribute to genome evolution and adaptation.

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