Faculty Experts

Jason D. Fridley

Associate Professor of Biology

Dr. Jason Fridley’s research shows that evolutionary constraints on plant form and function drive plant community assembly and ecosystem processes. These constraints have strong implications for how terrestrial ecosystems may change in the coming century.

Dr. Fridley’s research is strongly interdisciplinary, combining physiology, climatology, biogeography, and biogeochemistry. He has established a geographic context for his experimental work, which has led to key innovations in studying ecosystem development and plant strategy theory.  Dr. Fridley has also pioneered a statistical approach for interpolating climate data to high spatial resolution in montane regions.

His current work involves looking at how the ecosystems have assembled and guided plant evolution in the past in order to understand how these ecosystems will evolve in the future.  In his lab, Dr. Fridley and his team are studying how non-native invasive plants differ from the native plants they often displace, and whether such differences are the result of the contrasting evolutionary histories of the species involved. Their research findings would allow for predicting how ecosystems change in light of continued introductions of new species.