The Prior Lab studies species interactions and invasion ecology. We explore how altered ecological interactions facilitate invasions, how invasions impact ecological systems, and how to manage invaded ecosystems. Our empirical work largely focuses on plant and insect interactions. Research is grounded in experimental field ecology, and we conduct work in several different ecosystems. Although a significant focus of our work is on invasions, we are also excited about species interactions in general. To this end, we sometimes use invasions as natural experiments to answer questions about the ecology and evolution of species interactions, and how species interactions and traits drive community and ecosystem processes.
Thanks for your interest! Check out our research page for more information on what we do.
I am looking for a PhD student to join the lab in 2018 - Details here.
Check out all opportunities to join the lab here.
Nov. 2017: Kirsten just had a paper accepted in Ecology! Her first (first-author) paper from her work in the rich and amazing east African ant-acacia mutualism system with Todd Palmer.
Nov. 2017: Congratulations to Catherine and Melissa for receiving Undergraduate Research Awards!
Sept. 2017: Welcome to Shannon Meadley Dunphy, our new Lab Manager! Shannon and I have worked together on ants and seed-dispersal for several years (check out some of her work on the Publications page), and I am very excited to have her helping out on several projects in the lab.
Sept. 2017: New review paper out in Biological Invasions about the resilience of ecological systems to invasions!
Sept. 2017: Super excited to welcome our new Ph.D. student, Carmela Buono to the lab! Carmela is coming to us from Rutgers and will be working on invasive species and seed dispersal.
Sept. 2017: Welcome to our three new undergraduate student researchers this year - Wyatt, Catherine, and Sarah!
Aug 2017: Kirsten is headed to ESA to give two talks. One on ant-plant mutualisms (Tues. @ 4:00 COS 66), and an Ignite talk on invasions and seed dispersal (Thurs @ 8:00 IGN 18).
May 2017: First field season is well underway! Suzy, Shannon, and Megan are out in the Pacific Northwest for the summer - collecting lots of galls and parasitoids.
February 2017: Congrats to Tim Morris for being awarded an Undergraduate Summer Scholar Fellowship!
October 2016: Pat Milligan's paper is out in Ecosphere! Invasive ants reduce diversity, but don't disrupt a key ecosystem function.
October 2016: We have a great group of undergraduate researchers working in the lab this semester. Welcome Gabriella, Sabina, Melissa, Tim, and Megan!