Lauren Sullivan

Lauren Sullivan
Assistant Professor of Biological Sciences
105 Tucker Hall

PhD, 2014 Iowa State University

Research Summary

Spatial plant population and community ecology

Research Description

In my research, I use empirical and mathematical tools to understand how plant movement influences population and community dynamics. In particular, I focus on how different global change factors like, habitat fragmentation, nutrient loading, and alterations to native herbivore communities cause changes in plant reproduction and dispersal, and the resulting consequences of this movement for conservation and restoration ecology.

Plant dispersal is an important demographic process that drives both ecological (e.g. community assembly, invasions) and evolutionary (e.g. gene flow) dynamics. My research program entwines field-based experiments with theory to more deeply understand dispersal as a process. Specifically, I experimentally address common simplifying assumptions about dispersal, and create theoretical models that incorporate these results to more accurately represent how dispersal plays a role in structuring plant population and community dynamics. My goal is to find ways to harness natural dispersal to increase plant species diversity in restored landscapes.

Areas of interest: movement ecology, population ecology, community ecology, theory, experimental design and statistics, Bayesian statistics, restoration ecology, science education

Awards and Honors

College of Biological Sciences Impactful Research Award for Postdoctoral Scientists - University of Minnesota 2017

Phi Beta Kappa, University of Michigan 2007

Alumni War Memorial Award, University of Michigan 2006

James B. Angell Scholar, University of Michigan 2003

Selected Publications

See Google Scholar for a list of Dr. Sullivan's publications.