Travis E. Huxman

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology



Current Laboratory Members

Current Post-Doctoral Researchers

Current PhD Students

Evelyn Valdez-Rangel is a new PhD student in the laboratory, working on a number of collaborative projects. She’s interested in the interaction between plants and microbes and how those relationships influence ecological dynamics and ecosystem processes


Greg Vose (2014 to present) – Greg is interested in understanding how functional traits of species is related to combinations of abundance and diversity in terrestrial ecosystems. Greg is especially interested in hydraulic traits and their relationship to other stress tolerance and growth rate traits.


Matt Garrambone (2014 to present) – Matt is a restoration ecologist, interested in understanding strategies associated with the process of enhancing habitat. Matt runs the ‘seed farm’ for the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, which produces the material for most of the ecological restoration happening in Orange County open space.


Emily Griffoul – (2013 to present) – Emily is interested in restoration and conservation ecology. Currently she is working on a passive restoration project, focused on understanding thresholds that are important in the recovery of native coastal sage scrub communities.


Center for Environmental Biology Staff


Sarah Kimball – Project Scientist, CEB Coordinator – Sarah is an evolutionary ecologist who studies how plant traits interact with environmental conditions to determine population dynamics, range limits, and community composition.


Past Members of the Lab and CEB

Past Post-Doctoral Researchers


Mike Bell (2014 to 2015) – Mike came to the lab from UC Riverside worked on a number of projects, including assessing rare plant dynamics in southern CA and the use of trait-scaling issues in conservation / restoration. Now Mike is a Biologist for the National Park Service, working in the Air Resource Division in Colorado.


Jessica Pratt – Jess was the first Education and Outreach Coordinator in CEB. She is a community ecologist interested in both research and education in the applied fields of conservation biology and restoration ecology. Jess is now a assistant teaching professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Irvine

Jenny is a plant ecologist interested in species traits and their relationship to the environment and influence over population and community processes. She was co-mentored by Larry Venable in our desert annual research projects. Jenny is now an assistant professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of California, Davis

Jenny Gremer (2010 to 2013)- Jenny is a plant ecologist interested in species traits and their relationship to the environment and influence over population and community processes. She was co-mentored by Larry Venable in our desert annual research projects.


Sujith Ravi (2008 to 2012) – Sujith is an assistant professor in the Department of Earth & Environmental Science at Temple University.  He was a post-doctoral scholar a the Center for Food Security and the Environment working on a number of sustainability projects, most recently life-cycle analysis associated with solar energy production in arid lands. Sujith worked on a number of plant-soil interaction projects associated with the Biosphere 2 Landscape Evolution Observatory project.


Sarah Kimball (2007 to 2011) – Sarah has worked with me for a long time, both in her current position and as a post-doc in Tucson. She worked on this long-term shared project with Larry Venable, trying to understand the physiological underpinnings of the population and community dynamics of desert annual species. She focused on both the contemporary patterns of response to climate and trait relationships in the context of natural selection in field settings for a number of important species.


Kolby Jardine (2008 to 2009) – Kolby is a physiological ecologist interested in trace-gas emissions from plants and atmospheric chemistry. He’s now at the Earth Science Division of the Berkeley National Labs. Kolby worked on developing techniques and instrumentation for measuring chemistry within plant canopies and the role of autotrophs in their emissions. He’s now working on the Green Ocean Amazon Terrestrial Ecosystem Project.


Mitch Pavao-Zuckerman – (2003 to 2008)Mitch is an ecosystem ecologist who is interested in global change and human-dominated systems. He’s interested in soil dynamics and biotic-abiotic controls over biogeochemical cycles. Mitch is a assistant research professor at the University of Arizona’s Biosphere 2.


Amy Angert (2005 to 2007) – Amy is a plant ecologist with interests in community ecology and plant evolution. She focuses on species geographic distributions, asking questions about what limits adaptation at the edges of species’ ranges. He is an associate professor at the University of British Columbia in Vancouver.


Darrel Jenerette (2005 to 2007) – Darrel is an ecosystem ecologist or maybe a landscape ecologist, who is interested in the coupling between biodiversity, energy fluxes, and biogeochemical cycling at large scales. He works across wild land, agricultural and urban settings and is particularly interested in water limited processes. He is associate professor of botany at the University of California, Riverside.


Ed Bobich (2004 to 2005) – Ed is a functional ecologist, who is interested in plant morphology and how traits relate to plant function. He’s worked on a number of anatomical, biomechanics and physiological problems associated with plants living in water limited habitats. He is an associate professor of biology at California State Polytechnic University, Pomona.


Past PhD Students


Daniel Winkler – (2013 to 2017) – Daniel is interested in a number of ecological phenomena, especially those relating to understanding species invasion and impacts on local biodiversity. Daniel worked in a number of landscape contexts (deserts, alpine), but always in a context of both an important basic science question and a compelling local land management need. He’s now off to work in the Colorado Plateau with Jayne Belnap and Sasha Reed


Marielle Smith – (2010 to 2017) – Marielle was my last student at the University of Arizona and she worked on forest structure in the Amazon. She was co-advised with Scott Saleska and is now working at a new post-doctoral position with Scott Stark at Michigan State.


Loren Albert – (2010 to 2016) – Loren was a PhD student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona. She worked on understanding what controls physiological function in Amazon tree species in the context of climate change, with a special focus on phenology and leaf age. She was co-advised with Scott Saleska. Now Loren a Voss Postdoctoral Fellow in the Institute at Brown University for Environment and Society.


Ginny Fitzpatrick – (2008 to 2014) – Ginny studies plant-ant mutualism in the Sonoran Desert. She’s just finished her dissertation! Ginny was a student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Arizona and was co-advised by Judith Bronstein. Ginny is heavily involved in science / policy and science / education programs in university and non-university settings.


Henry Adams – (2007 to 2012) – Henry is currently a post-doctoral researcher at Los Alamos National Laboratory. He is exceptional at tree-torture. He’s also pretty good at advisor torture.


Greg Barron-Gafford – (2005 to 2010) – Greg is currently an assistant professor in the School of Geography & Development at the University of Arizona. Usually he abides, but when he doesn’t it’s a big deal. I usually go hide when that happens.


Alex Eilts – (2001 to 2007) – Alex is a research associate in the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Minnesota. Happy to be where it’s more often cold than warm, he’s interested in plant community ecology and not getting stuck in a car with NPR on the radio.


Jessie Young – (2002 to 2006) – Jessie is happy exploring the great white north as an assistant research professor at the International Arctic Research Center a the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. She’s studying anything she can as long as she can use isotopes and fancy statistics, and never have to deal with stinky Tupperware again.


Danielle Ignace – (2001 to 2006) – Big D is an assistant professor at Smith College, where she is expanding the minds of young students to the wonders of how plants work. We constantly try and get her to come back to the desert, where you don’t have to run races in the snow.


Daniel Potts – (2003 to 2005) – Dan is an associate professor in the Department of Biology at Buffalo State College. When he’s not swimming with sharks in some remote part of the globe he studies ecohydrology, physiological ecology and global change biology.


Past Lab and CEB Staff Members


Kim Huxman – Huxman Lab Manager – Kim kept the lab running, by making sure all the equipment is in order, insuring we actually follow university policies, and training all our students in protocols and equipment procedures.


Johannah McCollum – Field Technician – Johanna assisted CEB with student internship projects, with data collection and work in the field to maintain the CEB weather stations. She is now in a masters program at Mississippi State. She’s working on a project to investigate understory vegetation dynamics as they relate to habitat conditions for targeted wildlife species following anthropogenic disturbance (thinning, prescribed fire, herbicide, etc.) and spatiotemporal patterns in intensity of habitat use and occupancy.


Kathleen Balazs – Field Technician – Kathleen is a restoration ecologist who worked for both CEB and the Irvine Ranch Conservancy, collecting data on plant communities in the field. Kathleen works closely with CEB research interns. She is now a graduate student at Northern Arizona University working with Brad Butterfield.