Katherine Suding
Associate Professor EBIO & INSTAAR

Ramaley N132 (lab)
(303) 735-3193

Lab website

Katherine Suding

Research Interests

Plant Community Ecology; Restoration, Invasion biology, Environmental change, Conservation.

I am a plant community ecologist working at the interface of ecosystem, landscape and population biology. My goal is to apply cutting-edge “usable” science to the challenges of restoration, species invasion, and environmental change. My research group and I work with a range of conservation groups, government agencies and land managers to provide evidence-based solutions that take into account biodiversity, human well-being, and management opportunities. We employ a combination of long-term monitoring, modeling and experimental approaches in settings that range from alpine tundra to oak woodlands to grasslands. Common themes include plant-soil feedbacks, functional traits, species effects on ecosystem processes, and non-linear and threshold dynamics.

Selected Publications


Irvine, IC, C.A. Brigham, K.N. Suding, and JBH Martiny. 2012. The Abundance of Pink- Pigmented Facultative Methylotrophs in the Root Zone of Plant Species in Invaded Coastal Sage Scrub Habitat. PLOS ONE 7: e31026.

  • Smith, J.G., W. Sconiers, M.J. Spasojevic, I.W. Ashton, and K.N. Suding. 2012. Phenological Changes in Alpine Plants in Response to Increased Snowpack, Temperature, and Nitrogen. Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 44: 135-142.
  • Eitzel, M.V., S. Diver, H. Sardiñas, L.M. Hallett, J.J. Olson, A. Romero, G.L.T. Oliveira, A.T. Schuknecht, R. Tidmore, and K.N. Suding. 2012. Top 10 Groundbreaking Papers in Restoration Ecology. Restoration Ecology 20: 147-152.
  • Spasojevic, M.J., and K.N. Suding. 2012. Inferring community assembly mechanisms from functional diversity patterns: the importance of multiple assembly processes. Journal of Ecology 100: 652-661.
  • Potts, D.L., K.N. Suding, G.C. Winston, A.V. Rocha, M.L. Goulden. 2012. Ecological effects of experimental drought and prescribed fire in a southern California coastal grassland. Journal of Arid Environments 81: 59-66.
  • Gough, L., Gross, K.L., Cleland, E.E., C.M. Clark, S.L. Collins, J.E. Fargione, S.C. Pennings, and K.N. Suding. 2012. Incorporating clonal growth form clarifies the role of plant height in response to nitrogen addition. Oecologia 169: 1053-1062.
  • Suding, K.N. and E. Leger. 2012. Shifting baselines: dynamics of evolution and community change in a changing world. In Restoration Ecology: The New FrontierVan Andel, J. and J. Aronson, eds. Pages 281-292.



  • Suding, K.N. 2011. Toward an era of restoration in ecology: successes, failures, and opportunities ahead. Annual Review Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 42: 465-487.
  • Cleland, E.E., C.M. Clark, S.L. Collins, J.E. Fargione, L. Gough, K.L. Gross, S.C. Pennings, and K.N. Suding. 2011. Patterns of trait convergence and divergence among native and exotic species in herbaceous plant communities are not modified by nitrogen enrichment Journal of Ecology 99: 1327-1338.
  • Aicher, R..J., L. Larios, and K.N. Suding. 2011. Seed supply, recruitment and assembly: quantifying relative seed and establishment limitation in a plant community context. American Naturalist 178: 464-477
  • Spasojevic, M.J. and K.N. Suding. 2011. Contrasting effects of hemiparasites on ecosystem processes: can positive litter effects offset the negative effects of parasitism? Oecologia 165: 193-200.
  • Harpole, W.S. and K.N. Suding. 2011 A test of the niche dimension hypothesis in an arid annual grassland. Oecologia 166: 197-205.