Charlotte Brown, PhD

Ike Russell Postdoctoral Fellow
(520) 621-6945

Contact Email

I am a plant and community ecologist who uses experimental and analytical methods to examine the mechanisms of community assembly, species interactions, and diversity. My past research has focused on testing the link between assembly and environmental gradients, seedbank dynamics, plant-soil feedbacks, plant traits, and plant-plant interactions. Due to the dynamic nature of ecological systems, my long-term research goal is to improve our understanding of how different scales of variability impact population and community dynamics as well as broader diversity patterns and ecosystem functions.

After spending the past ten years in Canada conducting research and obtaining my B.Sc. (Dalhousie University) and Ph.D. (University of Alberta), I am excited for the new opportunities and questions that will arise from studying the much warmer study system of the Sonoran Desert and its extraordinary diversity. At Tumamoc Hill, I am utilizing rich datasets the lab has amassed over the past 100+ years to answer questions about plant population and community dynamics over time. The data from the Spalding-Shreve plots and Saguaro monitoring program provides a unique opportunity to examine the long-term impacts of climate variability on plant populations and communities.


Please see Google Scholar for pdfs for download.

Selected Publications

Davison, J., [and 41 other authors, including Brown. C]. (Accepted). Temperature and pH define the realized niche space of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. New Phytologist.

Peetom Heida, I., Brown, C., Dettlaff, M., Oppon, K., Cahill Jr., J. F. (Accepted). Encroachment by a native shrub is associated with minor shifts in the productivity and composition of grassland communities in a northern savannah. AoB Plants.

Filazzola, A., Brown, C., Westphal, M., Lortie, C. J. 2020. Establishment of a desert foundation species is limited by exotics and light but not herbivory or water. Applied Vegetation Science, 23(4): 587–597.

Filazzola, A., Brown, C., Dettlaff, M., Batbaatar, A., Grenke, J., Bao, T., Peetom-Heida, I., Cahill Jr., J.F. 2020. Grazing effects on global biodiversity is multi-trophic: a meta-analysis. Ecology Letters, 23(8): 1298–1309.

Brown, C., Cahill Jr, J.F. 2020. Standing vegetation as a coarse biotic filter for seedbank dynamics: effects of gap creation on seed inputs and outputs in a native grassland. Journal of Vegetation Science, 31(6): 1006–1016. Special feature: “Dispersal and establishment”.

Brown, C., Cahill Jr, J.F. 2019. Vertical size structure is associated with productivity and species diversity in a short-stature grassland: Evidence for the importance of height variability within herbaceous communities. Journal of Vegetation Science, 30(5): 780–798.

Brown, C., Oppon, K.J., Cahill Jr, J.F. 2019. Species-specific size vulnerabilities in a competitive arena: Nutrient heterogeneity and soil fertility alter plant competitive size-asymmetries. Functional Ecology, 33(8):1491–1503.

Chagnon, P.L., Brown, C., Stotz, G., Cahill Jr, J.F. 2018. Soil biotic quality lacks spatial structure and is positively associated with fertility in a northern grassland. Journal of Ecology, 106(1): 195–206.

Brown, C. & Lundholm, J. 2015. Microclimate and substrate depth influence green roof plant community dynamics. Landscape and Urban Planning, 143:134–142.