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Karen Stahlheber

Karen Stahlheber

Associate Professor, Chair of Biology
LS 459
Natural & Applied Sciences


Research Interests

I am a plant community ecologist interested in the connections among species diversity, ecosystem processes and human management. My past and current projects span natural and agricultural landscapes, with a focus on savannas and grasslands. Presently my research addresses questions such as: How does plant species diversity in Midwest grasslands affect the potential for bioenergy production? How might genetic diversity within a dominant species and/or invasion by exotic species affect ecosystem processes? How are mutualistic partnerships (such as those between plants and mycorrhizae) affected by global change? I am also interested in restoration of natural ecosystems, both in terms of the predictability of outcomes and the resulting changes to desired ecosystem services.


Ph.D., Ecology, University of California Santa Barbara; B.A., Environmental Studies/Biology, Middlebury College