Katharine Suding

Katharine Suding

Fellow and Professor

  • Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology



  • PhD: University of Michigan, 1999
  • BS: Williams College, 1994

Contact Information

(Office) 303 735-3193

Research Interests

Plant community ecology; restoration, invasion biology, environmental change, and 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.

Visit the Suding Lab web site.


  • Highly Cited Researcher, Thomson Reuters, 2017




Higgs, E.,Harris, J.,Murphy, S.,Bowers, K., Hobbs, R., Jenkins, W., Kidwell, J., Lopoukhine, N., Sollereder, B.,Katharine Suding,Thompson, A.,Whisenant, S, 2018: The evolution of Society for Ecological Restoration's principles and standards: Counter-response to Gann et al.. Restoration Ecology, 26(3): 431-433. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12821

Higgs, E.,Harris, J.,Murphy, S.,Bowers, K., Hobbs, R., Jenkins, W., Kidwell, J., Lopoukhine, N., Sollereder, B.,Katharine Suding,Thompson, A.,Whisenant, S, 2018: On principles and standards in ecological restoration. Restoration Ecology, 26(3): 399-403. DOI: 10.1111/rec.12691

Joshua Grinath,Deguines, N.,Chesnut, J. W.,Prugh, L. R.,Brashares, J. S.,Katharine Suding{/exp:playa:children, 2018: Animals alter precipitation legacies: Trophic and ecosystem engineering effects on plant community temporal dynamics. Journal of Ecology, 106(4): 1454-1469. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12936

Dudney, J.,Hallett, L.,Larios, L.,Farrer, E. C.,Spotswood, E. N.,Stein, C.,{playaaMMgMDaj:title}{/exp:playa:children, 2017: Lagging behind: Have we overlooked previous-year rainfall effects in annual grasslands?. Journal of Ecology, 105(2): 484-495. DOI: 10.1111/1365-2745.12671

Chapple, D. E.,Faber, P.,{playaLWKsvfyH:title},Merenlender, A. M, 2017: Climate variability structures plant community dynamics in Mediterranean restored and reference tidal wetlands. Water, 9(3): article 209. DOI: 10.3390/w9030209

Will Wieder,John Knowles,Peter D. Blanken,Sean C. Swenson,Katharine Suding{/exp:playa:children, 2017: Ecosystem function in complex mountain terrain: Combining models and long-term observations to advance process-based understanding. Journal of Geophysical Research: Biogeosciences, 122(4): 825-845. DOI: 10.1002/2016JG003704

Ryals, R.,Eviner, V. T.,Stein, C.,{playaayAkyTe6:title},Silver, W. L, 2016: Grassland compost amendments increase plant production without changing plant communities. Ecosphere, 7(3): article e01270. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.1270

All publications by Katharine Suding >



Current Courses

  • EBIO 6100: Graduate Seminar in Critical Transitions & Resilience It is increasingly clear that ecological systems, like many other complex systems, have critical thresholds at which they shift abruptly from one state to another--non-linear transitions that are abrupt and hard to reverse. We will explore the application of complexity theory to such issues as desertification in rangelands, dieback in coral reefs, and turbidly in lakes.