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Erin Espeland

Research Ecologist


Erin EspelandErin Espeland


Research Ecologist 


Phone: 406.433.9416
Fax: 406.433.5038






Education • Current ResearchResearch ExperienceRelated Web PagesPublications


 Additional Pages: Research Projects,* Publications*

*Taken from the Agricultural Research Information System (ARIS) database.







  Ph.D. Ecology 2007 University of California Davis. Dissertation title: The influence of plant competition and facilitation on evolutionary processes.
  M.S. Biology 2000 San Jose State University. Thesis title: Population differentiation in Eschscholzia californica.
  B.A. Music 1992 Mills College, Oakland, California





My research focuses on establishment, genetic identity and evolutionary potential of restored native populations in the face of biological invasions. This research includes the role of competition on restoration success, the role of genetic identity and maternal effects on the establishment of restoration materials. I have recently expanded my research program to track whole-ecosystem recovery after weed removal and restoration; this includes bird, insect and plant populations as well as soil conditions.  





Below is a list of projects I participated in before joining the USDA.

Post-doctoral Scholar, Univ. of Nevada- Reno. Field and greenhouse research testing the heritable interrelationship of weeds and native species to the environment. Field testing suitability of a variety of restoration species and crops in Nevada agricultural practice. With Dr. Elizabeth Leger, Dept. of Natural Resources and Environmental Science.

Doctoral Research, UC Davis. Field and greenhouse research testing the effects of density dependence and local productivity on natural selection and genetic drift in California annual plants. With Dr. Kevin J. Rice, Dept. of Plant Sciences.

Research Assistant, UC Davis. Greenhouse research on adaptive potential of Aegilops triuncialis(goatgrass), comparing native-range and introduced populations' ability to adapt to serpentine soil. With Dr. Kevin J. Rice, Dept. of Plant Sciences.

Plant Ecologist, BMP Ecosciences, San Francisco CA. Library and field research to develop reference document for use by the City of Santa Cruz to develop an adaptive management plan for the endangered species Holocarpha macradenia. With Dr. Bruce Pavlik, BMP Ecosciences.

Research Fellow, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Demographic monitoring of rare plant populations: Eschscholzia rhombipetala, Amsinckia grandiflora, Erodium macrophyllum(alias California macrophyllum), and Blepharizonia plumosa. Design and conduct experiments on effects of burning and other manipulations on granivory, germination, survivorship, and long-term population viability of several plant species. With Dr. Tina M. Carlsen, Environmental Restoration Dept.

Research Assistant, UC Davis. Isolate PCR primer to distinguish Aegilops caudataand Ae. umbellulatafrom each other for the purpose of determining maternal parent of Ae. triuncialis(goatgrass) in invasive populations. With Dr. John McKay, currently at Colorado State University.

Masters Research, San Jose State University. Field and common garden experiments to determine interpopulation differences in Eschscholzia californica. Developed and optimized primers for conducting RAPD analysis of genetic differences among populations. With Dr. Rodney G. Myatt, Dept. of Biological Sciences.

Research Assistant, Univ. of Western Ontario. Population restoration of Cirsium pitcherii, an endangered sand dune plant. Dr. M. Anwar Maun, Dept. of Biology (deceased).

Environmental Technician, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory. Greenhouse research on effects of intraspecific competition and self-compatibility on Amsinckia grandiflora, a federally-listed endangered plant. Field research on ecophysiological effects of competitive environment on A. grandiflora. Dr. Tina M. Carlsen, Environmental Restoration Dept.

Research Assistant, Mills College. Demography and population restoration of state-listed endangered plant Acanthomintha duttonii. Common garden experiment to determine if and congenerics are serpentinite endemics or tolerators. Dr. Bruce M. Pavlik, Dept. of Biology.  








Peer-Reviewed Publications: