John Parker

Senior Scientist, Plant Community Ecologist
Smithsonian Institution
647 Contees Wharf Road
Edgewater, Maryland 21037
Phone: 443-482-2221

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Research Disciplines: Research Interests:

Biological invasions, Biodiversity and ecosystem function, Climate change and range expansions, Community ecology, Plant-herbivore interactions, Wetlands, Forests, Agro-Ecosystems

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Biographical Sketch

My research focuses on the consequences of global change for biotic interactions. How will biodiversity loss alter the structure, functioning, and persistence of ecological communities? What factors drive invasions by non-native species? What are the evolutionary consequences of altered biodiversity? And, finally, can an understanding of these complex, ecological interactions be used to inform conservation and management of natural ecosystems?

I try to answer these questions by integrating field experiments with behavioral ecology, natural products chemistry, phylogenetics, quantitative genetics, and synthetic analyses.

Recent research themes include:

  • Impacts of herbivores on plant community structure
  • Plant invasions
  • Effects of biodiversity on populations, communities, and ecosystems
  • Impacts of climate change on plant range expansions
  • Trait-mediated ecology of plant-herbivore and plant-plant interactions.


  • University of Virginia, Environmental Science, B.A., 1993
  • College of William and Mary/Virginia Institute of Marine Science, Marine Science, M.S., 1998
  • Georgia Institute of Technology, Biology, Ph.D., 2005
  • Cornell University, Postdoctoral Associate, 2006-2007

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