Dr. Justin Wright
While much of my research has focused on wetland plant communities, I am willing to study any organism and work in any ecosystem to answer the questions that interest me. I have worked in systems ranging from tropical streams to desert shrublands and am always looking for ways to explore the causes and consequences of patterns of biological diversity across the planet. My research program combines observational and experimental approaches with modeling to develop and test hypotheses and build towards synthetic ecological theory. Visit our Research page for more information on my current research project.
CV | Google Scholar Profile
Email: jw67 (at) duke.edu
Department of Biology Duke University
Box 90338 Durham, NC 27708
Office BioSci 255 | Lab BioSci 256
Tel (919) 613-8096 | Fax (919) 660-7293
Anna (she/her) is interested in addressing how deforestation, forest fragmentation, and other human disturbances affect plant-animal interactions in tropical forests, and how the answers to these questions help us improve landscape conservation and restoration planning using field experiments, ecological modeling, and other tools. Read more about my current research projects
David De La Mater,
David (he/him) joined the lab in August 2018. He studies the ways that environmental conditions influence the form of individuals and their role in the systems they inhabit, often using biogeographic theory as a lens through which to study this problem. For his PhD research, David is using salt marsh communities as a system in which to investigate this topic. He hopes to use the insights gleaned from his research to help inform conservation efforts. David is co-advised by Brian Silliman.
Anita (they/them) entered the lab in 2019. They are a community ecologist interested in the role ecological history plays in shaping species interactions. Specifically, they study the effect of past disturbance on plant community responses to current disturbance, as well as the effect of species’ arrival order during post-disturbance community assembly. They also have an interest in critical/feminist science studies and are jointly pursuing a Certificate in Gender, Sexuality, and Feminist Studies.
Aeran (they/them) is interested in the ecosystem and community-level effects of interactions between plants and soil microbes, and how these processes are impacted by climate change. In their PhD, Aeran seeks to understand the role of plant-microbe interactions in community composition shifts and large-scale tree mortality events (ghost forests) in forested coastal wetlands caused by sea level rise and salt water intrusion. They also seek to understand how fire interacts with these mechanisms in both the formation of ghost forests and post-mortality regeneration.
Email: aeran.coughlin [at] gmail.com
Richard (he/him) joined the lab in August 2020. He is interested in climate change effects on food web structure and nutrient cycling in the aquatic communities within the fluid of pitcher plants. Richard hopes to use this unique system to inform conservation and preservation efforts regarding the response of larger aquatic systems to environmental change. He is also co-advised by Jean Philippe Gibert.
Jeri (she/her) joined as lab manager September 2022, although she is no stranger to Duke! Jeri received her Ph.D. in Ecology at Duke working with Bill Morris and Rytas Vilgalys.
Jeri is interested in the ecology and evolution of plant-fungal symbioses with a particular fondness for ectomycorrhizal fungi. More specifically, her work examines how shifting environmental factors that modulate the currency of plant-fungal interactions alter community structure and function.