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.
Google Scholar Profile
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
Dr. Jenny Rocca, Post-Doctoral Associate
Emily Ury, PhD Candidate
David De La Mater, PhD Candidate
Bonnie McGill at South of the Border.
Summer Technicians, 2013 (left to right): Cinnamon Mittan, Laureen Echiverri, Rachel Bangle, Fabio Baptista, Cherissa Dukelow, and Hannah Kisley
Emily joined the lab in August 2016. She recently completed her Masters at Yale where she worked with Peter Raymond using the oxygen isotopes of phosphate to trace fertilizer runoff in heavily farmed watersheds. She is curious about nutrient cycling and the impacts of various land uses on ecological communities and biogeochemical processes. Emily will begin her doctoral research in conjunction with our Coastal SEES project. Emily is co-advised with Emily Bernhardt.
emily.ury [at] duke.edu
David 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.
Email: dsdelamater [at] gmail.com
Email: dsdelamater [at] gmail.com
Steve Anderson (research associate/lab manager) worked in the Wright lab from 2011-2014. His primary focus was on Longleaf Pine savannah research at Fort Bragg, and managing laboratory operations. Steve continues to work at Duke as a research associate in the Bernhardt lab.
Bonnie McGill (lab manager) and Bowie-wan Kenobi (lab pup) worked with Justin from 2007-2012. During that time, Bonnie was a major contributor to Wright lab as a whole. She recently completed her Ph.D. at Michigan State University.
Rachel Mitchell. Currently an Assitant Professor at Norther Arizona University
Greg Ames. Currently a data scientist at Novozymes
Cari Ficken, PhD. defended March 2018. Dissertation title: "Scaling individual plant responses to fire and resource availability to community composition and disturbance-recovery"
Aspen Reese, Ph.D. defended May 2017. Dissertation title: "Ecological forces in microbial communities: experimental tests of community ecology theory in soil and the mammalian gut."
Marissa Lee, Ph.D. defended April 2016. Dissertation title: "Leaf traits, neighbors, and abiotic factors: ways that context can mediate the impact of invasive species on nitrogen cycling."
Amanda Koltz, PhD. defended May 2015. Dissertation title: "The changing structure and function of arthropod food webs in a warming arctic."
Si-Yi "Jenny" Wang, Ph.D. defended June 2011. Dissertation title: "Causes and functional consequences of denitrifying bacteria community structure in streams affected to varying degrees by watershed urbanization."
Eileen Thorsos, M.S. defended Dec 2011
Courtney Hill, Duke class '19
Honor thesis title: "Hidden Stories of the Ground Layer: Potential Mechanisms Driving Community Changes in Invertebrates due to Microstegium vimineum"
Morgan Irons Duke class '17
Honors thesis title: "The Development of Ecological and Environmental Mechanisms to Drive Primary Succession in the Establishment of a Closed Ecological System on Mars"
James Cho, Duke class '16
Honors thesis title: "Island biogeography vs physiochemical controls on zooplankton diversity and communities"
Donnie Vineyard, Duke class '13
Honors thesis title: "Annual growth in a pine savanna is driven by interactions between fire and climate"
Jamie Peeler, Duke class '12
Honors thesis title: "Trait plasticity of tree species in response to changing disturbance regimes in the Kruger National Park"
Kiki Contreras, Duke class '12
Honors thesis title:"Effects of biotic and abiotic environments on the distribution, growth, and mortality of juvenile clams in the San Juan Islands, WA"
Sarah Diehl, Duke class '09
Honors thesis title: "Microstegium vimineum, an invasive grass, affects tree germination, soil communities, and nitrogen cycling in a riparian system."
Nate Emery, Duke class '07
Honors thesis title: "Functional diversity and the invasibility of an exotic grass (Microstegium vimineum)
Andrew Gloterman, Duke class '07
Honors thesis title: "Predictors of Microstegium vimineum and their implications in stream restorations of central North Carolina."
Fabio Baptista, Laureen Echiverri, Cherissa Dukelow, Malia Losordo, Hannah Kisley, Cinnamon Mittan, Kirsten Moy, Kirin Riddell, Allison Rowe, Boris Senatorov, and Samantha Walker.
A big thank you to our amazing crew of past work study students: Samir Arora, Rachel Bangle, Matt Barnett, Gaby Benitez, Ansel Bubel, Shanay Conaway, Kiki Contreras,
Ashley Green, Catherine Henry, Molly Johnson, Aimee Lansdale, Emma Loewe, Joseph Lozier, Sharon Luong, Libby Malcolm, Matthew McCann, Miles Muller, Haylee Newton, Cameron Oswalt, Tuana Phillips, Gabriel Sneed, Josh Unghire, Kristin Vaughn,
Rachel Workin, Cha Yang, and Kathy Zhou.