Lara A. Souza, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor
Oklahoma Biological Survey & Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology
SC 150

BA, Appalachian State University, 1999
MSc, Appalachian State University, 2003
PhD,  University of Tennessee, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow, The University of Tennessee, 2009 -2012

Souza Lab Website

Research Interests:

I am a plant ecologist who is broadly interested in the role of global change, such as biological invasions and climatic change, in shaping the structure of plant communities and associated ecosystem processes. More specifically, I investigate the role of resource and climatic gradients, and the interplay of such factors, in structuring diversity across and within species in natural plant communities across spatial and temporal scales. Further, I quantify how diversity, both within and across species, mediates ecosystem properties such as productivity and net ecosystem carbon dioxide exchange in the context of global change.

Research Areas: Plant ecology, Community and Ecosystem Ecology, Biological Invasions, Climate Change

Relevant publications:

Souza L, Zelikova TJ, Sanders NJ (2015) Bottom-up and top-down effects influence plant community structure independently and vary temporally. Oikos DOI:10.1111/oik.02579

Zelikova TJ, Blumenthal DM, Williams DG, Souza L, LeCain DR, Morgan JA, Pendall E (2014) Elevated CO2 increases community resistance to climate variation in a semi-arid grassland. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (43) 15456-15461

Simberloff D, Souza L, Nunez MA, M, Barrios NM, Bunn WA (2012) The natives are restless, but not often and mostly when disturbed. Ecology 93:1106-598-607.

Souza L, Weston DJ, Karve A, Sanders NJ, Crutsinger GM, Classen AT (2011) Intra-specific trait variation in how cells, leaves, individuals, and populations respond to warming: a test with Solidago altissima Ecosphere 2:132.

Crutsinger GM, Souza L, Sanders NJ (2008) Intraspecific diversity and dominant genotypes resist plant invasions. Ecology Letters 16:2676-2687.


Contact Us
Phone 405-325-4321
770 Van Vleet Oval

Norman, OK 73019
136 George Lynn Cross Hall
Hours: 8:00 am - 
5:00 pm M-F           Closed For Lunch 12:00 - 1:00

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