Principal Investigator:

Valerie Eviner
(530) 752-8538

Valerie Eviner


I received my B.A. from Rutgers University and PhD from University of California Berkeley (working with Terry Chapin and Mary Firestone). My research focuses on understanding the mechanisms of plant-soil interactions and applying this understanding to ecosystem management, restoration, invasions, ecosystem processes, and rangelands in a changing environment. I am particularly interested in understanding the controls over plant community interactions and multiple ecosystem services, and how these patterns and controls vary across the landscape, over time, and due to environmental changes. Most of my work occurs in California grasslands on working landscapes. Other study systems include: wetlands, degraded grasslands in Inner Mongolia, Northeastern forests (particularly understory dynamics), alpine meadows and forests, and cropping systems in California, Illinois, and New York.


Graduate Students:

Evan Batzer




Sherlynette Castro




Julia Michaels

Julia Michaels


Before joining the Eviner lab I received a BA in Biology from Wesleyan University in Connecticut and worked in environmental education in New Orleans, LA. My undergraduate research focused on wetland restoration and mitigation policy. I am interested in ecological invasions in vernal pool systems, and how scientists can work with ranchers to identify practices that reduce invasives, protect rare and endangered species, and encourage ecosystem services.

Benjamin Waitman

Ben Waitman

I received a BS in biology from the College of William and Mary and an MS in biology from the University of Nevada before coming to Davis. My MS work focused on seed dispersal and scatter hoarding behavior in rodents. I am currently expanding my research in mutualisms. When are mutualisms (both positive and negative) context-dependent and what does this mean for conservation managers in a changing climate? I ask these questions using Ponderosa pine and their associated mycorrhizal fungi as a model system. I am making use of a well-established gradient in anthropogenic N deposition in Southern California to determine changes to the community composition and function of the ectomycorrhizae associated with ponderosa pine. 



Lab Manager:

Joanne Heraty


Before coming to the Eviner Lab I studied Cultural Anthropology at UC Santa Cruz and received an MS degree at UC Davis in International Agricultural Development where my research focused on the conservation of maize genetic diversity by immigrant farmers in Southern California's urban gardens. More recently I have become interested in native plant communities and restoration ecology research. I am currently assisting with several research experiments examining plant- soil interactions in California's grassland ecosystems.





Karina Beltran
Leslie Canones
Melissa Cayne
Chris Chen
Annie Montes


Lab Alumni:

Ian Baker
Jill Baty- now working in Mary Cadenasso's lab at UCD
Alexa Carleton- now in graduate school at Washington State, Vancouver
Tracy Erwin
Alexis Fuller
Kelly Garbach- now an assistant professor at Loyola University
Elizabeth Goebel- MS, now at Hedgerow Farms
Roman Gutierrez
Megan Haug- undergraduate at UCD
Lillian Hayden- graduate student at UCD
Sarah Hoskinson- now a reserve manager and scientist at Mianus River Gorge, NY
Simon Huet
Ben Janes- now in graduate school at UCD
Adrien Johns
Addy Johnson
Robert Keatinge
Anna Kehl
Tree Kilpatrick
Whitney Krupp
Austin Lo- has headed to college
Sharon Luong- now in graduate school at Duke
Tommy McCormack
Mark Noyes- now a graduate student in Ken Tate's lab
Nick Quaglia
Arielle Patton
Rebecca Polich
Barbara Swedo
Jack Taylor
Naomi Tomco
Fenmeng Zhu

Collaborators and Cooperators:

John Anderson (Hedgerow Farms) 
Yongfei Bai, Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
California Climate and Agriculture Network
California Invasive Plant Council
California Native Grassland Association
California Rangeland Conservation Coalition
Christine Hawkes, U. Texas Austin
Hopland Research & Extension Center
Andrew Latimer, UC Davis
Carolyn Malmstrom, Michigan State
Toby O'Geen, U. of California Davis
Putah Creek Reserve (Andrew Fulks, JP Marie)
Kevin Rice, U. California Davis
Sierra Foothills Research & Extension Center
Ken Tate, U. of California Davis
Truman Young, UC Davis