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, and rangelands in a changing environment. 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:

Sarah Hoskinson

Sarah Hoskinson


I am primarily interested in how plants can be used as tools to restore and manage ecosystems.  I am also interested in understanding how invasive plant species impact ecosystem functions and applying this understanding to manage invaded systems.  My dissertation research focuses on how changes in plant community evenness impact ecosystem processes in California grasslands.  In collaboration with the Yolo County Weed Management Area, I have also researched how invasive species change soil conditions and how we can manage these soil conditions to control invaders.  While at UC Davis I have enjoyed working with Audubon California and the California Native Grasslands Association on grassland restoration and applied research projects.  Before coming to UC Davis I worked on forest and wetland restoration projects with the Nature Conservancy in Virginia and the Vermont Wetlands Protection and Restoration Program.  

Benjamin Waitman
bawaitman (at)

Ben Waitman

II 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 into plant-animal interactions. I am interested in the extent to which these interactions can be explained by various theoretical frameworks. When are plant-animal interactions (both positive and negative) context-dependent and what does this mean for conservation managers in a changing climate? I am currently examining these questions in the high alpine zone of the Sierra Nevada. 



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.


Lab Technician

Rebecca Devereux




Ian Baker
Sarah Benjaram
Alexis Fuller
Roman Guitierrez
Anna Kehl
Sarah Polich


Lab Alumni:

Jill Baty- now working in Mary Cadenasso's lab at UCD
Alexa Carleton- now in graduate school at Washington State, Vancouver
Tracy Erwin
Kelly Garbach- now an assistant professor at Loyola University
Elizabeth Goebel- MS, now at Hedgerow Farms
Megan Haug- undergraduate at UCD
Lillian Hayden- graduate student at UCD
Simon Huet
Ben Janes- now in graduate school at UCD
Adrien Johns
Robert Keatinge
Tree Kilpatrick
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
Barbara Swedo
Fenmeng Zhu


Collaborators and Cooperators:

John Anderson (Hedgerow Farms) 
Yongfei Bai, Institute of Biology, Chinese Academy of Sciences
California Rangeland Conservation Coalition
Justin Derner, USDA ARS, Cheyenne, Wyoming
Christine Hawkes, U. Texas Austin 
Mel George, U. of California Davis
Hopland Research & Extension Center
Andrew Latimer, UC Davis
David Lewis, UC Cooperative Extension, Marin County
Mark Lubell, U. of California Davis
Carolyn Malmstrom, Michigan State 
Toby O'Geen, U. of California Davis
Putah Creek Reserve (Andrew Fulks, JP Marie)
Kevin Rice, U. California Davis
Leslie Roche, U. of California Davis
Sierra Foothills Research & Extension Center
Ken Tate, U. of California Davis
Rodd Venterea, USDA ARS

Truman Young, UC Davis