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Paul J. CaraDonna, Ph.D.

Paul CaraDonna
Conservation Scientist; Community Ecology and Pollination Ecology
E-mail: 
Phone: 
(847) 835-6935
Curriculum Vitae: 
Teaching and Research Affiliations: 
  • Assistant Professor of Instruction, Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University
  • Graduate School Faculty, Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University
  • Principle Investigator, The Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory, Gothic, CO
Selected Professional Associations: 
  • Ecological Society of America
  • American Society of Naturalists
  • Botanical Society of America
  • British Ecological Society
Research Interests: 
  • Community ecology
  • Plant-pollinator interactions
  • Phenology and temporal ecology
  • Ecology of climate change
  • Ecology of native bees

My research aims to understand the structure and function of ecological communities and species interactions, mostly with plants and pollinators. In doing so, I explore the interplay among biotic context, abiotic variation, and species’ phenologies. I ask how these factors influence plant and animal populations, their interactions, and community structure from a basic ecological perspective and under rapid climate change scenarios.

I address research questions using a variety of approaches including: observational field studies that use existing natural variation, field and laboratory experiments that build upon knowledge of this variation, and analytical tools like null model simulations, community phylogenetics, and network analyses.

Current topics and projects we are working on in the lab include:

  • Temporal ecology of plant-pollinator interactions
  • Effects of climate change on flowering phenology
  • Effects of experimental warming on bee physiology and phenology
  • Phenology, resource use, and nesting ecology of native bee communities
  • Effects of frost events on subalpine plant communities
  • Genotypic diversity and phenotypic diversity of willow phenology
  • Urban plant community ecology in New York City
Selected Publications: 

CaraDonna, P. J. and J.A. Bain*. 2016. Frost sensitivity of leaves and flowers of subalpine plants is related to tissue type and phenology. Journal of Ecology 104: 55–64. *undergraduate co-author.

CaraDonna, P. J. and D.W. Inouye. 2015. Phenological responses to climate change do not exhibit phylogenetic signal in a subalpine plant community. Ecology 96: 355–361.

Rafferty, N.E., P. J. CaraDonna, J.L. Bronstein. 2015. Phenological shifts and the fate of mutualism. Oikos 124: 14–21. [cover article]

CaraDonna, P. J.*, A.M. Iler* and D.W. Inouye.  2014. Shifts in flowering phenology reshape a subalpine plant community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA 111: 1619–1621. *equal author contributions.

Rafferty, N.E., P. J. CaraDonna, L.A. Burkle, A.M. Iler, and J.L. Bronstein. 2013. Phenological overlap of interacting species in a changing climate: an assessment of available approaches. Ecology & Evolution 3: 3183-3193.

McKinney, A.M., P. J. CaraDonna, D.W. Inouye, W.A. Barr, C.D. Bertelsen, and N.M. Waser. 2012. Asynchronous changes in phenology of migrating Broad-tailed Hummingbirds and their early-season nectar resources. Ecology 93: 1987-1993. [cover article]

CaraDonna, P. J. and J. D. Ackerman. 2012. Reproductive assurance for a rewardless epiphytic orchid in Puerto Rico, Pleurothallis ruscifolia (Orchidaceae, Pleurothallidinae). The Caribbean Journal of Science 46 (2–3): 249-257.