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Elizabeth Borer

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Elizabeth Borer
Associate Professor



Ph.D., University of California, Santa Barbara, 2002 

Graduate Faculty Memberships

Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior
Quaternary Paleoecology

Research Interests

In my research, I examine the ways that global changes like nitrogen deposition, carbon dioxide emissions, and species invasions and extinctions interact to control the composition and function of ecological communities. My two primary areas of research include quantifying how these global changes (1) affect disease transmission and risk and (2) control biodiversity and ecosystem function.  I primarily work in grasslands studying plants, insects, and disease, though my interests reach far beyond this biome.

Selected Publications


Borer, E.T. et al. (54 Nutrient Network coauthors). 2014.  Herbivores and nutrients control grassland plant diversity via light limitation. Nature 508, 517–520

Borer, E.T., W.S. Harpole, P.B. Adler, E.M. Lind, J.L. Orrock, E.W. Seabloom, M.D. Smith. 2014.  Finding generality in ecology: A model for globally distributed experiments.  Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 5(1): 65-73.

Borer, E.T., E.W. Seabloom, and D. Tilman. 2012.  Plant diversity controls arthropod biomass and temporal stability.  Ecology Letters. doi: 10.1111/ele.12006

Borer, E.T., J. Antonovics, L.L. Kinkel, P.J. Hudson, P. Daszak, M.J. Ferrari, K.A. Garrett, C.R. Parrish, A.F. Read, D.M. Rizzo. 2011. Bridging taxonomic and disciplinary divides in infectious disease. EcoHealth 8(3):261-267.

Adler, P.B., E.W. Seabloom, E.T. Borer (and 55 Nutrient Network coauthors). 2011. Productivity is a poor predictor of plant species richness. Science 333:1750-1753.

Borer, E. T., C. E. Mitchell, A. G. Power, and E. W. Seabloom. 2009. Consumers indirectly increase infection risk in grassland food webs. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106(2):503-506.

Borer, E. T., C. J. Briggs, and R. D. Holt. 2007. Predators, parasitoids, and pathogens: a cross-cutting examination of intraguild predation theory. Ecology 88(11): 2681-2688.

Borer, E. T., P. R. Hosseini, E. W. Seabloom, A. P. Dobson. 2007. Pathogen-induced reversal of native perennial dominance in a grassland community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 104(13): 5473-5478.

Borer, E. T., E. W. Seabloom, J. B. Shurin, K. E. Anderson, C. A. Blanchette, B. Broitman, S. D. Cooper, B. S. Halpern. 2005. What determines the strength of a trophic cascade? Ecology 86(2):528-537.


Additional Links
Borer Lab Website

Phone Number
612-624-9529 Fax: 612-624-6777
Email Address

504 Ecology
1987 Upper Buford Circle
St. Paul, MN 55108