The Cavender-Bares Lab

Research Interests

  • Physiological ecology of plants
  • Remote sensing of plant diversity and function
  • Application of phylogenetic methods to ecology
  • Evolution of plant function, environmental gradients and local adaptation
  • Phylogeography and conservation
  • Ecosystem services of trees
  • Oaks as a model clade for integrating ecology and evolution

I am interested in how functional traits of plants link evolutionary history to current ecological processes. In particular I seek to understand how the evolutionary and biogeographic history of organisms influences community assembly, species composition and, hence, ecosystem function in the face of global change. Much of our work combines phylogenetic and phylogeographic approaches with studies of plant physiological function to understand forces underlying shifts in stress tolerance among closely related species or among populations of the same species. My lab is engaged in a large-scale collaborative effort to remotely sense biodiversity and understand the ecological and evolutionary causes and consequences of changing diversity.

NSF Biology Integration Institute


Advancing Spectral biology in Changing ENvironments to understand Diversity


Lab photo 2021

Saint Croix State Park

Jesús Pinto-Ledezma, Maria Park, Megan Erding, Gerard Sapes, Lucy Schroeder, Sandra Durán

Open Access edited volume 2020: Remote Sensing of Plant Biodiversity


Lab photo - 2019

Bell Museum of Natural History - We meet the new University of Minnesota President, Joan Gabel

From left: Alejandra Villaseñor, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Clarissa Fontes, Gerard Sapés, Shan Kothari, Lucy Schroeder, Cathleen Lapadat

The Summary for Policymakers of the IPBES Americas Regional Assessment 

                                                              Lab photo - 2018
                                           Headwaters of the Mississippi River - Lake Itasca

      Jeannine, Anna Schweiger, Josep Padulles, Shan Kothari, Jen Teshera-Levye, Jesus Pinto Ledezma

                      In the evening, Jen, as DM, led all of us through a round of Dungeons & Dragons

                                                                        Lab photo - 2017
                                            Fish Lake at Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve

                                                           No snow at all on this year's retreat.            

Anna Schweiger, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Jake Grossman, Jen Teshera-Levye, Beth Fallon, Xiaojing Wei, Isabella Armour, Jose (Dudu) Eduardo Meireles

                                                          Lab and friends x-c ski retreat 2016
                                                                        St Croix State Park


                                                 Not much snow this year so we hiked instead.

                 Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Daniel Stanton, Shan Kothari, Anna Schweiger, Cathleen Nguyen

The Special Feature on Ecosystem service trade-offs across global contexts and scales based on our Distributed Graduate Seminar in Sustainability Science is out in Ecology and Society.

     Lab Photo - 2015  Lake Itasca Biological Station

Back row: Vinicius da Silva, Dan Stanton, Dudu and Anna Meireles, Shan Kothari, Laura Williams

Front row: Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Elizabeth Deacon, Xiaojing Wei, Jose Ramirez-Valient, Nick Deacon, Frederick Deacon, Celine Bares and Graham Deacon

     Lab Photo - 2014
                                                                                Lake Itasca

Beth Fallon, Laura Williams, Xiaojing Wei, Celine Bares, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Matt Kaproth, Will Pearse, Jake Grossman, Jen Teshera-Levye

Lab Photo - 2013  Lake Itasca

Xiaojing Wei, Laura Williams, Jake Grossman, Matthew Kaproth, Celine Bares, Beth Fallon, Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Will Pearse

Lab Photo - 2012

Jeannine Cavender-Bares, Anne Beulke, Beth Fallon, Laura Williams, Xiaojing Wei & Gina Quiram 

Lab Photo - 2010  Lake Itasca

Gina Quiram, Alyson Center, Xiaojing Wei, Jessica Savage, Paul Gugger, & Jeannine Cavender-Bares

Lab Photo - 2006

Paul Gugger, Antonio Gonzalez-Rodriguez, Jessica Savage, Nick Deacon, Jeannine Cavender-Bares


Contact information:

Jeannine Cavender-Bares

Dept. of Ecology, Evolution
& Behavior
Office: Ecology 216
Phone: 612-624-6337