IMG_3724Welcome to the Collinge Lab at CU-Boulder!

Our research centers on the ecological consequences of human-induced changes to natural systems. We study the impacts of habitat loss, fragmentation, and restoration on the persistence of native species, communities, and ecosystems.

These days, our primary research activities focus on a long-term, large-scale restoration experiment in California, which is devoted to integrating ecological theory with vernal pool ecosystem restoration. Check out Vernal Pools under the “Research” tab to learn more!

Students and research associates in the Collinge lab are engaged in a diverse set of research projects, all united by the theme of understanding human impacts to native ecosystems. Recent projects investigate the role of annual weather variability on abundance and distribution of vernal pool plants; the effects of leaf litter accumulation and the soil seed bank on vernal pool plant community dynamics; the impacts of climate change for pika distribution, behavior and physiology; the ecological and social impacts of past, current and future land use decisions in the western Great Plains; and riparian restoration in the Colorado River Delta. Collectively, our research is particularly relevant to the interface between environmental science and policy regarding ecological processes and human activities.

Prospective Students

April vernal pool visit

April 16, 2012

After a dry winter out at the field site,  recent April showers have filled the pools to their highest point of the season. This photo shows a subset of the native flowers that are just above the inundation line while some have been completely submerged.  We will be returning to the site in a couple of weeks  to conduct vegetation surveys and to see the impact these late rains had on the vernal pools.


Winter at the vernal pools

January 11, 2012

Germination is in full swing at the California vernal pool field site!  Many of the native annuals are in their tiny germinant stage hunkering down for a wet winter to engulf their pools.   The most recent visit to the site was a success with all pools flagged, germinants counted and litter depths manipulated.  Now we all have our finger crossed that the skies will soon open up bringing more snow to the mountains and rain in the valley.


Use this photo in dynamic

‘Tis the season…

October 20, 2011

It is fall, which means that in addition to crisp, clear days and an abundance of pumpkins; we are receiving many inquiries from prospective graduate students interested in the possibility of working in the Collinge lab. I currently supervise four PhD students and plan to recruit an additional PhD student to begin in Fall 2012 to work specifically on the vernal pool restoration experiment in California. Please click the “Prospective students” box at the top of the page to learn more about opportunities for graduate students in the Collinge lab. Thanks for your interest!