Assistant Professor, Spatial and Community Ecology
213 Natural Resources Building
I am a community ecologist, jointly appointed in the Departments of Forestry and Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. I also hold an adjunct appointment in the Department of Plant Biology and am affiliated with the Ecology, Evolutionary Biology, and Behavior (EEBB) Program and Environmental Science and Policy Program. I am interested in how the composition and geographic distribution of ecological communities are affected by species invasions, biotic interactions, biophysical feedbacks, and climate change.
My research program uses a combination of observational data, experiments, and modeling to connect observed patterns of species distributions and community composition with underlying mechanisms. Understanding these mechanisms is necessary if we are to make robust predictions about how ecosystems and their communities will respond to change.
My work spans different ecosystems including coastal dunes, forests, rivers, and lakes. As my research intersects ecology and the physical sciences, much of my work is interdisciplinary and collaborative. These collaborations advance scientific understanding in new ways that help inform conservation, management, and adaptation in an era of rapid global change.
Belmaker, J., P.L. Zarnetske, Tuanmu, M., Zonneveld, S., Record, S., Strecker, A., and L. Beaudrot. 2015. Empirical evidence for the scale-dependence of biotic interactions. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 24: 750-761. DOI: 10.1111/geb.12311
Zarnetske, P.L., P. Ruggiero, E.W. Seabloom, and S.D. Hacker. 2015. Coastal foredune evolution: the relative influence of vegetation and sand supply in the U.S. Pacific Northwest. Journal of the Royal Society Interface. DOI: 10.1098/rsif.2015.0017
Blois, J. L., P. L. Zarnetske, M. C. Fitzpatrick, and S. Finnegan. 2013. Climate Change and the Past, Present, and Future of Biotic Interactions. Science 341:499–504. doi: 10.1126/science.1237184.
Urban, M. C., P. L. Zarnetske, and D. K. Skelly. 2013. Moving forward: dispersal and species interactions determine biotic responses to climate change. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences: online early. doi: 10.1111/nyas.12184.
Zarnetske, P. L., T. C. Gouhier, S. D. Hacker, E. W. Seabloom, and V. A. Bokil. 2013. Indirect effects and facilitation among native and non-native species promote invasion success along an environmental stress gradient. Journal of Ecology: 101:905-915 doi: 10.1111/1365-2745.12093.
Seabloom, E. W., P. Ruggiero, S. D. Hacker, J. Mull, and P. L. Zarnetske. 2013. Invasive grasses, climate change, and exposure to storm-wave overtopping in coastal dune ecosystems. Global Change Biology 19:824–832. doi: 10.1111/gcb.12078.
Zarnetske, P. L., D. K. Skelly, and M. C. Urban. 2012a. Biotic Multipliers of Climate Change. Science 336:1516–1518. doi: 10.1126/science.1222732.
Zarnetske, P. L., S. D. Hacker, E. W. Seabloom, P. Ruggiero, J. R. Killian, T. B. Maddux, and D. Cox. 2012b. Biophysical feedback mediates effects of invasive grasses on coastal dune shape. 93:1439–1450 Ecology. doi: 10.1890/11-1112.1.
Zarnetske, P.L., E.W. Seabloom, and S.D. Hacker. 2010. Non-target effects of invasive species management: beachgrass, birds, and bulldozers in coastal dunes. Ecosphere 1(5):art13.
Zarnetske, P.L., T.C. Edwards, Jr., and G.G. Moisen. 2007. Habitat classification modeling with incomplete data: pushing the habitat envelope. Ecological Applications 17:1714–1726. doi: 10.1890/06-1312.1