Karen Haubensak

Assistant Research Professor

Center for Ecosystem Science and Society

Department of Biological Sciences


My students, collaborators and I examine interactions and feedbacks among soils and plants to understand how terrestrial ecosystems respond to global change across a range of systems.  In the Pacific Northwest, we're examining the soil legacy of an invasive shrub and associated impacts on a dominant native tree.  In sagebrush restoration in the Southwest, we're finding that plant-plant interactions can change patterns of local adaptation, challenging the notion that 'local is best' in restoration.  We're also examining native pollinator-plant interactions in Arizona in order to understand the genetic variation that underlies species resilience to climate change, and how to use that information for restoration.  We've recently begun to investigate post-hurricane tree recovery in Puerto Rico; here we are focusing on leaf and floral traits of dominant forest trees that are most closely associated with community diversity as well as resilience to drought and disturbance.

We're also involved in a number of other projects and collaborations.  Please read my research page to learn more.