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Cristy Portales-Reyes, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor

Courses Taught

General Ecology


Ph.D., University of Minnesota

Research Interests

I am an ecologist interested in understanding plant community and ecosystem responses to global change.Biodiversity is rapidly declining in many ecosystems. I use field and greenhouse experiments to investigate the mechanisms that reinforce loss of plant diversity in response to global change, as well as to test restoration strategies that could reduce or reverse these declines in plant diversity.Most of my experimental work is centered in North American grasslands, but I enjoy participating in distributed experiments and synthesis efforts with collaborators from across the world and with expertise in other ecosystems. Currently, I am leading a synthesis group examining the generality of difficult to reverse ecosystem transitions in response to multiple anthropogenic perturbations and increased climate variability.    

Labs and Facilities

We use a combination of long-term field experiments, observational datasets, and greenhouse experiments to study plant community and ecosystem responses to global change. Our group is highly collaborative; we engage in distributed field experiments and synthesis science.To learn more about our work and opportunities in the lab please visit:

Publications and Media Placements

  • Isbell, F., Patricia Balvanera, Akira S Mori, Jin-Sheng He, James M. Bullock, Ganga Ram Regmi, Eric W. Seabloom, Simon Ferrier, Osvaldo E. Sala, Nathaly R. Guerrero-Ramírez, Julia Tavella, Daniel J. Larkin, Bernhard Schmid, Charlotte L. Outhwaite, Pairot Pramual, Elizabeth T. Borer, Michel Loreau, Taiwo Crossby Omotoriogun, David O. Obura, Maggie Anderson, Cristina Portales-Reyes, Kevin Kirkman, Pablo M Vergara, Adam Thomas Clark, Kimberly J Komatsu, Owen L. Petchey, Sarah R. Weiskopf, Laura J. Williams, Scott L. Collins, Nico Eisenhauer, Christopher H Trisos, Delphine Renard, Alexandra J. Wright, Poonam Tripathi, Jane Cowles, Jarrett E.K. Byrnes, Peter B Reich, Andy Purvis, Zati Sharip, Mary I. O'Connor, Clare E. Kazanski, Nick M. Haddad, Eulogio H. Soto, Laura E. Dee, Sandra Díaz, Chad R. Zirbel, Meghan L. Avolio, Shaopeng Wang, Zhiyuan Ma, Jingjing Liang, Hanan C. Farah, Justin Andrew Johnson, Brian W. Miller, Yann Hautier, Melinda D. Smith, Johannes M H Knops, Bonnie J.E. Myers, Zuzana V. Harmáčková, Jorge Cortés, Michael B. J. Harfoot, Andrew Gonzalez, Tim Newbold, Jacqueline Oehri, Marina Mazón, Cynnamon Dobbs, and Meredith S. Palmer. 2022. Expert perspectives on global biodiversity loss and its drivers and impacts on people. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. Related video:
  • Lauren G Shoemaker, Lauren M Hallett, Lei Zhao, Daniel C Reuman, Shaopeng Wang, Kathryn L Cottingham, Richard J Hobbs, Max CN Castorani, Amy L Downing, Joan C Dudney, Samuel B Fey, Laureano A Gherardi, Nina Lany, Cristina Portales-Reyes, Andrew L Rypel, Lawrence W Sheppard, Jonathan A Walter, Katharine N Suding. 2022. The long and the short of it: Mechanisms of synchronous and compensatory dynamics across temporal scales. Ecology.
  • Jonathan A Walter, Lauren G Shoemaker, Nina K Lany, Max CN Castorani, Samuel B Fey, Joan C Dudney, Laureano Gherardi, Cristina Portales-Reyes, Andrew L Rypel, Kathryn L Cottingham, Katharine N Suding, Daniel C Reuman, Lauren M Hallett. 2021. The spatial synchrony of species richness and its relationship to ecosystem stability. Ecology.
  • Meredith S Palmer, Cristina Portales-Reyes, Caitlin Potter, L David Mech, Forest Isbell. 2021. Behaviorally-mediated trophic cascade attenuated by prey use of risky places at safe times. Oecologia.
  • Cristina Portales-Reyes, Tina Van Doornik, Elizabeth H Schultheis, Tomomi Suwa. 2015. A novel impact of a novel weapon: allelochemicals in Alliaria petiolata disrupt the legume-rhizobia mutualism. Biological Invasions.