Eastern Michigan University
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Brian Connolly

Assistant Professor

Brian Connolly photo 401T Mark Jefferson Science Complex




BS Gonzaga University 2007

PhD Washington State University 2013

Interests and Expertise

I am a terrestrial community ecologist and my current research uses laboratory studies and large-scale experimental field experiments to evaluate how 1) invasions by non-native plants and 2) abiotic stresses resulting from climate change alter biotic interactions (e.g., attack by seed predators, seed pathogens) to influence plant population growth and community structure.  As a field ecologist I feel strongly that some of the best learning experiences and study questions result from observations and experiences made within natural settings.


Connolly, BM, and JL Orrock (in revision).  Habitat-specific capture timing of deer mice (Peromyscus maniculatus) suggests that predators structure temporal activity of prey.

Connolly, BM, PW, Guiden, and JL Orrock (2017).  Past freeze-thaw events on Pinus seeds increase seedling herbivory. Ecosphere 8(3) e01748.

Connolly, BM, LK, Agnew, and JL Orrock (2017).  Interactive effects of fungicide and cold stratification on germination rate for five dominant tree species found in northern temperate forests. Forest Science. 63(3): 303-309.

Connolly, BM, JL Richards, and RN Mack (2017).  Biotic constraints on the establishment and performance of native, naturalized, and invasive plants in Pacific Northwest (USA) steppe and forest. Neobiota. 34: 21-40.

Orrock, JL, BM Connolly, and AJ Kitchen (2017).  Plant induced defenses reduce herbivory by increasing cannibalism among herbivores.  Nature Ecology & Evolution. 1, 1205-1207.doi: 10.1038/s41559-017-0231-6

Penczykowski, RM, BM Connolly, and BT Barton (2017). Winter is changing: trophic interactions under altered snow regimes. Food Webs. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.fooweb.2017.02.006.

Orrock, JL, and BM Connolly (2016).  Changes in trap temperature as a method to determine timing of capture of small mammals. PLoS One 11(10). e0165710.

Connolly, BM, JL Orrock, and MS Witter (2016).  Soil conditions moderate the effects of herbivores, but not mycorrhizae, on a native bunchgrass. Acta Oecologica. 77: 100-108.

Connolly, BM and JL Orrock (2015).  Climatic variation and seed persistence:  freeze-thaw cycles lower survival via the joint action of abiotic stress and fungal pathogens. Oecologia.179:  609-616.

Connolly, BM, DE Pearson, and RN Mack (2014).  Granivory of invasive, naturalized, and native plants in communities differentially susceptible to invasion. Ecology. 95: 1759-1769.

Beckstead, J, LE Miller u, and BM Connolly (2012).  Direct and indirect effects of plant litter on a seed-pathogen interaction in Bromus tectorum seed banks. Seed Science Research. 22: 135-144.

Beckstead, J, SE Meyer, BM Connolly, MB Huck, LE Street (2010).  Cheatgrass facilitates spillover of a seed bank pathogen onto native grass species. Journal of Ecology. 98: 168-177.

The Biology Department is part of the College of Arts & Sciences, 214 Pray-Harrold