Brian Connolly

A photo of Brian Connolly

Assistant Professor


Science Complex 401T


[email protected]


  • BS, Gonzaga University, 2007
  • Ph.D., 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.

Publications and Presentations

  • 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 and 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.
  • 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.