Emily Grman

A photo of Emily Grman

Assistant Professor

Biology; Environmental Science and Society (ENVI) Interdisciplinary Program

401V Science Complex


[email protected]


  • BS, Beloit College, 2003
  • Ph.D., Michigan State University, 2011

Interests and Expertise

I'm interested in how we can use basic ecological knowledge about communities and ecosystems to shape and restore native habitats that we value. In particular, I focus on interactions among species and the consequences for communities and ecosystems. I study interactions between grassland plants and arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. These are typically mutualistic (where both the plant and the fungus benefit from trading resources) but can flip to parasitic if conditions are not just right. I also study how species interact with their environments, which can result in spatial patterns of diversity (beta diversity). Both of these processes are sensitive to human influence, with unknown consequences for the communities we see around us and for the aggregate properties of the ecosystem. I'm working to test mechanistic hypotheses about the causes and consequences of new plant communities induced by global change and use this information to successfully restore natural habitats.


  • BIO 310 Ecology
  • BIO 311W Ecology Laboratory
  • ENVI 305W Dynamics of Ecosystem Restoration
  • BIO 414 Terrestrial Ecosystems

Publications and Presentations

  • Wilcox, K. R*., A. T. Tredennick*, S. E. Koerner, E. Grman, L. M. Hallett, M. L. Avolio, K. J. La Pierre, G. R. Houseman, F. Isbell, D. S. Johnson, . . . (34 additional authors). Asynchrony among local communities stabilizes ecosystem function of metacommunities. Ecology Letters DOI 10.1111/ele.12861. (* indicates co-first authors)
  • T. Clark, C. Friel, E. Grman, Y. Shachar-Hill, and M. Friesen. 2017. Modeling mutualisms: challenges and opportunities for data integration. Ecology Letters 20:1203-1215. DOI: 10.1111/ele.12810.
  • Zirbel, C. R., T. Bassett, E. Grman, and L. A. Brudvig. 2017. Plant functional traits and environmental conditions shape community assembly and ecosystem functioning during restoration. Journal of Applied Ecology 54:1070-1079.
  • Grman, E., T. Bassett, C. R. Zirbel, and L. A. Brudvig. 2015. Dispersal and establishment filters influence the assembly of restored prairie plant communities. Restoration Ecology 23:892-899.
  • Avolio, M. L., K. J. La Pierre, G. R. Houseman, S. E. Koerner, E. Grman, F. Isbell, D. S. Johnson, and K. R. Wilcox. A framework for quantifying the magnitude and variability of community responses to global change drivers. In press: Ecosphere.
  • Grman, E., J. L. Orrock, C. W. Habeck, J. A. Ledvina, and L. A. Brudvig. 2014. Beta diversity in post-agricultural woodlands: tests of drivers and the role of scale. Ecography 38:614–621.
  • Grman, E., T. Bassett, and L. A. Brudvig. 2014. A prairie plant community data set for addressing questions in community assembly and restoration. Data Paper in Ecology 95:2363.
  • Grman, E. and L. A. Brudvig. 2014. Beta diversity among prairie restorations increases with species pool size, but not through enhanced species sorting. Journal of Ecology 102:1017–1024.
  • Brudvig, L.A., E. Grman, C. W. Habeck, J. L. Orrock, and J. A. Ledvina. 2013. Strong legacy of agricultural land use on soils and understory plant communities in long-leaf pine woodlands. Forest Ecology and Management 310:944–955.
  • Grman, E., T. Bassett, and L. A. Brudvig. 2013. Confronting contingency in restoration: management and site history determine outcomes of assembling prairies, but site characteristics and landscape context have little effect. Journal of Applied Ecology 50:1234–1243. Selected as Editor's Choice.
  • Grman, E. and T. M. P. Robinson. 2013. Resource availability and imbalance affect plant-mycorrhizal interactions: a field test of three hypotheses. Ecology 94:62–71.
  • Grman, E. 2013. Seedling light limitation across a natural productivity gradient. Journal of Plant Ecology 6:193–200. Selected as Editor's Choice.
  • Grman, E., T. M. P. Robinson, and C. A. Klausmeier. 2012. Ecological specialization and trade affect the outcome of negotiations in mutualism. The American Naturalist 179:567–581.
  • Grman, E. 2012. Plant species differ in their ability to reduce allocation to non-beneficial arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi. Ecology 93:711–718.
  • Ewert, D. N., J. B. Cole, and E. Grman. 2011. Wind energy: guidelines for siting and operating wind turbines in the Great Lakes region. The Nature Conservancy.
  • Grman, E., J. A. Lau, D. R. Schoolmaster, Jr., and K. L. Gross. 2010. Mechanisms contributing to stability in ecosystem function depend on the environmental context. Ecology Letters 13:1400–1410.
  • Grman, E. and K. N. Suding. 2010. Within-year soil legacies contribute to priority effects during establishment of California grassland plants. Restoration Ecology 18:664–670.
  • E. T. Kiers, L. S. Adler, E. L. Grman, and M. G. A. van der Heijden. 2010. Manipulating the jasmonate response: How do methyl jasmonate additions mediate characteristics of above-ground and below-ground mutualisms? Functional Ecology 24:434–443.
  • Grman, E. L. and H. M. Alexander. 2005. Factors limiting fruit production in Asclepias meadii in northeastern Kansas. The American Midland Naturalist 153:245­–256.

Additional Information

Grman Lab Website