University of California, Irvine
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Lynn Carpenter

F. Lynn Carpenter, Ph.D.

Tropical ecology; tropical restoration and conservation; population and community ecology.
Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California - Irvine
457 Steinhaus Hall, phone 949-824-4746, fax 949-824-2181

Research Interests

Restoration of tropical forests and soils; tropical forestry; mycorrhizal fungi; plant-animal interactions; territoriality of nectar-feeding birds.

During the first 20 years of my academic career I was interested in how interactions at the individual level affect ecological phenomena at the population and community levels. This interest led me to study foraging behavior and competition in nectar feeding birds throughout the world (publications 1974-1994). In the early 1990s my concern for the destruction of tropical forests and biodiversity changed my research career (interview). I became committed to studying the restoration of native trees, soils, and biodiversity on deforested, eroded tropical sites.

Along with a group of tropical biologists specializing in tropical forestry and agroecology, I began my first field experiment on property I purchased for a permanent field site in Costa Rica. Our approach is three-fold. First, we seek species of native trees that can grow in these degraded soils. Second, we test hypotheses about jump-starting succession using facilitator species such as nitrogen-fixing legume trees. Third, we are investigating the role of soil biology as well as soil chemistry in regeneration of degraded land. Specifically, we are testing ideas about species-specificity of mycorrhizal symbioses and the importance of soil phosphorus and aluminum. I currently have two graduate students, Riley Pratt and Kristin Young.

Dr. Lynn Carpenter has been in her current position of full professor since 1985. Her prior academic positions are as follows:

    1985 - 1987 : Associate Professor, Oregon State University
    1978 - 1984 : Associate Professor, University of California - Irvine
    1972 - 1978 : Assistant Professor, University of California - Irvine


  • See CV
  • 1972 : Ph.D., Zoology, University of California - Berkeley
  • 1966: B.A., Zoology, University of California - Riverside

Honors and Awards

  • Phi Beta Kappa
  • Fellow of the AAAS
  • Fellow of the American Ornithological Union

Current Graduate Students

Recent Courses Taught

  • Tropical Biology
  • Diversity of Life
  • Undergraduate Ecology core
  • Graduate Ecology core
  • Freshman seminar in Tropical Biology
  • Undergraduate research in tropical biology, with a field component in Costa Rica


Recent Publications

  1. Nichols, J.D., M.E. Rosemeyer, F.L. Carpenter, and J. Kettler. 2001. Intercropping legume trees with native timber trees rapidly restores cover to eroded tropical pasture without fertilization. Forest Ecology and Management 152: 195-209.
  2. Carpenter, F.L., S. Palacios, E. Gonzalez, and M. Schroeder. 2001. Land use and erosion of a Costa Rican Ultisol affect soil chemistry, mycorrhizal fungi and early regeneration. Forest Ecology and Management 144: 1-17.
  3. Carpenter, F.L. and J.D. Nichols. 2003. Variable success of native trees planted on degraded pasture in Costa Rica. Proceedings of Forestry Research Institute of Malaysia.
  4. Carpenter, F.L., J.D. Nichols, and E. Sandi. 2004. Early growth of native and exotic trees planted on degraded tropical pasture. Forest Ecology and Management 196: 367-378.
  5. Carpenter, F.L., J.D. Nichols, R.T. Pratt, and K.C. Young. 2004. Methods of facilitating reforestation of tropical degraded land with the native timber tree, Terminalia amazonia. Forest Ecology and Management. Abstract available online 15 September 2004; publication due in December 2004: vol. 202: 281-291.
  6. Carpenter, F.L., S.A. Soeller, and C. May-Tobin. 2004. Three-dimensional animated view of the topography of a large scale field experiment.
  7. Carpenter, F.L. and S.A. Soeller. 2004. Animated view of eight years of tree growth in a large scale field experiment.
Lynn Carpenter

[ Recent Abstracts ] [ Prior Publications ] [ Funding ] [ Interview ]
[ Rainforest ] [ Blocks '93 Experiment ] [ Mycorrhizal Fungi ]
[ Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology ] [ University of California - Irvine ]
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