Professor and Department Chair

Degrees: B.S. in Biology, Aquinas College, Grand Rapids, MI
Ph.D. in Plant Biology, University of California, Davis, CA
Post-doctoral research in Soil Microbial Ecology, University of California, Davis, CA

Expertise: Plant physiology and ecology, with an emphasis on plant-soil interactions

Research Interests

My overall research objective is to understand how resource availability influences plant physiological function and how these changes at the whole-plant level drive ecological processes. Such research is critical to understanding how species and communities will respond to modifications in environmental factors due to global climate change, N deposition, and anthropogenic disturbance. Currently, my research program at John Carroll University has two main foci.  First, my lab investigates questions regarding plant nutrient resorption and storage and how these physiological functions influence both individual as well as community and ecosystem processes (both nutrient limitation and soil nutrient cycling).  Working with chaparral, desert, and rangeland species, we seek to understand the physiological and ecological controls on plant nutrient conservation. Secondly, I am interested in the physiological and morphological traits that influence the competitive ability of invasive species. My research at the plant-soil interface is highly relevant given current pressures on native environments. By understanding plant physiological responses to these changes, we can better predict feedbacks on community dynamics and ecosystem processes.

Visit Research Website

Recent Courses

BL 156 – Principles of Biology II lecture
BL 159/160 – Principles of Biology III lecture and laboratory
BL 420/520 – Plant Physiology
BL 435/535 – Plant Ecology lecture and laboratory
BL 454/554 – Desert Biology
BL 454L/554L – Desert Field Biology
BL 560 Experimental Design & Analysis

Selected Publications

D.M. Dlugos, H. Collins, E.M. Bartelme, R.E. Drenovsky. 2015. The non-native plant Rosa multiflora expresses shade tolerance traits under low light availability. American Journal of Botany 102:1323-1331.

R.E. Drenovsky, C.E. Koehler, K. Skelly, J.H. Richards.  2013.  Potential and realized nutrient resorption in serpentine and non-serpentine chaparral shrubs and trees. Oecologia 171: 39-50.

A. Khasanova, J.J. James, R.E. Drenovsky. 2013. Drought impacts plant water relations and nitrogen nutrition in aridland perennial grasses.  Plant and Soil 372:541-552.

R.E. Drenovsky*, B.J. Grewell*, C.M. D’Antonio, J.L. Funk, J.J. James, N. Molinari, I.M. Parker, C.L. Richards. 2012.  A functional trait perspective on plant invasions.  Annals of Botany.  110:141-153.  (invited review)
*first two authors contributed equally to this work

J.J. James, R.E. Drenovsky, M.J. Rinella, T.A. Monaco. 2011. Managing soil nitrogen to restore annual grass infested plant communities: An effective strategy or incomplete framework? Ecological Applications. 21:490-502.