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Laura Gough, Ph.D.

Associate Professor, Biology

College of Science


Academic Background

Sc.B. in Biology, Brown University, 1990

Ph.D. in Plant Biology, Louisiana State University, 1996

Areas of Sustainability/Environmental Expertise

Plant ecology, wetlands ecology, climate change, arctic ecology, urban ecosystems

Summary of Current and Ongoing Research

Much of my current research is focused on understanding how arctic tundra ecosystems are responding to ongoing climate change. As a plant ecologist, I am particularly interested in how plants interact with other organisms to influence ecosystem-level processes, including interactions with soil fauna and microbes, leaf and stem herbivores, as well as predators. We are currently studying how the regional increase in shrub abundance across the Arctic is affecting carbon cycling as well as the insects and other invertebrates and migratory songbirds that rely on shrub tundra for habitat and food. Graduate students in my lab are also engaged in local urban ecology research, investigating how urbanization in the Dallas-Ft. Worth area has affected occurrence of bird species as well as plant growth and associated insect herbivores. I have been organizing a group of academics, educators, and local government officials interested in addressing issues related to water resources in the Trinity River basin.

Publications and Research

Please see my lab web page: for representative publications.

Awards and Grants

My artic research has been funded through multiple grants from the National Science Foundation.

On Sustainability...

As an ecologist, I understand how all life is interconnected, and hope to share this knowledge with the public and policymakers to foster wise decisions that may promote sustainability. As a mother, I hope to help protect the environment so that our children will not suffer because of our lack of foresight.