J. Hall Cushman

Professor of Biology
Ph.D. Northern Arizona University, 1989
Voicemail: (707) 664-2142
Email: cushman@sonoma.edu
Office: Darwin 238

Postdoctoral Experience:

Imperial College at Silwood Park (England), Macquarie University (Australia), Stanford University.

Research Interests:

Population & Community Ecology; Biological Invasions; Plant-Animal Interactions; Mutualism & Positive Interactions.

Research Program:

My research focuses on population and community ecology and I am particularly interested in the dynamics of biological invasions and plant-herbivore interactions. Most of my projects emphasize the use of experiments in the field and have a strong plant focus – although insects, mammals and pathogens are often involved as well. In addition, much of my work has an applied emphasis and strives to provide science-based insights about the management and restoration of human-impacted landscapes. My current research focuses primarily on a series of long-term studies that explore the following: 1) the importance of mammalian herbivory, plant facilitation and environmental stress in structuring coastal dune communities; 2) the impacts of cattle grazing on endangered butterflies and invaded grassland communities; 3) deer and small mammals as mediators of the growth and recruitment of oaks; and 4) biotic and abiotic factors that drive the spread of Phytophthora ramorum, an exotic pathogen that causes Sudden Oak Death. I have an active group of graduate students working with me on research projects in ecology, conservation biology and restoration ecology – and am always on the look-out for bright, motivated individuals who want to join our group.

Representative Publications:

Skaer, M. J., D. J. Graydon & J. H. Cushman. 2012. Community-level consequences of cattle grazing for an invaded grassland: variable responses of native and exotic vegetation. Journal of Vegetation Science doi: 10.1111/j.1654-1103.2012.01460.x.

Gordon, S. P., C. M. Sloop, H. G. Davis & J. H. Cushman. 2012. Population genetic diversity and structure of two rare vernal pool grasses in central California. Conservation Genetics 13:117-130.

Cushman, J.H., C.J. Lortie & C.E. Christian. 2011. Native herbivores and plant facilitation mediate the performance and distribution of an invasive exotic grass. Journal of Ecology 99:524-531.

Cushman, J.H., J.C. Waller & D.R. Hoak. 2010. Shrubs as ecosystem engineers in a coastal dune: influences on plant populations, communities and ecosystems. Journal of Vegetation Science 21:821-831.

Cushman, J.H. & K.A. Gaffney. 2010. Community-level consequences of invasion: impacts of exotic clonal plants on riparian vegetation. Biological Invasions 12:2765-2776.

Cushman, J. H., & R. K. Meentemeyer. 2008. Multi-scale patterns of human activity and the incidence of an exotic forest pathogen. Journal of Ecology 96:766-776.

Huntzinger, M., R. Karban & J. H. Cushman. 2008. Negative effects of vertebrate herbivores on invertebrates in a coastal dune community. Ecology 89:1972-1980.

Meentemeyer, R. K., N. E. Rank, B. L. Anacker & J. H. Cushman. 2008. Influence of land-cover change on the spread of an invasive forest pathogen. Ecological Applications 18:159-171.

Cushman, J. H. 2007. History and ecology of feral pig invasions in California grasslands. In Ecology and Management of California Grasslands (M. Stromberg, C. D'Antonio and J. Corbin, editors). Pages 191-196. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.

Lortie, C. J., & J. H. Cushman. 2007. Effects of a directional abiotic gradient on plant community dynamics and invasion in a coastal duen system. Journal of Ecology 95:468-481.

Johnson, B. E., & J. H. Cushman. 2007. Influence of a large herbivore reintroduction on plant invasions and community composition in a California grassland. Conservation Biology 21:515-526.

Tierney, T., & J. H. Cushman. 2006. Temporal changes in native and exotic vegetation and soil characteristics following disturbances by feral pigs in a California grassland. Biological Invasions 8:1073-1089.

McNeil, S. G, & J. H. Cushman. 2005. Indirect effects of deer herbivory on local nitrogen availability in a coastal dune ecosystem. Oikos 110:124-132.

Cushman, J. H., T. A. Tierney, and J. M. Hinds. 2004. Variable effects of feral pig disturbances on native and exotic plants in a California grassland. Ecological Applications 14:1746-1756.

Course Offerings:

Ecology; Conservation Ecology; Genetics, Evolution & Ecology.