Dr. F. Leland Russell is Assistant Professor of the Dept. of Biological Sciences. He completed his dissertation at the University of Texas at Austin, and his Bachelor degree in Biology at Carleton College, Northfield, MN.

Dr. Russell's research addresses the roles that insect and mammalian herbivores play in determining the sizes and spatial distributions of plant populations as well as the species composition of plant communities. He believes that one of the fascinating aspects of herbivore-plant interactions is the large spatial and temporal variation in the amount of tissue that herbivores remove from plants and in the impact the herbivores have upon plant survival, growth and reproduction. Therefore, a major focus of the research that Dr. Russell and his students do is to understand the mechanisms that underlie this variability in herbivore damage and impact on plants. Recent studies have addressed variation in herbivore damage and impact in relation to ecosystem productivity, habitat complexity and prior damage by other herbivores. Understanding when and where herbivores limit plant population sizes can provide insights into the dynamics of weed populations and strategies for weed management. To this point, Dr.Russell and his students have addressed their research questions in Great Plains grasslands and savannas.

For more information on Dr. F. Leland Russell recearch and teaching, visit his web site at the Dept. of Biological Sciences.

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