Geoffrey Trussell

Geoffrey Trussell

Associate Professor

Director, Marine Science Center

Ph.D., College of William and Mary

Curriculum Vitae

Research Interests

My research program currently focuses on a number of important issues in evolutionary, community and ecosystem ecology.  These interests are being explored in a number of systems including rocky intertidal shores, old fields, and freshwater amphibian communities.  In a nutshell, I think interesting questions are far more important than interesting systems but, of course, if one can have both then things are that much better!  Much of our current work emphasizes the evolutionary and ecological significance of predation risk, with an emphasis on the evolution of phenotypic plasticity and inducible defenses, the ecological significance of nonconsumptive predator effects, and the influence of trait-mediated indirect interactions on community dynamic and ecosystem function.  However, we also spend a good amount of time on other topics including the factors influencing invasive and exotic plant diversity in terrestrial systems, the influence of species diversity on ecosystem function, and the impact of climate change on natural food webs.

My research is highly collaborative and involves some outstanding colleagues including Oswald Schmitz (Yale University), Barney Luttbeg (Oklahoma State University), Matthew Bracken (Northeastern University), Steve Vollmer (Northeastern University), Lee Smee (Texas A&M), Jeremy Long (San Diego State University) and Osamu Kishida (Hokkaido University).

Selected Publications – reprints provided upon request (

Kishida, O., G.C. Trussell, A. Mougi, K. Nishimura.  2010.  Evolutionary ecology of inducible morphological plasticity in predator-prey interaction: toward the practical links with population ecology.  Population Ecology 52: 37-46.

Edgell, T.C.1, B.R. Lynch, G.C. Trussell1, A.R. Palmer.  2009.  Experimental evidence for the rapid evolution of behavioral canalization in natural populations. American Naturalist 174: 434-440 (1denotes equal contribution).  Featured as a Recommended [3.0] in Faculty of 1000.

Kishida, O., G.C. Trussell*, K. Nishimura, T. Ohgushi.  2009.  Predator-induced changes in prey morphology intensify predator cannibalism.  Ecology 90: 3150-3158. (*denotes corresponding author).

Altieri, A.H., G.C. Trussell*, P.J. Ewanchuk, G. Bernatchez, M.E.S. Bracken. 2009.  Consumer effects on diversity indirectly influence marine ecosystem functioning.  PLoS ONE 4(4): e5291. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0005291. (*denotes corresponding author).

Long, J.D., G.C. Trussell, T. Elliman. 2009. Linking invasions and island biogeography: isolation and area effects on exotic and native plant diversity.  Ecology 90: 863-868 (Cover article).

Kishida, O., G.C. Trussell, K. Nishimura.  2009.  Top down effects on antagonistic inducible defense and offense.  Ecology 90: 1217-1226.

Schmidt, P.S., E.A. Serrao, G.A. Pearson, C. Riginos, P.D. Rawson, T.J. Hilbish, S.H. Brawley, G.C. Trussell, E. Carrington, D.S. Wethey, J.W. Grahame, F. Bonhomme, D.M. Rand.  2008.  Ecological genetics in the North Atlantic intertidal: environmental gradients and adaptation at specific loci.  Ecology 89: s91-s107.

Phifer-Rixey, M., M. Heckman, G.C. Trussell, P.S. Schmidt.  2008.  Temperature mediated selection on shell color phenotype in the flat periwinkle Littorina obtusataJournal of Evolutionary Biology. 21: 966-978

Trussell, G.C., P.J. Ewanchuk, C.M. Matassa.  2008.  Resource identity modifies the influence of predation risk on ecosystem function.  Ecology 89: 2798-2807.

Peckarsky, B.L., P.A. Abrams, D. Bolnick, L.M Dill, J.H. Grabowski, B. Luttbeg, J.L. Orrock, S.D. Peacor, E.L. Preisser, O.J. Schmitz, G.C. Trussell.  2008.  Rewriting the textbooks: Considering non-consumptive effects in classic studies of predator-prey interactions.  Ecology 89: 2416-2425 (after first author order is alphabetical).

Schmitz, O.J., J.H. Grabowski, B.L. Peckarsky, E.L. Preisser, G.C. Trussell, J.R. Vonesh.  2008.  From individuals to ecosystem function: toward an integration of evolutionary and ecosystem ecology.  Ecology 89: 2436-2455 (after first author order is alphabetical).

Kishida, O., G.C. Trussell, K. Nishimura.  2007.  Geographic variation in a predator-induced defense and its genetic basis.  Ecology 88: 1948-1954.  (Featured in ESA Bulletin).

Long, J.D., G.C. Trussell.  2007.  Geographic variation in seaweed induced responses to herbivory.  Marine Ecology Progress Series 333: 75-80.

Trussell, G.C., P.J. Ewanchuk, C.M. Mattassa.  2006a.  The fear of being eaten reduces energy transfer in a simple food chain.  Ecology 87: 2979-2984.

Trussell, G.C., P.J. Ewanchuk, C.M. Mattassa.  2006b.  Habitat effects on the relative importance of trait and density mediated indirect interactions.  Ecology Letters 9: 1245-1252. (Cover article).

Trussell, G.C., P.J. Ewanchuk, M.D. Bertness, B.R. Silliman.  2004.  Trophic cascades in rocky shore tide pools: distinguishing lethal and nonlethal effects.  Oecologia 139: 427-432.

Bertness, M.D., G.C. Trussell, P.J. Ewanchuk, B.R. Silliman, C. Mullan. 2004b. Consumer controlled alternate community states on Gulf of Maine rocky shores.  Ecology 85: 1321-1331.

Trussell, G.C., P.J. Ewanchuk, M.D. Bertness.  2003.  Trait-mediated interactions in rocky intertidal food chains: predator risk cues alter prey feeding rates.  Ecology 84: 629-640.

Bertness, M.D., G.C. Trussell, P.E. Ewanchuk, B.R. Silliman.  2002.  Do alternate stable states exist in the Gulf of Maine rocky intertidal zone?  Ecology 83: 3434-3448.

Trussell, G.C., M.O. Nicklin.  2002.  Cue sensitivity, inducible defense, and trade-offs in a marine snail.  Ecology 83: 1635-1647.

Trussell, G.C., P.J. Ewanchuk, M.D. Bertness.  2002.  Field evidence of trait-mediated indirect effects in a rocky intertidal food web.  Ecology Letters 5: 241-245.

Trussell, G.C.  2000a.  Phenotypic clines, plasticity, and morphological trade-offs in an intertidal snail.  Evolution 54: 151-166.

Trussell, G.C.  2000b.  Predator-induced morphological trade-offs in latitudinally-separated populations of Littorina obtusataEvolutionary Ecology Research 2: 803-822.

Trussell, G.C., L.D. Smith.  2000.  Induced defenses in response to an invading crab predator: An explanation of historical and geographic phenotypic change.  Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA 97: 2123-2127.

Trussell, G.C.  1997a.  Phenotypic plasticity in the foot size of an intertidal snail.  Ecology 78: 1033-1048.

Trussell, G.C.  1996a.  Phenotypic plasticity in an intertidal snail: The role of a common crab predator.  Evolution 50: 448-454.

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