Laura Gough

Professor and Department Chair


Contact Information

Smith Hall, Room No. 341


Sc.B., Biology, Brown University

Ph.D., Plant Biology, Louisiana State University

Areas of Expertise

Plant Ecology


I am interested in the forces that structure plant communities and how community attributes affect ecosystem function. With several collaborators, my research in arctic tundra has examined how plants interact with other trophic levels including soil microbes, soil fauna, arthropods, small mammals and songbirds. In addition, I have mentored students conducting ecological studies in wetlands, terrestrial grasslands, and urban ecosystems.



Sweet, S.K., A. Asmus*, M.E. Rich*, J. Wingfield, L. Gough, and N.T. Boelman. 2015. NDVI as a predictor of canopy arthropod biomass in the Alaskan arctic tundra. Ecological Applications 25: 779-790.

Gough, L., H. Bass†, and J.R. McLaren‡. 2015. Effects of increased soil nutrients on seed rain: a role for seed dispersal in the Greening of the Arctic? Arctic, Antarctic, and Alpine Research 47: 27-34.

Boelman, N., L. Gough, J. Wingfield, S. Goetze, A. Asmus*, H. Chmura, J.S. Krause, J. Perez, S. Sweet and K. Guay. 2014. Greater shrub dominance alters breeding habitat and food resources for migratory songbirds in Alaskan arctic tundra. Global Change Biology 21: 1508-1520.

Sistla, S.A., J.C. Moore, R.T. Simpson, L. Gough, G.R. Shaver and J.P. Schimel. 2013. Twenty years of tundra warming restructures plant and soil communities without changing overall soil carbon pools. Nature 497: 615-618.

Rich, M.E.*, L. Gough, and N.T. Boelman. 2013. Arctic arthropod assemblages in habitats of differing shrub dominance. Ecography 9: 994-1003.

Johnson, D.R.* and L. Gough. 2013. Two arctic tundra graminoids differ in tolerance to herbivory when grown with added soil nutrients. Botany 91:82-90.

Rout, M.E.*, L. Gough, W.K. Smith and T.H. Chrzanowski. 2013. Impacts of an invasive grass, Sorghum halepense, on native tallgrass prairie: the role of allelopathy. Biological Invasions 15: 327-339. DOI 10.1007/s10530-012-0289-7.

Gough, L., J.C. Moore, G.R. Shaver, R.T. Simpson, and D.R. Johnson*. 2012. Above- and belowground responses of arctic tundra ecosystems to altered soil nutrients and mammalian herbivory. Ecology 93:1683-1694.

Gough, L., K.L. Gross, E.E. Cleland, C.M. Clark, S.L. Collins, K.N. Suding, J.E. Fargione, and S.C. Pennings. 2012. Incorporating clonal growth form clarifies the role of plant height in response to nitrogen addition. Oecologia 169:1053-1062.

See complete publication list here.

(*graduate student, †undergraduate student, ‡postdoc)


Courses Taught

  • Spring: BIOL 389 Current Developments in Biology
  • Spring: BIOL 601 Current Topics in Biology