brian j. enquist


Current Positions

Brian2cProfessor – Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, BioSciences West, Tucson, Arizona 85721

External Professor – The Santa Fe Institute, Santa Fe, New Mexico, 87501

Fellow American Association for the Advancement of Science 2012

Research Interests


Aspen leaf venation network taken using a macro lens fitted for my iPhone (!)

Macroecology, Global Ecology, Comparative Biology, Ecophysiology and Functional Ecology

I’m a broadly trained plant biologist and ecologist. My collaborative lab group strives to develop a more integrative, quantitative, and predictive framework for biology, community ecology, and large-scale ecology. In particular, we aim to link biological measures across spatial and temporal scales in ecology and evolution. My research focuses on three core areas:

(1) Scaling and Functional Biology/Ecophysiology – highlighting and deducing how general scaling rules, climate, and physical constraints influence organismal form, function, and diversity;

(2) Macroecology – assessing the ecological, macro ecological, biogeographic and evolutionary ramifications of the above organismal rules/constraints;


Hemispherical shot of forest canopy in one of our 0.1ha ‘Gentraso’ forest plots – again using a special lens fitted for my smart phone

(3) Novel approaches – utilizing novel computation, big data, statistical, and visualisation tools to assess how differing climate change scenarios will influence the distribution of diversity and functioning of forests and ecosystems.

Our research involves focus on field work, big datasets, scaling, developing theory and informatics infrastructure, empirically measuring numerous attributes of organismal form and function, utilizing physiological and trait-based techniques, and assessing macroecological and large-scale patterns. To address these questions my lab group often work in contrasting environments including tropical forests, on elevation gradients, and in high alpine ecosystems.

Curriculum Vitae and Online Profiles


• Ph.D. Biology, 1998, University of New Mexico.

• M.S. Biology, 1994. University of New Mexico,

• B.A. Biology (With Distinction), 1991. The Colorado College