Dr. Jennifer Funk

Dr. Jennifer Funk

Associate Professor
Schmid College of Science and Technology; Biological Sciences
Expertise: Plant Functional Traits; Photosynthesis; Invasion Biology; Restoration Ecology; Resource Use; Climate Change;
Office Location: Hashinger Science Center 306
Phone: (714) 744-7953
University of California, Berkeley, Bachelor of Arts
Stony Brook University, Ph.D.

Video Profile



  • BIOL 204L General Biology Lab
  • BIOL 205L General Biology II Lab
  • BIOL 324/324L Ecology/Lab
  • BIOL 301/301L Plant Biology
  • BIOL 441/441L Restoration Ecology


  • Stony Brook University, Ph.D. Ecology and Evolution
  • University of California, Berkeley, B.A. Integrative Biology and Environmental Sciences


  • Jasper Ridge Restoration Fellow, Stanford University (sabbatical), 2010-2011
  • National Parks Ecological Research Post-doctoral Fellow, 2004-2007
  • STAR Graduate Student Fellow, Environmental Protection Agency, 1999-2002
  • Graduate Council Fellow, Stony Brook University, 1998-2004
  • Graduate Research Fellow, National Science Foundation, 1998-2003

Honors and awards

  • 2012    Wang-Fradkin Assistant Professorship for exceptional merit in scholarly and creative activity, Chapman University
  • 2010    Valerie Scudder award for outstanding faculty achievement in teaching, scholarship, advising and service, Chapman University
  • 2009    Achievement award for excellence in scholarship, Chapman Universit
  • 2008    Gene E. Likens award, Biogeosciences section, Ecological Society of America

Recent Creative, Scholarly Work and Publications

Funk JL, Larson JE, Ames G, Butterfield B, Cavender-Bares J, Firn J, Laughlin DC, Sutton-Grier A, Williams L, Wright J (2017) Revisiting the Holy Grail: Using plant functional traits to understand ecological processes. Biological Reviews 92:1156–1173
Wolf AA, Funk JL, Menge DNL (2017) The symbionts made me do it: Legumes are not hardwired for high nitrogen concentrations but incorporate more nitrogen in the presence of bacterial partners. New Phytologist 213: 690–699
Funk JL, Nguyen M, Standish RJ, Stock WD, Valladares F (2017) Global resource acquisition patterns of invasive and native plant species do not hold at the regional scale in Mediterranean type ecosystems. Biological Invasions 19:1143–1151
Cleland EE, Funk JL, Allen EB (2016) Coastal sage scrub. In: Ecosystems of California. Eds: Mooney HA, Zavaleta ES. University of California Press, Oakland, CA. pp. 429-448
Kimball S, Funk JL, Sandquist DR, Ehleringer JR (2016) Ecophysiological considerations for restoration. In: Foundations of Restoration Ecology II. Eds: Palmer MA, Falk DA, Zedler JB. Island Press, Washington DC, pp. 153-181
Kimball S, Funk JL, Spasojevic MJ, Suding KN, Parker S, Goulden ML (2016) Can functional traits predict plant community response to global change? Ecosphere 7(12):e01602. 10.1002/ecs2.1602
Funk JL, Standish RJ, Stock WD, Valladares F (2016) Plant functional traits of dominant native and invasive species in Mediterranean-climate ecosystems. Ecology 97:75-83
Larson JE, Funk JL (2016) Seedling root responses to soil moisture and the identification of a belowground trait spectrum across three growth forms. New Phytologist 210: 827–838
Larson JE, Funk JL (2016) Regeneration: An overlooked aspect of trait-based plant community assembly models. Journal of Ecology 104:1284–1298
Madliger CL, Cooke SJ, Crespi EJ, Funk JL, Hultine KR, Hunt KE, Rohr JR, Sinclair BJ, Suski CD, Willis CKR, Love OP (2016) Success stories and emerging themes in conservation physiology. Conservation Physiology 4: doi: 10.1093/conphys/cov057
Nguyen M, Ortega AE, Nguyen Q, Kimball S, Goulden M, Funk JL (2016) Evolutionary responses of grassland species to variation in precipitation and soil nitrogen. Journal of Ecology 104:979-986
Funk JL, Wolf AA (2016) Testing the trait-based community framework: do functional traits predict competitive outcomes? Ecology doi:10.1002/ecy.1484
Funk JL, Hoffacker MK, Matzek V (2015) Summer irrigation, grazing and seed addition differentially influence community composition in an invaded serpentine grassland. Restoration Ecology 23:122–130
Funk JL, Rakovski CS, Macpherson JM (2015) On the analysis of phylogenetically paired designs. Ecology and Evolution 5:940–947
Menge DNL, Wolf AA, Funk JL (2015) Diversity of nitrogen fixation strategies in Mediterranean legumes. Nature Plants doi:10.1038/nplants.2015.64
Funk JL, Matzek V, Bernhardt M, Johnson D (2014) Broadening the case for invasive species management to include impacts on ecosystem services. BioScience doi: 10.1093/biosci/bit004
Standish RJ, Hobbs RJ, Mayfield MM, Bestelmeyer BT, Suding KN, Battaglia LL, Eviner V, Hawkes CV, Temperton VM, Cramer VA, Harris JA, Funk JL, Thomas PA (2014) Resilience in ecology: Abstraction, distraction, or where the action is? Biological Conservation 177:43–51
Funk JL, Amatangelo KL (2013) Physiological mechanisms drive differing foliar calcium content in ferns and angiosperms. Oecologia DOI 10.1007/s00442-013-2591-1
Funk JL, Glenwinkel LA, Sack L (2013) Differential allocation to photosynthetic and non- photosynthetic nitrogen fractions among native and invasive species. PLoS ONE 8(5): e64502. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0064502
Matzek V, Covino J, Funk J, Saunders M (2013) What do land managers need from scientists to control invasive species? Conservation Letters doi: 10.1111/conl.12042
Funk JL, Cornwell WK (2013) Leaf traits within communities: context may affect the mapping of traits to function. Ecology 94:1893–1897
Funk JL (2013) The physiology of invasive plants in low-resource environments. Conservation Physiology 1: doi:10.1093/conphys/cot026
Drenovsky RE, Grewell BJ, D’Antonio CM, Funk JL, James JJ, Molinari N, Parker IM, Richards CM. (2012) A functional trait perspective on plant invasion. Annals of Botany 110: 141–153
Steers RJ, Funk JL, Allen EB (2011) Can resource-use traits predict native vs. exotic plant success in carbon amended soils? Ecological Applications 21:1211-1224