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Christa P. H. Mulder

Tundra plants
Marie Thoms
Research Interests: 

I am a plant ecologist who works primarily on plant-animal interactions, usually at the intersection of population, community, and ecosystem ecology. While the questions and the systems I and members of my lab work on are diverse, our work usually involves both direct and indirect interactions between several species, and between those species and their physical environment. We combine field work with greenhouse experiments, historical datasets, and some modeling.

To find out more about my lab,  follow the link in the toolbar on the left marked "Christa Mulder's Research, Teaching and Outreach"  or go to

Christa P. H. Mulder
Christa P. H. Mulder
Christa P. H. Mulder
Professor of Plant Ecology
B&W Department Chair
412 Irving I Building
415 Irving I Building
907 474 7161
Postal Address: 
Institute of Arctic Biology
PO Box 757000
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Fairbanks, AK 99775-7000
  • University of Alaska Fairbanks, Alaska, USA. Ph.D. in Biology, December 1996
  • Queen's University, Kingston, Ontario, Canada. M.Sc. in Biology, 1991
  • Bates College, Lewiston, Maine, USA. B.A., High Honors in Biology, 1988
  • Chair, Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks (UAF) (July 2010-present).
  • Professor, Institute of Arctic Biology and Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks (July 2012-present).
  • Assistant Department Chair (Graduate Program), Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks (January–June 2010).
  • Associate Professor, Institute of Arctic Biology and Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks (July 2006-June 2012).
  • Assistant Professor, Institute of Arctic Biology and Department of Biology and Wildlife, University of Alaska Fairbanks (Jan. 2001-June 2006).
  • Lecturer (Assistant Professor) in Ecology, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington (VUW), New Zealand (Feb. 1998-Dec. 2000).
  • Post-doctoral fellow, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Umeå, Sweden (May 1996-Jan 1998).




Towns, D.R. et al., 2012. A research strategy for biodiversity conservation on New Zealand’s offshore islands. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 36, pp.1–20.


2012-03-26}, {, 2011. Seabird Islands: Ecology, Invasion, and Restoration C. P. H. Mulder et al., Oxford University Press.


Mulder, C.P.H. & Ellis, J.C., 2010. In: Encyclopedia of Life Sciences 2010. In John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Bellingham, P.J. et al., 2010. New Zealand island restoration: seabirds, predators, and the importance of history. New Zealand Journal of Ecology, 34, pp.115–136.
Grant-Hoffman, M.N., Mulder, C.P. & Bellingham, P.J., 2010. Effects of invasive rats and burrowing seabirds on seeds and seedlings on New Zealand islands. Oecologia, 162, pp.1005–1016.


  • 2008-2009 National Education Fellow in the Life Sciences, National Academies of Science, USA.
  • 2007-2008 Outstanding Teaching Award, College of Natural Science and Mathematics, UAF
  • 1995 Dissertation Year Fellowship, University of Alaska Fairbanks
  • 1991-1993 Chancellor's Fellowship, UAF
  • 1991-1992 National Science and Engineering Research Council Post-Graduate Scholarship 3 (declined)
  • 1990-1991 National Science and Engineering Research Council Post-Graduate Scholarship 2
  • 1989-1990 Queen's Graduate Fellowship, Queen's University
  • 1988 Dean's Merit Award, University of Michigan
  • 1988 Phi Beta Kappa Honors Society
  • 1988 Bates Key Honors Society, Bates College
  • 1988 Paul Hardy Award, Bates College
  • 1985-1988 Dean's Award, Bates College
  • 2009    United States Department of Agriculture: “Are Alaskan Pollinators Abandoning Native Berries for an Exotic Clover? Implications for Invasive Plant Management on Fruit  Production” (PI, $494,000)
  • 2007, 2008      National Park Service: “Data Collection for Modeling Invasive Plant Spread via Burned Lands in Alaska” (PI, $14,000 in 2007, $20,000 extension in 2008)
  • 2007 National Science Foundation Research Coordination Network: “SEAPRE: Seabird Islands and Introduced Predators: Impacts of Presence and Eradication on Island Function” (PI, $247,000).
  • 2006 Center for Invasive Plant Management: “Assessing wildfire burn susceptibility to invasive plant colonization in black spruce forests of interior Alaska”. (PI; with K. Villano and T. Hollingsworth, $5,000).
  • 2003 National Science Foundation: “Rats on islands: direct and indirect effects on plant communities” (PI, $392,000).
  • 2003 Western Regional Center (WESTGEC) of the National Institute for Global Environmental Change (NIGEC): “Will global warming alter plant parasite loads in the boreal understory?" (Co-PI; B. Roy PI., $244,000).
  • 2002  Marsden Foundation (New Zealand):  “Impacts of alien organisms on ecosystem functioning: a test using island ecosystems” (with D. Wardle, P. Bellingham, D. Towns, G. Yeates and W. Williamson, NZ $600,000)
  • 1999  Research grant, Victoria University of Wellington (NZ $3000)
  • 1997 Research grant, Oscar and Lilli Lamm Foundation, Sweden (SEK 72,000)
  • 1993 Research Grant, Center for Global Change and Arctic System Research, UAF ($1500)

For more information, including links to syllabi, go to:


Current undergraduate:

  • Fundamentals of Biology II (Biol. 116),
  • Introduction to Plant Biology (Biol 239)
  • Community Ecology (Biol. 472),

Current Graduate level:

  • Scientific Writing, Editing, and Revising (Biol.604)


Past Graduate Students
  • J. Rohrs-Richey (MS 2004, PhD 2011)
  • J. Reese (MS 2006; currently a high school science teacher)
  • K.Villano (MS 2008, now a PhD student)
  • M.N. Grant-Hoffman (PhD 2009; ecologist at the Bureau of Land Management)
Past Post-Doctoral Fellows

Christian Rixen, 2001-2002,  currently at the Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research (WSL)

News Releases
In the News


Professional service:

  • Principal Coordinator, SEAPRE (Seabird Islands and Introduced Predators) Research Coordination Network ( This network brings together approx. 50 researchers from all over the world who work on seabird island ecology. I organized three annual meetings (2007, 2008, 2009) and was the co-coordinator for an symposium on seabird island restoration at the World Seabird Conference in Victoria, BC, Canada (September 2010)
  • Member, National Science Foundation panels, 2002, 2003, 2004, 2006, 2008, 2009.
  • Associate Editor, Journal of Plant Ecology, April 2010-present
  • Member, Advisory Group on Science and Monitoring relating to the South Georgia reindeer eradication (April 2011-present)
  • Co-organizer for “Ecology of Insular Biotas” conference held in Wellington, New Zealand in February 2001. This conference attracted 170 participants from 20 countries.
  • Guest editor, special issue of Journal of Biogeography on Ecology of Insular Biotas, 2001-02.
  • Reviewer for Acta Oecologica, American Naturalist, Arctic, Basic and Applied Ecology, Biological Invasions, Canadian Journal of Botany, Ecology, Ecology Letters, Frontiers in Ecology, Functional Ecology, Journal of Ecology, Journal of Biogeography, Journal of Vegetation Science, Global Change Biology, New Zealand Journal of Ecology, Oecologia, Oikos, Plant and Soil, Plant Ecology, and Wetlands
  • Ad-hoc reviewer of grants applications / reports for National Science Foundation, National Geographic, US Forest Service, Murdoch Charitable Trust (US) , Ecological Society of America, NWO (Netherlands), Bicentennial Program for Science and Technology (Chile), and Swiss Science Foundation.

University service:

  • Committee membership at UAF (campus-wide):
    • Invasive Plant Management Steering Committee, April 2011-present
    • Life Sciences Building User Committee, July 2010-present
    • Indirect Cost Recovery Committee, November 2010-February 2011
    • Search committee for Dean of the Graduate School , fall 2010)
    • Faculty Appeals and Oversight Committee, fall 2009 – spring 2010
    • Program Review Committee for the Department of Biology and Wildlife and lead author of the departmental report submitted to the committee.
    • Chair (2003-2004), co-chair (2004-2005) and member (2002-2003) of the Graduate Academic & Advisory Committee of the Faculty Senate.
    • Alternate member of the College of Science and Engineering Faculty Senate, 2002-2003
  • Committees membership in the Department of Biology and Wildlife or Institute of Arctic Biology, UAF (in addition to Chair and Assistant Chair of the Department):
    • Chair (2006-2009) and member (2005-2006) of the teaching advisory committee (TAC).
    • Chair, ad hoc committee on the “botany” curriculum, 2005-2006.
    • Member of the MS comprehensive exam committee, UAF, Spring 2001- 2003
    • Member of the research advisory committee (Spring 2006- Spring 2008).
    • Member of the following search committees at UAF: Assist. Prof. in. Plant Molecular Systematics, Executive Officer, Institute of Arctic Biology (2001), Assist. Prof. Wildlife Ecology, (2001-2002), B&W office manager (2009) , IAB greenhouse manager (2008), Unit Leader, USGS Cooperative Unit (2010).
  • Faculty advisor for the UAF chapter of Beta Beta Beta, the Biological Honors Society, 2001-2005
  • Coordinator for the seminar series in Ecology and Evolution, Victoria University of Wellington, 1999 and 2000.
  • Coordinator, Faculty - Graduate seminar series, Dept of Biology and Wildlife, UAF, 1992-93.