Research Faculty #8

General Information

Academic History

B.A. (1998) Washington University in St. Louis
Ph.D. (2005) Michigan State University
Postdoctoral researcher (2005-2007) University of Arizona

Contact Information

Office Phone

Research Information

Research Abstract

Plant evolutionary ecology; geographic range limits and rarity; population dynamics and community structure.

Research Interests

My lab group works at the interface of ecology and evolutionary biology. Much of our research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of species' geographic distributions, asking what limits adaptation at the edges of species' ranges, why closely related species vary by orders of magnitude in range size, and how ranges are likely to shift in response to climatic changes. Another line of inquiry focuses on population and community dynamics and mechanisms of species coexistence. These different projects are united by a focus on mechanisms of, and constraints on, niche evolution, and the consequences of divergence in niche properties for patterns of distribution and abundance. We combine experimental manipulations in the field and in the lab and observations of natural populations with tools from quantitative genetics and physiological ecology. Much of our research is on species within the genus Mimulus ("monkeyflowers") because of their ecological diversity, history of study, genomic resources, and ease of propagation.

Team Members

Daniel Anstett - postdoctoral fellow

Haley Branch - graduate student

Katie Goodwin - graduate student

Mackenzie Urquhart-Cronish - graduate student

Takuji Usui - graduate student

Selected Publications

Angert AL, MG Bontrager, and J Ågren. What do we really know about adaptation at range edges? Annual
Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics
, in press.

Bontrager M, CD Muir, T Usui, JA Lee-Yaw, H Branch, D Anstett, A Hargreaves, and AL Angert. Expansion
dynamics and marginal climates drive adaptation across geographic ranges. Posted on bioRxiv:

Hargreaves AL, R Germain, M Bontrager, J Persi, and AL Angert. 2020. Local adaptation to biotic interactions:
A meta-analysis across latitudes. The American Naturalist 195: 395-411.

Bayly M and AL Angert. 2019. Niche models do not predict experimental demography but both suggest dispersal
limitation across the northern range limit of the scarlet monkeyflower. Journal of Biogeography 46: 1316-1328.

Bontrager M and AL Angert. 2018. Gene flow improves fitness at a range edge under climate change. Evolution Letters 3: 55-68.

Sheth, SN and AL Angert. 2018. Demographic compensation does not rescue populations at a trailing range edge. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115: 2413-2418.

Lee-Yaw JA, HM Kharouba, M Bontrager, C Mahoney, AM Csergo, AME Noreen, Q Li, R Schuster, and AL Angert. 2016. A synthesis of transplant experiments and ecological niche models suggests that range limits are often niche limits. Ecology Letters 19: 710-722. 

Louthan A, AL Angert, and DF Doak. 2015. Where and when do species interactions set range limits? Trends in Ecology and Evolution 30: 780-792.