How does variation among and within plants affect interactions with herbivores?
My research focuses on how and why plant phenotypes vary within species, and the consequences of that variation at higher trophic levels. In particular, I am interested in mechanisms of population-level variation in plant defense traits and in plant ontogeny as an important axis of trait diversity across scales. Opportunities Whitworth students interested in research opportunities should email me or stop by Robinson 108 to start a conversation. Typically, student researchers work full-time in the summer (paid) and/or part-time during the academic year (for upper-division course credit).
Publications (Google Scholar): Cope, Olivia L., Luke N. Zehr, Anurag A. Agrawal, and William C. Wetzel. 2023. “The timing of heat waves has multiyear effects on milkweed and its insect community.” Ecology e3988. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecy.3988 Cope, OL, Burkle LA, Croy JR, Mooney KA, Yang LH, and WC Wetzel. 2022. The role of timing in intraspecific trait ecology. Trends in Ecology and Evolution. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.tree.2022.07.003
Cope, OL, Keeefover-Ring, K, Kruger, EL, and RL Lindroth. 2021. Growth-defense trade-offs shape population genetic composition in an iconic forest tree species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciencehttps://doi.org/10.1073/pnas.2103162118
Cope, OL, Lindroth, RL, Helm, A, Keefover-Ring, K, and EL Kruger. 2021. Trait plasticity and tradeoffs shape intra-specific variation in competitive response in a foundation tree species. New Phytologist 230(2):710-719. https://doi.org/10.1111/nph.17166
Cope, OL, KF Rubert-Nason, EL Kruger, and RL Lindroth. 2019. Chemical defense at decadal scales: ontogenetic trajectories and consequences for fitness in a foundation tree species. Functional Ecology 33:2105-2115. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365‐2435.13425