Cruzan Lab - Portland State University - Biology


News and Updates

Lab Party! Welcome to our NSF-REU Students! Avery Pheil (Scripts College) and Jessica Persinger (University of Colorado).

NIH-EXITO Funding - Clonal evolution in Mimulus.

Congratulations to Jaime Schwoch - Recipient of a Botanical Society of America PLANTS Travel Grant to attend Botany 2016 in Savannah, Georgia!
We had a great showing at EvoWibo 2016 with an excellent talk by Pam Thompson, an
d exciting poster presentations by Brendan Kohrn and Jaime Schwoch.
Thanks to Pam, Brendan and Jaime for making our lab proud!

Recent Publications

Workman, R.E. and M.B. Cruzan. 2016. Mycelial networks impact competition in an invasive grass. American Journal of Botany. In press.

Marchini, M.L, N. Cole Sherlock, A.P. Ramakrishnan, D.M. Rosenthal, and M.B. Cruzan. 2016. Rapid purging of genetic load in a metapopulation and consequences for range expansion in an invasive plant. Biological Invasions 18:183-196. (doi: 10.1007/s10530-015-1001-5)

Cruzan, M.B. and S.C.H. Barrett. 2016. Post-pollination discrimination between self- and outcross-pollen covaries with the mating system of a self-compatible flowering plant. American Journal of Botany 103:568-576.   (doi:10.3732/ajb.1500139)

Cheeke, T.E., U.M. Schütte, C.M. Hemmerich, M.B. Cruzan, T.N. Rosenstiel, and J.D. Bever.  2015. Spatial soil heterogeneity has a greater effect on symbiotic arbuscular mycorrhizal fungal communities and plant growth than genetic modification with Bacillus thuringiensis toxin genes. Molecular Ecology 24:2580-2593 .

Taylor, L. A. V., E. A. Hasenkopf, and M. B. Cruzan. 2015. Barriers to invasive infilling by Brachypodium sylvaticum in Pacific Northwest forests. Biological Invasions 17:2247-2260. (doi:10.1007/s10530-015-0871-x).

Taylor, L. A. V. and M. B. Cruzan. 2015. Propagule pressure and disturbance drive the invasion of perennial false brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum). Invasive Plant Science and Management 8:169-180.  (

We utilize ecological, molecular genetic, and numerical techniques in field and greenhouse studies to address questions in ecology and evolutionary biology.  Our research interests include evaluation of hybridization as an evolutionary stimulus, the evolutionary dynamics of invasion, the ecology and evolution of mutualisms, and landscape genetics of upland prairie species in the context of range responses to climate change.  We are currently focused on the invasive false brome (Brachypodium sylvaticum) as a model system for investigating fundamental questions in ecology and evolution. 

Independent Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

Graduate Research Opportunities - Students interested in pursuing graduate research in the Cruzan Lab should contact the PI directly: Read more about graduate studies in biology and how to apply here.