Cari Ficken


Cari Ficken.

Cari Ficken


Cari Ficken


(Fall 2020) Research Assistant Professor


plant-soil interactions; community ecology; disturbance ecology; global change biology

Contact Information

126 Cooke Hall

Phone: (716) 645-3489


PhD in Ecology from Duke University in 2018

Research Interests

I am a plant ecologist interested in the effects of environmental stress and disturbances on ecosystem functioning. I use concepts and techniques from biogeochemistry, plant physiology, and ecology to understand how plants mediate the feedbacks between environmental conditions and ecosystem processes. For more information about my research interests, expertise, and publications please visit my personal website:

Course Offerings

Coming soon.

Current Students

Please contact Dr. Cari Ficken at for PhD. and MS. opportunities commencing in Fall 2020.

Recent Publications

Ficken, CD, D Cobbaert, and RC Rooney. 2019. Low extent but high impact of human land use on wetland flora across the boreal oil sands region. Science of the Total Environment. doi: 10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.133647

Ficken, CD 
and JP Wright. 2018. Nitrogen uptake and biomass resprouting show contrasting relationships with resource acquisitive and conservative plant traits. Journal of Vegetation Science. doi: 10.1111/jvs.12705. 

Ficken, CD and JM Warren. 2018. Soil respiration sensitivity to drought differs between an arbuscular and an ectomycorrhizal system. Plant and Soil 435(1), 407-422. doi: 10.1007/s11104-018-03900-2.

Ficken, CD and JP Wright. 2017. Effects of fire frequency on litter decomposition as mediated by changes to litter chemistry and soil environmental conditions. PLoS ONE. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0186292.

Ficken, CD and JP Wright. 2017. Contributions of microbial activity and ash deposition to post-fire nitrogen availability in a pine savanna. Biogeosciences. doi:10.5194/bg-2016-303.

Bernhardt, ES, J Blaszczak, CD FickenM Fork, K Keiser, E Seybold. (All authors contributed equally.) 2017. Catchy phrase or critical advance? Assessing and enhancing the impact of the hot spot hot moment concept in ecosystem science. Ecosystems. doi: 10.1007/s10021-016-0103-y.

Phillips, RL, CD Ficken, M Eken, J Hendrickson, and O Beeri. 2016. Wetland soil carbon in a watershed context for the Prairie Pothole Region. Journal of Environmental Quality. 45(1): 368-375.

Ficken, CD,M Fork, and M Fuller. 2015. The drivers of landscape pattern: Physical template, biotic interactions, and disturbance regime. Teaching Issues and Experiments in Ecology, Vol. 10.

Ficken, CDand E Menges. 2014. Seasonal wetlands on the Lake Wales Ridge, Florida: Does a seed bank persist despite long term disturbance? Wetlands Ecology & Management (6): 373-385. DOI 10.1007/s11273-013-9308-4

​Phillips, RL and CD FickenNitrous oxide emissions at the surface of agricultural soils in the Red River Valley of the north, U.S.A.In: Understanding Greenhouse Gas Emission from Agricultural Management. Guo, L, AS Gunasekara, and LL McConnell, Eds. ACS Symposium Series 1072. American Chemical Society: Washington, D.C., 2011, pp 29 – 49.