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Contact Info:
Department of Biology
Tufts University
Barnum Hall, Room 100
Medford, MA 02155

Tel: 617.627.3543
Fax: 617.627.3805
Email Dr. Orians

Laboratory website
Curriculum Vitae

Colin M. Orians
herbivore-plant interactions, climate change, invasive species


B.A., Biology, Earlham College – 1984
Ph.D., Entomology, The Pennsylvania State University – 1990

Professional Activities
Associate Editor for AoB PLANTS  
Editorial Board for Oecologia
Chair, 2013 Plant Herbivore Interaction Gordon Research Conference
Director, Environmental Studies Program

Research at Tufts

Graduate Research Area within the Department of Biology at Tufts: Ecology and Global Change Biology

Research Interests

Currently our research focuses on the dynamic responses of plants to both herbivores and climatic factors in space and time. While much is known about how plants respond to specific factors, our understanding is limited in terms of: 1) how plants respond to multiple herbivores (native and or invasive), 2) whether plants can simultaneously induce resistance and tolerance traits, and 3) how plant responses are integrated at the whole plant level. We combine physiological, chemical and isotope (stable and radio) techniques to elucidate patterns and identify mechanisms. As a research group, we are question driven and not system driven. Members of the lab have worked with diverse plants/systems including tomato, garlic mustard, hemlock, tea, willow, and green roof plant communities. More detailed information can be found on the laboratory website.

The Orians Lab is currently accepting graduate students.


Bio 7: Environmental Biology
Bio 14: Introductory Biology Laboratory Program
Bio 51: Experiments in Ecology
Bio 181: Tropical Ecology and Conservation
Bio 185: Food for All: Ecology, Biotechnology and Sustainability

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