Amanda Rugenski

Title Post Doctoral Research Scientist

I am an ecologist with broad interests in freshwater ecosystem structure and function with a focus on the role of consumers in biogeochemical cycling. Specifically, how losses of biodiversity and changes in community structure affect species interactions (food web interactions) and ecosystem function (nutrient cycling). I use ecological stoichiometry as a framework to examine how species traits, especially stoichiometric traits, influence ecosystem processes. I employ field, mesocosm, and laboratory studies to understand these interactions and process.

I received my B.S. in ecology and my M.S in Biology from Idaho State University in 2001 and 2006, respectively, and my PhD in Zoology from Southern Illinois University in 2013. Currently, I am a postdoctoral researcher at Arizona State University, working with Drs. James Elser and John Sabo on a project funded through a joint partnership with ASU SOLS and the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) working with Dr. Benjamin Turner. We are characterizing consumer-resource stoichiometry across environmental gradients and quantifying the mechanisms (e.g. body stoichiometry, trophic ecology, threshold elemental ratios, and growth efficiencies) behind these patterns and the interacting and independent influences of the abiotic environment.


C. Murria, A.T. Rugenski, M.R, Whiles, and A.P. Volger. Accepted. Long-term isolation and endemicity of neotropical aquatic insects limits the local-scale community responses to current amphibian declines. Diversity and Distribution

Barnum, T.R., J,M. Drake, J.C. Colón-Gaud, A.T. Rugenski, T.C. Frauendorf, S.Connelly, S.S. Kilham, M.R. Whiles. K.R. Lips, and C.M. Pringle In Press. Food web structure persists after amphibian extirpation in a Neotropical stream. Ecology

Capps, K.A., C.L. Atkinson, A. T. Rugenski. In press. Consumer-driven nutrient dynamics in freshwaters: an Introduction. Freshwater Biology

Rantala, H.M., A.M. Nelson, M.R. Whiles, R.O. Hall, Jr., W.K. Dodds, P. Verburg, A.D. Huryn, C.M. Pringle, S.S. Kilham, C. Colon-Gaud, A.T. Rugenski, S.D. Peterson, K. Fritz, S. Connelly, and K.R. Lips. In press Long-term changes in structure and function of a tropical headwater stream following a disease-driven amphibian decline. Freshwater Biology.

Capps, K. A., C.L. Atkinson, A.T Rugenski. In press. Implications of species addition and decline on nutrient dynamics in freshwaters. Freshwater Science

Rugenski, A.T. and G.W. Minshall 2014. Climate-moderated responses to wildfire by macroinvertebrates and basal food resources in montane wilderness streams. Ecosphere 5(3):art25.

Whiles, M.R., R.O. Hall, Jr., W.K. Dodds, P. Verburg, A.D. Huryn, C.M. Pringle, K.R. Lips, S.S. Kilham, C. Colón-Gaud, A.T. Rugenski, S. Peterson, and S. Connelly. 2013. Disease-driven amphibian declines alter ecosystem processes in a tropical stream. Ecosystems 16:146-157.

Rugenski, A.T., C. Murria, and M.R. Whiles. 2012. Tadpoles enhance microbial activity and leaf decomposition in a neotropical headwater stream. Freshwater Biology 57(9): 1904-1913.

Capps, K.A, C.L Atkinson, A.T. Rugenski, C.V. Baxter, K.S. Boersma, C.C. Carey, P.B.

McIntyre, J.W. Moore, W. Nowlin, and C. Vaughn. 2012. Organized oral session: Impacts of species addition and species loss on ecosystem function in freshwater systems. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 93:402-408.

Marcarelli, A.M., H.A. Bechtold, A.T. Rugenski, and R.S. Inouye. 2009. Nutrient limitation on biofilm biomass and metabolism in the Upper Snake River basin, southeast Idaho, USA. Hydrobiologia 620:63-26.

Kohler, A.E., A.T. Rugenski, and D. Taki. 2008. Stream food web responses to a salmon carcass analog addition in two central Idaho, U.S.A. streams. Freshwater Biology 53:446-460.

Rugenski, A.T., A.M. Marcarelli H.A. Bechtold, and R.S. Inouye. 2008. Effects of temperature and concentration on nutrient release rates from nutrient diffusing substrates. Journal of the North American Benthological Society 27(1):52-57.

Minshall, G.W. and A.T. Rugenski. 2006. Riparian processes and interactions. In Methods in Stream Ecology. Editors. R. Hauer and G. Lamberti. Academic Press.