Gund Fellow, Professor, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs and Faculty Development

Together with students and collaborators, Nate Sanders works at the intersection of community ecology, ecosystem ecology, and macroecology, with an explicit focus on the consequences of global change.

Specific areas of inquiry focus on the effects of climate change in mountain ecosystems around the world, the cascading consequences of sodium limitation in terrestrial ecosystems, and many aspects of the ecology of ants.


  • Penick CA, Diamond SE, Sanders NJ, Dunn RR (In press) On dealing with thermal constraints in ants: Forage when it’s hot, and grow fast, or forage when it’s cold and grow slowly. Functional Ecology.
  • Mayor JR, Sanders NJ, Classen AT, Bardgett, RD, Clement J-C., Fajardo, A. Lavorel, S. Sundqvist, MK, Bahn M, Chisholm C, Cieraad E, Gedelof Z, Griguilis K, Kudo G, Oberski, D, Wardle DA (In press) Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally.
  • Diamond SE, Nichols, LM, Pelini SL, Penick CA, Barber GW, Cahan SH, Dunn RR, Ellison AM, Sanders NJ, Gotelli NJ (2016) Climate warming destabilizes forest ant communities. Science Advances 2: e1600842
  • Roura-Pascual N, Sanders NJ, Hui C (2016) The distribution and diversity of insular ants: do exotic species play by different rules? Global Ecology and Biogeography 25: 642-654.
  • Jing X, Sanders NJ, Shi Y, Chu H, Classen AT, Zhao K, Chen L, Shi Y, Jiang Y, He J-S (2015) The links between ecosystem multifunctionality and above- and belowground biodiversity are mediated by climate. Nature Communications 6:8159.
  • Sundqvist MK, Sanders NJ, Wardle DA (2013) Community and ecosystem responses to elevational gradients: processes, mechanisms, and insights for global change. Annual Reviews of Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 44: 261-280.

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Biodiversity, global change, mountains, ants, ecosystem function


  • PhD, Ecology, Stanford University
  • BA, Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado