Associate Professor, Interim Director of Natural Resources Program

Our lab focuses on how global changes impact terrestrial ecosystems around the globe. Recently, we’ve focused on three general areas: (1) Understanding and modeling connections among soil organisms, herbivores, plants, and ecosystem function, (2) Understanding how shifting above- and below-ground biodiversity and global change alters the composition and function of ecosystems, and (3) Exploring how scale and location influence ecological patterns and processes. We work across scales from the micro (soil food webs) to the macro (regional carbon fluxes) as well as across diverse terrestrial ecosystems (forests, meadows, bogs, tropics, boreal, temperate). We use a combination of observations, experiments, and models to answer ecological questions.


Instructional Programs

Environmental Sciences
Natural Resources


Selected Publications

Jiang J, Moore JAM, Priyadarshi A, Classen AT (2017) Plant-mycorrhizal interactions mediate plant community coexistence by altering resource demand. Ecology 98:187-197. 

Mayor J, Sanders NJ, Classen AT, Bardgett R, Clément JC, Farjado A, Lavorel S, Sundqvist MK, Bahn M, Chisholm C, Cieraad E, Gedelof Z, Griguilis K, Kudo G, Oberski D, Wardle DA (2017) Elevation alters ecosystem properties across temperate treelines globally. Nature 542:91-95.

Souza L, Stuble KL, Genung MA, Classen AT (2017) Plant genotype identity and intra-specific diversity trump soil nutrient availability to shape old-field structure and function. Functional Ecology 31:965-974.

Henning JA, Weston DJ, Pelletier DA, CM, Jawdy SS, Classen AT (2016) Root bacterial endophytes alter plant phenotype, but not physiology. PeerJ 4:e2606

Classen AT, Sundqvist M, Henning JA, Newman GS, Moore JAM, Cregger M, Moorhead LC, Patterson CM (2015) ESA Centennial Paper: Direct and indirect effects of climate change on soil microbial and soil microbial-plant interactions: What lies ahead? Ecosphere 6(8):1-21.

Kuebbing SE, Classen AT, Sanders NJ, Simberloff D (2015) The effects of changes in biodiversity differ between phylogenetically paired native and nonnative plant communities. New Phytologist 208(3): 727-735.

Moore JAM, Jiang J, Patterson CM, Mayes MA, Wang G, Classen AT (2015) Interactions among roots, mycorrhizas and free-living microbial communities differentially impact soil carbon processes. Journal of Ecology 103:1442-1453.

Aimee Classen

Areas of Expertise and/or Research

Global change, ecosystem ecology, plant-soil interactions


  • PhD Biology, Northern Arizona University, 2004
  • BA, Biology, Smith College, 1995


  • 802-656-9570
Office Location:

Aiken 313D

  1. Classen Lab