J. Hall Cushman

Photo of J. Hall Cushman

Professor - Department Chair

Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Science
University of Nevada/Mail Stop 186
1664 N. Virginia Street
Reno,  Nevada   89557

Office: (775) 784-4000
Email: jhcushman@cabnr.unr.edu
Building: Max Fleischmann Agriculture,  Office 217
Personal Web: https://hallcushman.weebly.com/

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B.S. Marlboro College, 1982
M.S. University of Arizona, 1986
Ph.D. Northern Arizona University, 1989


My research focuses on population, community and ecosystem ecology and I’m particularly interested in the dynamics of plant invasions, plant-herbivore interactions and woody plants as ecosystem engineers and community facilitators. This work is strongly field-oriented and relies heavily on the use of experiments stratified across environmental gradients to address a range of ecological questions. My work has a strong applied emphasis and strives to provide science-based insights about the management and restoration of human-altered landscapes.

Over the past decade, my research has focused on the following projects: 1) the cascading effects of reintroducing long-extirpated large herbivores on recipient ecosystems; 2) the effects of plant invasions on the composition and dynamics of communities; 3) native shrubs and herbivores as mediators of plant communities along environmental gradients; 4) cattle grazing as a tool for managing invaded grasslands; 5) mammalian consumers as regulators of oak performance and recruitment; 6) invasive feral pigs as key disturbance agents that drive community and ecosystem dynamics; and 7) exotic forest pathogens as drivers of forest ecosystems. 

I have an active group of graduate students working with me on research projects in ecology, conservation biology and restoration ecology – and am always on the look-out for bright, motivated individuals who want to join our group.

I serve as Chief Editor of AoB PLANTS, an open-access journal published by Oxford University Press that focuses on the environmental and evolutionary biology of plants.


Ender, C. L., C. E. Christian & J. H. Cushman. 2017, Native herbivores and environmental heterogeneity as mediators of an exotic grass invasion., Ecology and Evolution 7:1561–1571
Haas, S. E., J. H. Cushman, W. W. Dillon, N. E. Rank, D. M. Rizzo and R. K. Meentemeyer. 2016, Effects of individual, community and landscape drivers on the dynamics of a wildland forest epidemic., Ecology 97:649-660
Kleinhesselink, A. R., S. M. Magnoli, & J. H. Cushman. 2014, Shrubs as ecosystem engineers across an environmental gradient: effects on species richness and exotic plant invasion., Oecologia 175:1277-1290
Skaer, M. J., D. J. Graydon & J. H. Cushman. 2013, Community-level consequences of cattle grazing for an invaded grassland: variable responses of native and exotic vegetation., Journal of Vegetation Science 24:332-343
Magnoli, S. M., A. R. Kleinhesselink, & J. H. Cushman. 2013, Responses to invasion and invader removal differ between native and exotic plant groups in a coastal dune., Oecologia 173:1521-1530.
Gordon, S. P., C. M. Sloop, H. G. Davis & J. H. Cushman. 2012, Population genetic diversity and structure of two rare vernal pool grasses in central California., Conservation Genetics 13:117-130
Cushman, J. H., C. J. Lortie & C. E. Christian. 2011, Native herbivores and plant facilitation mediate the performance and distribution of an invasive exotic grass., Journal of Ecology 99:524-531
Lamsal, S., R. C. Cobb, J. H. Cushman, Q. Meng, D. M. Rizzo & R. K. Meentemeyer. 2011, Spatial estimation of the density and carbon content of host populations for Phytophthora ramorum in California and Oregon., Forest Ecology & Management 262:989-998.
Cushman, J. H., & K. A. Gaffney. 2010, Community-level consequences of invasion: impacts of exotic clonal plants on riparian vegetation., Biological Invasions 12:2765-2776
Cushman, J. H., J. C. Waller & D. R. Hoak. 2010, Shrubs as ecosystem engineers in a coastal dune: influences on plant populations, communities and ecosystems., Journal of Vegetation Science 21:821-831
Meentemeyer, R. K., N. E. Rank, B. L. Anacker & J. H. Cushman. 2008, Influence of land-cover change on the spread of an invasive forest pathogen., Ecological Applications 18:159-171.
Cushman, J. H., & R. K. Meentemeyer 2008, Multi-scale patterns of human activity and the incidence of an exotic forest pathogen., Journal of Ecology 96:766-776
Huntzinger, M., R. Karban & J. H. Cushman. 2008, Negative effects of vertebrate herbivores on invertebrates in a coastal dune community., Ecology 89:1972-1980.
Lortie, C. J. & J. H. Cushman. 2007, Effects of a directional abiotic gradient on plant community dynamics and invasion in a coastal dune system., Journal of Ecology 95:468-481.
Johnson, B. E. & J. H. Cushman. 2007, Influence of a large herbivore reintroduction on plant invasions and community composition in a California grassland., Conservation Biology 21:15-521.
Tierney, T. & J. H. Cushman 2006, Temporal changes in native and exotic vegetation and soil characteristics following disturbances by feral pigs in a California grassland., Biological Invasions 8:1073-1089.
McNeil, S. G. & J. H. Cushman. 2005, Indirect effects of deer herbivory on local nitrogen availability in a coastal dune ecosystem., Oikos 110:124-132.
Cushman, J. H., T. A. Tierney, and J. M. Hinds. 2004, Variable effects of feral pig disturbances on native and exotic plants in a California grassland., Ecological Applications 14:1746-1756
Alvarez, M. E. & J. H. Cushman. 2002, Community level consequences of a plant invasion: effects on three habitats in coastal California., Ecological Applications 12:1434-1444.
Warner, P. J. & J. H. Cushman. 2002, Influence of herbivores on a perennial plant: variation with life history stage and herbivore species., Oecologia 132:77-85.
Cushman, J. H., S. G. Compton, C. Zacharides, A. B. Ware, R. J. C. Nefdt, & V. K. Rashbrook. 1998, Geographic and taxonomic distribution of a positive interaction: ant-tended homopterans indirectly benefit figs across southern Africa., Oecologia, 116:373-380
Cushman, J. H., V. K. Rashbrook, & A. J. Beattie. 1994, Assessing benefits to both participants in a lycaenid-ant association., Ecology 75:1031-1041
Cushman, J. H., C. L. Boggs, S. B. Weiss, D. D. Murphy, A. W. Harvey, & P. R. Ehrlich. 1994, Estimating female reproductive success of a threatened butterfly: influence of emergence time and hostplant phenology., Oecologia 99:194-200
Cushman, J. H., J. H. Lawton, & B. F. J. Manly. 1993, Latitudinal patterns in European ant assemblages: variation in species richness and body size., Oecologia 95:30-38
Cushman, J. H., & T. G. Whitham. 1991, Competition mediating the outcome of a mutualism: ants as a limiting resource for membracids., American Naturalist 138:851-865
Cushman, J. H. 1991, Host-plant mediation of insect mutualisms; variable outcomes in ant-herbivore interactions., Oikos 61:138-144
Cushman, J. H., & A. J. Beattie. 1991, Mutualisms: assessing benefits to hosts and visitors., Trends in Ecology and Evolution 6:193-195
Cushman, J. H., & T. G. Whitham. 1989, Conditional mutualism in a membracid-ant association; temporal, age-specific, and density-dependent effects., Ecology 70:1040-1047
Cushman, J. H., G. D. Martinsen, & A. I. Mazeroll. 1988, Density- and size-dependent spacing of ant nests; evidence for intraspecific competition., Oecologia 77:522-525
Book or Chapter(s) in Books
Cushman, J. H. 2007, History and ecology of feral pig invasions in California grasslands., Ecology and Management of California Grasslands (M. Stromberg, C. D’Antonio and J. Corbin). Pages 191-196. University of California Press, Berkeley, CA.
Mooney, H. A., J. H. Cushman, O. E. Sala, E.-D. Schulze, & E. Medina, editors. 1996, Biodiversity and Ecosystem Function: A Global Perspective. , Wiley Press, New York. 493 pages.
Orians, G. H., R. Dirzo, & J. H. Cushman, editors. 1996, Diversity and Processes in Tropical Forest Ecosystems., Springer-Verlag, Berlin. 229 pages.
Cushman, J. H. 1995, Ecosystem-level consequences of species additions and deletions on islands., In Islands: Biological Diversity and Ecosystem Function (P. M. Vitousek, H. Adsersen, L. L. Loope, editors), pages 135-147. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Cushman, J. H., & J. F. Addicott. 1991, Conditional interactions in ant-plant-herbivore mutualisms., In Ant-Plant Interactions (C. R. Huxley & D. F. Cutler, editors), pages 92-103. Oxford University Press, Oxford.