Rebecca E. Irwin

Associate Professor of Biological Sciences
Biology, Ecology, and Evolution Graduate Program

Biological communities form from a complex web of interactions among multiple species. My lab is interested in the ecology and evolution of multiple-species interactions, pollination biology, and species invasions. Among my research interests are the relative importance of direct and indirect effects of antagonists on the ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator mutualisms, and whether plant interactions with mutualists and antagonists simultaneously shape and constrain selection on nectar traits.

Curriculum Vitae
603-646-3688
HB 6044
Department:
Biological Sciences
Center:
The John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding
Education:
B.A. Middlebury College
Ph.D. University of Vermont

Related Links

Selected Publications

McDermott, S. M., R. E. Irwin, and B. W. Taylor. Using economic instruments to develop effective management of invasive species: insights from a bioeconomic model. Ecological Applications, accepted.

Schaeffer, R. N. ‡, J. S. Manson, and R. E. Irwin. 2013. Effects of abiotic factors and species interactions on estimates of male plant function: a meta-analysis. Ecology Letters 16:399-408.

Cook, D., J. S. Manson, D. R. Gardner, K. D. Welch, and R. E. Irwin. 2013. Norditerpene alkaloid concentrations in tissues and floral rewards of larkspurs and impacts on pollinators. Biochemical Systematics and Ecology 48:123-131.

Brody, A. K. and R. E. Irwin. 2012. When resources don’t rescue: pollinators, nectar robbers and pre-dispersal seed predators limit compensation to herbivory in Ipomopsis aggregata. Oikos 121:1424-1434.

Adler, L. S. and R. E. Irwin. 2012. Nectar alkaloids decrease pollination and reproduction in a native plant. Oecologia 168:1033-41.

Zhang, C., R. E. Irwin, Y.Wang, Y.-P. He, Y.-P. Yang, Y.-W. Duan. 2011. Selective seed abortion in selfing plants in an alpine ecosystem induced by nectar robbing. New Phytologist 192:249-255.

Irwin, R. E. and A. K. Brody. 2011. Additive effects of herbivory, nectar robbing and seed predation on male and female fitness components of the host plant Ipomopsis aggregata. Oecologia 166:681-692.

Irwin, R. E., J. L. Bronstein, J. S. Manson, and L. Richardson. 2010. Nectar robbing: ecological and evolutionary perspectives. Annual Review of Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 41:271-292.

Burkle, L. A.‡ and R. E. Irwin. 2010. Beyond biomass: measuring the effects of community-level nitrogen enrichment on floral traits, pollinator visitation and plant reproduction. Journal of Ecology 98:705-717.

Wilke, B. J.† and R. E. Irwin. 2010. Variation in the phenology and abundance of flowering by native and exotic plants in subalpine meadows. Biological Invasions 12: 2363-2372.

Burkle, L.‡, and R. Irwin. 2009. Plant-pollinator networks across space and time: the importance of interannual variation and bottom-up nitrogen enrichment. Oikos 118:1816-1829.

Irwin, R. E. 2009. Realized tolerance to nectar robbing: compensation to floral enemies in Ipomopsis aggregata. Annals of Botany, Special Issue on Plant-Pollinator Interactions, 103:1425-1433.

Mitchell, R. J., R. E. Irwin, R. J. Flanagan‡, and J. D. Karron. 2009. Viewpoint: Ecology and evolution of plant-pollinator interactions. Annals of Botany, Special Issue on Plant-Pollinator Interactions, 103:1355-1363.

Burkle, L.‡ and R. Irwin. 2009. Nectar sugar limits larval growth of solitary bees (Hymenoptera: Megachilidae). Environmental Entomology 38:1293-1300.

Burkle, L. A.‡ and R. E. Irwin. 2009. The impact of nutrient addition on floral characters and pollination in two subalpine plants, Ipomopsis aggregata and Linum lewisii. Plant Ecology 203:83-98.

Sloan, C. D. ‡, E. J. Duell, X. Shi, R. Irwin, A. S. Andrew, S. Williams, and J. H. Moore. 2009. Ecogeographic genetic epidemiology. Genetic Epidemiology 33:281-289.

Elliott, S. E. ‡ and R. E. Irwin. 2009. Effects of flowering plant density on pollinator visitation, pollen receipt, and seed production in Delphinium barbeyi. American Journal of Botany 96:912-919.

Irwin, R. E., C. Galen, J. J. Rabenold†, R. Kaczorowski†, and M. L. McCutcheon†. 2008. Mechanisms of tolerance to floral larceny in two animal-pollinated wildflowers, Polemonium viscosum and Ipomopsis aggregata. Ecology 89:3093-3104.

Egan, J. F.† and R. E. Irwin. 2008. Evaluation of the field impact of an adventitious herbivore on an invasive plant, yellow toadflax, in Colorado, USA. Plant Ecology 199:99-114.

Irwin, R. E. and L. S. Adler. 2008. Nectar secondary compounds affect self-pollen transfer: implications for female and male plant reproduction. Ecology 89:2207-2217.

Elliott, S. E.‡, R. E. Irwin, L. S. Adler, and N. M. Williams. 2008. A nectar alkaloid, gelsemine, does not affect offspring performance of a native solitary bee, Osmia lignaria (Megachilidae). Ecological Entomology 33:298-304.

Brody, A. K., R. E. Irwin, M. L. McCutcheon†, and E. C. Parsons†. 2008. Interactions between nectar robbers and seed predators mediated by a shared host plant, Ipomopsis aggregata. Oecologia 155:75-84.

Burkle, L. A.‡, R. E. Irwin, and D. A. Newman‡. 2007. Predicting the effects of nectar robbing on plant reproduction: implications of pollen limitation and plant mating system.  American Journal of Botany 94:1935-1943.

McCall, A. C. and R. E. Irwin. 2006. Florivory: the intersection of pollination and herbivory. Ecology Letters 9:1351-1365.

Irwin, R. E. 2006. Consequences of direct versus indirect species interactions to selection on traits: pollination and nectar robbing in Ipomopsis aggregata. American Naturalist 167:315-328.

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