Amy E Zanne


Locator Code:


Research Interest

A large focus of my work is to examine how biotic interactions impact biogeochemical cycles. Specifically, I explore how plant traits and environmental conditions regulate decay agents (microbes, termites, solar radiation) to impact deadwood and ecosystem scale carbon cycling under current and future climates. I also study global macroevolution and functional and physiological ecology of plants, microbes and termites.

Teaching Interests

I want to instill in students a sense of wonder about the natural world, such that they are curious to learn more. A large goal of my classes is to give students the hands-on practical skills of a biologist, from learning to identify organisms in the field to designing experiments, collecting, analyzing, visualizing and interpreting data. In the future, I will teach field courses. Additionally, I will teach Analyses in R and graduate Ecology and Evolution Core, among other classes.


2003Ph.D. , University of Florida
1998M.S. , University of Florida
1992B.A. , Dartmouth College

Professional Experience

2021 - Professor and Aresty Chair in Tropical Ecology. , University of Miami.
2021 - Research Professor., George Washington University.
2021 - Advisory Board., RESTOR platform, ETH Zurich.
2014 - 2021Associate Professor. , George Washington University.
2011 - Honorary Associate. , Downing Herbarium, Macquarie University.
2018 - Research Associate., Center for Conservation and Sustainable Development. Missouri Botanical Garden.
2015 - 2016IdEx Visiting Scholar., University of Bordeaux.
2012 - 2014Assistant Professor., George Washington University.
2012 - 2013Visiting Fellow., University of Western Sydney.
2008 - 2012University of Missouri, St. Louis., Assistant Professor.
2005 - 2008Postdoctoral Fellow., Jointly supported by NESCent at Duke University and NSF IRFP at Macquarie University and University of California, Berkeley.
2003 - 2004Postdoctoral Research Associate., Tufts University.

Honors & Acknowledgements


Elected Fellow. Ecological Society of America.
NIMBioS workshop “Creating an integrative framework to interpret and model plant and mycorrhizal fungal traits at the global scale” (PI: Stephanie Kivlin, CoPI: Amy Zanne)
New Phytologist workshop “New insights into global decomposition: Analyses from the global wood blocks project” (PI: Habacuc Flores-Moreno, CoPI: Amy Zanne)
Elected fellow. International Academy of Wood Sciences.
Highly cited researcher, Web of Science and Clarivate Analytics, Cross Field.
NSF EAGER: Disentangling the effects of ecological clade sorting and adaptive diversification to the assembly of regional biotas. (PI: Sebastian Tello, CoPI: Amy Zanne)
NSFDEB-NERC: Tropical deadwood carbon fluxes: Improving carbon models by incorporating termites and microbes (PI: Amy Zanne, Co-PIs: Steve Allison, Paul Eggleton)
LabEx (Laboratory of Excellence), French Government, Forecasting changes in microclimate and microbial diversity within tree canopies under climate change scenarios (MicroMic) (PI: Corinne Vacher, Co-PI: Amy Zanne)
NSF: Workshops: Forming an integrated understanding of function across fungi: NCEAS and Santa Barbara, CA (PI: Amy Zanne, Mark Schildhauer)
NSF: DISSERTATION RESEARCH: Metatranscriptomics links phenology with community dynamics and ecosystem function in wood decay fungi (PI: Amy Zanne, Amy Milo).
Australia Research Council Discovery Grant, Closing the carbon cycle: an ecological understanding of wood decay. (PI: Will Cornwell, CoPI: Amy Zanne, Jeff Powell)
IdEx Visiting Fellowship. University of Bordeaux.
International Research Initiatives Scheme. University of Western Sydney.
NESCent, Tempo, and Mode of Plant Trait Evolution working group. Awarded to Will Cornwell, Stephen Smith, and Amy Zanne
NSF: CAREER: Influences of plant traits on wood decomposition rates across scales: From fungal microbe communities to carbon turnover. 2011-2017.
University of Missouri - St. Louis, Gerald and Deanne Gitner Excellence in Teaching Award.

iPlant iPTOL Education and Outreach. Awarded to Peter Stevens, Cam Webb and Amy Zanne for conversion of APweb.


LIST OF SPECIALTIES: Tropical Ecology, Global Change, Decomposition, Biogeochemical Cycling, Physiological Ecology, Community Assembly, Macroevolution, Plants, Termites, Fungi

Publications [Link]