Research Projects

Ecology of Antibiotics


M, Strickland, Danielsson, R.J., Dahlberg, M. Ramin, S. Agenas, I. Tapio, A. Bayat, T. Hammer, T. Roslin, M. Kaspari, E. Gora.

Methods from our current project:


Relevant Publications: 

Wepking, C., B. Badgley, J. Barrett, K. Knowlton, K. Minick, P. Ray, J.M. Lucas, S. Shawver, M. Strickland. (2019) Prolonged exposure to manure from livestock‐administered antibiotics decreases ecosystem carbon‐use efficiency and alters nitrogen cycling. Ecology Letters.

Danielsson, R.J., J. Lucas Dahlberg, M. Ramin, S. Agenas, I. Tapio, A. Bayat, T. Hammer and T. Roslin. (2019) Context-dependence of antibiotic effects on methane emissions from livestock.  Royal Society Open Science.

Lucas, J.M., E.M. Gora, and M. Kaspari. (2019) Antibiotics as chemical warfare across multiple taxonomic domains and trophic levels. Proc. R. Soc. B.

Lucas, J.M., B. Sone, D. Whitmore, M.S. Strickland. (2021) Antibiotics and temperature disrupt soil communities and their function. Soil Biology and Biogeochemistry. 

Lucas, J.M., H. Nunn, and M. Kaspari. Detritivorous invertebrates avoid harmful antibiotic compounds to increase survival rates. In prep.

Funding: NSF, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


Field sampling of CO2 production and microbes in manure from cattle treated with penicillin.

How do orthopteran communities shape above- and below-ground ecosystems and their functions?


Jayne Jonas-Bratten, Angela Laws, David Branson, Steven Pennings, Chelse Prather, Michael Strickland

Relevant Publications: 

Lucas, J.M., J. Jonas-Bratten, A.N. Laws, D.H. Branson, S.C. Pennings, C.M. Prather, and M.S. Strickland. Herbivore functional groups, not species, shape belowground communities, but not their function. In review.

Funding: USDA

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Microbiomes of the Ant-Built Home


Azteca trigona Project: Michael Kaspari

Azteca-Cecropia Project: Emily Meineke, Rob Dunn, Mary Jane Epps, Daniel Fergus, Anne Madden, Peter Marting, Clint Penick, Julia Stevens

Relevant Publications: 

Lucas, J.M., B. Bill, B. Stevenson, M. Kaspari. (2016) The microbiome of the ant-built home: the microbial communities of a tropical arboreal ant and its nest. Ecosphere.

Lucas, J.M., A.A. Madden, C.A. Penick, M.J. Epps, P.R. Marting, J.L. Stevens, D.J. Fergus, R.R. Dunn, E.K. Meineke. (2019) Ants control insect pathogens, but not plant pathogens, inside their nests in a model ant-plant mutualism. Proc. Roy. Soc. B.

Funding: NSF, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Oklahoma


Canopy ants and host trees: a facultative mutualism?


Azteca trigona Project: Michael Kaspari, Bradley Stevenson, Brian Bill

Relevant Publications: 

Lucas, J.M., N.A. Clay, and M. Kaspari. (2018) External myrmecotrophy benefits host plants of dominant canopy ant, Azteca trigona. Ecological Entomology.

Clay, N.A., J.M. Lucas, M. Kaspari and A.D. Kay. (2013) Manna from heaven: Refuse from an arboreal ant connects aboveground and belowground processes in a lowland tropical forest. Ecosphere.

Funding: NSF, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, University of Oklahoma

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