Rodolfo Dirzo

Principal Investigator

Rodolfo Dirzo

My research is simply part of the research that most lab members are conducting. In addition to that, I conduct some projects in which students from Stanford –and from other universities– participate. I also conduct research in collaboration with other colleagues from a variety of institutions—nationally and internationally, including the following:

Patterns of herbivory in plants from continuous and fragmented forest at Los Tuxtlas research station. Collaborators: Betsabe Ruiz, Roger Guevara, Armando Aguirre

Herbivory-driven induction of chemical and physical defenses: epigenetic consequences across multiple generations in wild radish. Collaborators: Mar Sobral, Isabelle Neylan

Impact of mammalian herbivory and trampling on understory plant communities from Mexican rainforests of contrasting levels of defaunation: Montes Azules and Los Tuxtlas. Collaborator: Eduardo Mendoza

Effects of logging on mammalian communities from Maya forests in the Yucatan Peninsula. Collaborator: Gabriel Gutierrez-Granados

Effects of defaunation on plant community structure and ecosystem processes and services in tropical ecosystems . Collaborators: Hillary Young, Douglas McCauley

Ecological and biodiversity consequences of oil palm plantations in the Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica—The Intitative Osa-Golfito (INOGO). Collaborator: William Durham

Plant species richness in tropical forests of Mexico: Analyses at the scale of 0.1 ha. Collaborators: Juan Carlos Lopez, Armando Aguirre

Effects of mammalian herbivory on oak regeneration in California woodlands. Collaborator: Roger Guevara

Effects of rat eradication on antive and coconut-invaded forest in the Palmyra atoll. Collaborators: Hillary Young, Douglas McCauley

You can find a copy of my CV attached to the link below:

Posts by Rodolfo Dirzo

Expert prognosis for the planet – we’re on track for a ghastly future

News by on January 18, 2021
An international group of 17 leading scientists have produced a comprehensive yet concise assessment of the state of civilization, warning that the outlook is more dire and dangerous than is generally understood. A loss of biodiversity and accelerating climate change in the coming decades coupled with ignorance and inaction is threatening the survival of all… Read more Expert prognosis for the planet – we’re on track for a ghastly future


News by on October 9, 2020
  Mario Molina was born in Mexico City in 1943. He studied chemistry at Mexico’s National University (UNAM), where he obtained a B.Sc. degree in chemical engineering, and then he joined the Faculty in UNAM’s School of Chemistry in 1967 and 1968. His graduate education took him to Freiburg, Germany, and he then obtained his… Read more

BIO 121: Ornithology

Education, Teaching by on September 4, 2020
Ornithology (BIO 121) -This course will introduce students to the biology of birds and the tools needed to use birds as model systems for research. Topics will include avian evolution, physiology, adaptations, behavior, and ecology. It focuses on identification of California birds and applications to current bird conservation issues and includes lectures and a field… Read more BIO 121: Ornithology
The New Biodiversity Monitoring Program in Mexico

A New National System for the monitoring of biodiversity and the role of ecosystem integrity in regulation zoonotic disease in Mexico

Research by on August 26, 2019
A project in collaboration with Mexico’s National Commission foe Biodiversity (CONABIO) and the Dirzo Lab. This project will use a network of paired sites comprising two adjacent modules (conserved, disturbed) to monitor plant (plot surveys) and animal life (medium and large vertebrates) via camera traps, sound/ultrasound recorders, and Sherman traps 9for rodents and their ectoparasites)… Read more A New National System for the monitoring of biodiversity and the role of ecosystem integrity in regulation zoonotic disease in Mexico

The Debate: Global Biodiversity Is Falling Fast, Imperilling Humanity. Can Better Policy Avert a Collapse?

News by on April 15, 2019
A short op ed that describes, for a general audience, the threats to the planet’s life-support systems—and the consequences thereof for humanity and our companions, please visit THE DEBATE_FORUM_2019_May-June
Jomar Barbosa using a GPS unit to draw borders around a mistletoe-infected tree at Jasper Ridge.

Incidence and dynamics of mistletoe infestation on the oaks of Jasper Ridge

Research by on June 10, 2016
The project examines spatial variation in the degree of mistletoe infestation at Stanford’s Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve. We are establishing a baseline for monitoring the progress of mistletoe infestation and its impacts on individual oak trees. Collaborator: Jomar Barbosa (CAO laboratory at the Institute of Pacific Islands Forestry, Hilo, Hawaii. USA) Funding: Jasper Ridge Biological… Read more Incidence and dynamics of mistletoe infestation on the oaks of Jasper Ridge
Rodolfo demonstrates the difference in the intensity of herbivore damage between caged oak saplings (left), which are protected from large herbivores such as deer, and uncaged saplings (right).

Ecology of oak regeneration at Jasper Ridge

Research by on June 10, 2016
In this project, we are monitoring 75 pairs of individually caged saplings for three predominant oak species at Jasper Ridge: coast live oak, valley oak, and blue oak. The saplings are monitored for growth and survival, as well as invertebrate herbivory. We are documenting dramatic contrasts in mortality, and found that growth was lower in… Read more Ecology of oak regeneration at Jasper Ridge

Osa-Golfito Initiative in Southern Costa Rica (INOGO)

Research by on June 10, 2016
The central question being addressed with this project is: How can we make human well-being and the well-being of the natural environment compatible? One of the main projects in this program (LAPA) is the experimental enrichment of oil palm plantations, via addition of bananas, cacao, and timber trees, to address risks of fungal pathogens, secure… Read more
Rodolfo Dirzo with an elephant, one of the species of large herbivore experimentally removed from the study plots in Kenya.

Linkages between wildlife defaunation, savannah ecosystem structure and composition, and consequences for small mammal abundance in the context of risks for human health

Research by on June 10, 2016
This study combines experimental manipulations of wildlife together with “real life” pairwise comparisons (intact vs. defaunated landscapes) in the context of landscape heterogeneity and land use change. As an example of the cascading consequences of defaunation, we found that when large herbivores are experimentally removed, the abundance of rodents increases dramatically, along with the abundance… Read more
Rodolfo and field assistant measure plant characteristics in a control plot.

Consequences of defaunation on the structure and diversity of the understory in neotropical forests

Research by on June 10, 2016
This study compares two tropical rainforest sites in Mexico with contrasting levels of defaunation: Los Tuxtlas (defaunated) and Montes Azules (intact). In addition, we have established exclosure experiments in both sites to look at mammalian herbivory, seed predation and structure and composition of the understory vegetation. Collaborator: Dr. Eduardo Mendoza (Universidad de Michoacán, Mexico) Funding:… Read more