Courtney Murren

Professor; Assistant Chair; John Arthur Siegling Chair in Biology

Address: RITA 217
Office Hours: by appt. only


Ph.D. - University of Connecticut

B.A. - Mount Holyoke College

Research Interests

Plant Ecological Genetics and Genomics: evolution of phenotypic plasticity, phenotypic integration of roots and shoots, plant responses to soil environment, TDNA mutant phenotypes in Arabidopsis thaliana, local adaptation, factors contributing to invasive species establishment, costs of phenotype vs costs of plasticity, evolution of reaction norms.

Active Research Projects

I’m interested in how phenotypes of organisms are built and interact with the environment. This leads to employment of ecological, developmental, genetic and statistical tools to ask questions about the evolution of phenotypic form. I have examined systems from orchids, to invasive species, to Brassica species, and Mimulus species. Currently, my research focuses on natural accessions and mutant lines of Arabidopsis thaliana. Together with collaborators at the College of Charleston (Matt Rutter and Allan Strand) and partners 16 institutions across North America, we have built the unPAK network (undergraduates phenotyping Arabidopsis knockouts Additionally, I have an active project examining the demography and ecology of natural populations in Spain for above and belowground traits. We are also conducting companion studies employing TDNA knockout mutants to examine the influence of mutation on phenotypic integration in shoots and roots.


Courses Taught

BIO 211: Biodiversity, Ecology & Conservation Biology

BIO 341: General Ecology

BIO 341L: General Ecology Lab 

BIO 444/EVSS 628: Plant Ecology

EVSS 610: Environmental Biology


Find a list of publications here.