Biology: Dr. Pelini
Dr. Shannon Pelini


Dr. Shannon Pelini
Ph. D., University of Notre Dame
Office:     312C Life Sciences Building
Phone:   1-419-372-8760
Community Ecology, Global Change Biology, Biogeography, Conservation Biology
Pelini Lab Page

Research Interests:

Work in the Pelini lab uses large scale field manipulations and lab experiments to assess the effects of climate change on invertebrates (e.g., butterflies, ants, and soil invertebrates) and the consequences of those responses on other taxa (e.g., plants, microbes) and ecosystem services (e.g., decomposition, carbon cycling, pest control). More specifically, we are examining joint relationships among temperature, soil invertebrates, soil microbes, and carbon flux in order to fill in knowledge gaps on the influence of invertebrates’ responses to climate change on carbon budgets and feedback effects on future climate change. We also are examining the relationships between ants, aphids (and potentially butterflies) and plants in different temperatures to see if the interactions between them are likely to change with climate change, a process that has important implications for future agricultural and horticultural practices. Currently we examine these processes in northeastern US forests using open-top warming chambers at Harvard Forest, MA and Duke Forest, NC. See for more details on some of our experiments.

Selected Publications:

1Undergraduate coauthor  2Graduate student coauthor  Authors contributed equally

Marquis M1, Del Toro I2, SL Pelini. Accepted. Insect mutualisms buffer warming effects on multiple trophic levels. Ecology.

Del Toro I2, K Towle1, DN Morrison1, SL Pelini. 2013. Community structure, ecological and behavioral traits of ants (Hymenoptera: Formicidae) in Massachusetts open and forested habitats. Northeastern Naturalist. 20:103-114.

Diamond SE, C Penick, SL Pelini, AM Ellison, NJ Gotelli, NJ Sanders, RR Dunn. 2013. Using physiology to predict ectotherm responses to environmental change. Integrative and Comparative Biology. 5: e52.

Prather CM, SL Pelini, A Laws, E Rivest2, M Woltz2, CP Bloch, I Del Toro2, C-K Ho, J Kominoski, TAS Newbold, S Parsons, A Joern. 2013. Invertebrates, ecosystem services and climate change. Biological Reviews. In press.

Stuble KL2, SL Pelini, SE Diamond, DA Fowler1, RR Dunn, NJ Sanders. 2013. Foraging by forest ants under experimental climatic warming: a test at two sites. Ecology and Evolution. 3: 482-491.

Pelini SL, SE Diamond, H MacLean2, AM Ellison, NJ Gotelli,NJ Sanders, RR Dunn. 2012. Common garden experiments reveal uncommon responses across temperatures, locations, and species of ants. Ecology and Evolution. 2:3009-3015.

Pelini SL. 2012. Opening the climate envelope: Biophysical models of butterfly performance reveal demographic trade-offs. Functional Ecology 26: 767-768.

Del Toro I 2, RR Ribbons2, SL Pelini, 2012. The little things that run the world revisited: a review of ant-mediated ecosystem services and disservices(Hymenoptera: Formicidae).Mrymecological News. 17:133-146.

Diamond SE, L Nichols, N McCoy, C Hirsch1, SL Pelini, NJ Sanders, AM Ellison, NJ Gotelli, RR Dunn. 2012. A physiological trait-based approach to predicting the responses of species to experimental climatic warming. Ecology. 93:2305-2312.

Diamond SE, DM Sorger, J Hulcr, SL Pelini, I Del Toro, C Hirsch1, E Oberg1, RR Dunn. 2012. Who likes it hot? A global analysis of the climatic, ecological, and evolutionary determinants of warming tolerance in ants. Global Change Biology 18:448-456.

Hellmann JJ, K Prior, SL Pelini. 2012. The influence of species interactions and local adaptation on geographic range change under climate change. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1249: 18-28.

Oberg E1, I Del Toro2, SL Pelini. 2012. Thermal tolerance assays in New England Ants.Insectes Sociaux 59: 167-174.