Welcome to the Ritchie Lab in the Department of Biology at Syracuse University

The Ritchie Lab is committed to groundbreaking research in biodiversity, plant-herbivore interactions, and environmental science. Under the leadership of Professor Mark E. Ritchie, the lab specifically looks at how grazing animals modify ecosystems, how different environmental factors control biodiversity, and how human-caused modifications of carbon dioxide and nitrogen in the air affect terrestrial ecosystems. Ritchie and his students (graduate and undergraduate) study large grazing animals, grasshoppers, leafhoppers, spiders, lizards, salamanders, grasses, and trees at a variety of locations, including Utah, Minnesota, and South Africa.

Undergraduate researchers are currently studying how variation in the fundamental chemical kinetics of photosynthesis explains patterns in plant and herbivore interactions across large-scale environmental gradients, and how patterns of community structure and diversity emerge from simple mechanisms of how organisms acquire resources in space and time.