Alan Knapp Professor

Office: Biology 348

Phone: (970) 491-7010


Google Scholar:


  • Ph.D., University of Wyoming


The lab's current research spans ecological scales, with spatially- and temporally-broad studies complemented by mechanistic ecophysiological investigations. Current interests include: global change ecology, especially manipulations of precipitation extremes (droughts and deluges), and large-scale comparisons of ecosystem sensitivity to climate, fire, grazing, and nutrients. Most of our research is conducted in grasslands, which are ecologically and economically important systems that respond rapidly to change and are amenable to field manipulations. Collaborative, interdisciplinary research is appealing and important to us because it provides scientists the opportunity to make key contributions within the specific framework of a single discipline (a traditional approach), as well as the tools to synthesize across disciplines and tackle issues that the single lab approach cannot. This synthetic approach to Ecology will become more important in the future, and it best describes our group's current and future research interests


  • Post, A.K. and A.K. Knapp. 2020. The importance of extreme rainfall events and their timing in a semi-arid grassland. Journal of Ecology 108: 2431–2443,
  • Knapp, A.K., A. Chen, R.J. Griffin-Nolan, L.E. Baur, C.J.W. Carroll, J.E. Gray, A.M. Hoffman, X. Li, A.K. Post, I.J. Slette, S.L. Collins, Y. Luo and M.D. Smith. 2020. Resolving the Dust Bowl paradox of grassland responses to extreme drought. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117: 22249-22255,
  • Slette, I.J., M. Awad, T. Even, A.K. Post, A. Punzalan, S. Williams, M.D. Smith and A.K. Knapp. 2019. How ecologists define drought, and why we should do better. Global Change Biology 25: 3193–3200,
  • Griffin-Nolan, R.J., D.M. Blumenthal, S.L. Collins, T.E. Farkas, A.M. Hoffman, K.E. Mueller, T.W. Ocheltree, M.D. Smith, K.D. Whitney and A.K. Knapp. 2019. Shifts in plant functional composition following long?term drought in grasslands. Journal of Ecology 107: 2133–2148,
  • Knapp, A.K., C.J.W. Carroll, R.J. Griffin-Nolan, I.J. Slette, F.A. Chavez, L.E. Baur, A. J. Felton, J.E. Gray, A.M. Hoffman, N.P. Lemoine, W. Mao, A. Post, and M.D. Smith. 2018. A reality check for climate change experiments: do they reflect the real world? A reality check for climate change experiments: do they reflect the real world? Ecology 99: 2145–2151,
  • Knapp, A.K., P. Ciais and M.D. Smith. 2017. Reconciling inconsistencies in precipitation-productivity relationships: implications for climate change. New Phytologist 214: 41-47,