David Chalcraft

Dr. David Chalcraft

Title: Associate Professor
Area of Study: Ecology
Phone: 252-328-2797
Fax: 252-328-4178
E-mail: chalcraftd@ecu.edu
Office: Howell S215A
Address: Department of Biology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858


Ph.D. Dept of Ecology, Ethology, and Evolution, University of Illinois at Urbana -Champaign, 2002.

M.S. Dept. of Biology, Virginia Tech, 1996.

B.S. Dept. of Biology, University of Windsor, 1994.

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Research Interests:

Ecological causes and consequences of variation in biodiversity: My research program is broadly focused on the disciplinary interfaces between population, community and ecosystem ecology in both freshwater and terrestrial systems and has involved work with amphibians, insects, fish, lizards, and herbaceous plants. In particular, I am interested in understanding processes that control the structure (e.g., relative abundances of species, number of species and kinds of species present) of ecological communities and how this structure affects ecosystem function and dynamics of constituent populations. For example, my students and I study how biotic and abiotic factors affect the intensity of species interactions within food webs which can affect the ability of different species to coexist. Understanding the ecological causes and consequences of variation in the biodiversity of food webs is essential if society is interested in conserving biodiversity and predicting the consequences of biodiversity loss. To facilitate our understanding of living systems, I employ experimental, macroecological, and meta-analytical approaches to address questions that are grounded in both theory and natural history. Currently, my students and I are conducting experimental and macroecological work focusing on the ecology of freshwater ponds (particularly the amphibians and invertebrates that occupy them) and macroecological work focusing on data collected on plant communities at different National Science Foundation Long Term Ecological Research sites.

ECU web feature on our research


Chalcraft, D. R. Changes in ecological stability across realistic biodiversity gradients depend on spatial scale. Global Ecology and Biogeography, in press.

Davenport, J. M . and D. R. Chalcraft. 2012. Evaluating the effects of trophic complexity on a keystone predator by disassembling a partial intraguild predation food web. Journal of Animal Ecology81:242-250.

Hernandez, J. P. and D. R. Chalcraft. 2012. Synergistic effects of multiple mechanisms drive priority effects within a tadpole assemblage.Oikos121:259-267.

Chalcraft, D. R., B. J. Wilsey, C. Bowles and M. R. Willig. 2009. The relationship between productivity and multiple aspects of biodiversity in grassland communities. Biodiversity and Conservation18:91-104

Rogers, T. N. and D. R. Chalcraft. 2008. Effect of density-dependent processes on larval anurans depends on environmental context. Canadian Journal of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences65:2761-2768.

Chalcraft, D. R., S. Cox, C. Clark, E. Cleland, K. Suding, E. Weiher, and D. Pennington. 2008. Scale-dependent responses of plant biodiversity to nitrogen enrichment. Ecology89:2165-2171. * Designated as a "Recommended Article" by Faculty of 1000, Sept. 8, 2008.

Resetarits, W. J., Jr. and D. R. Chalcraft. 2007. Functional diversity within a morphologically conservative genus of predators: implications for functional equivalence and redundancy in ecological communities. Functional Ecology21:793-804.

Wilsey, B. J., D. R. Chalcraft, C. Bowles and M. R. Willig. 2005. Multidimensional nature of species diversity in grassland communities. Ecology86:1178-1184.

Resetarits, Jr, W. J., C. A. Binckley, and D. R. Chalcraft. 2005. Habitat selection, dispersal, species interactions and community assembly in complex landscapes: a metacommunity perspective. Pages 374-398 in: "Metacommunities: Spatial Dynamics and Ecological Communities" edited by Marcel Holyoak, Mathew A. Leibold and Robert D. Holt. University of Chicago Press, Chicago, IL.

Chalcraft, D. R., C. Binckley, and W. J. Resetarits, Jr. 2005. Experimental venue and estimation of interaction strength: Comment. Ecology86:1061-1067.

Chalcraft, D. R., J. Williams, M. D. Smith, and M. R. Willig. 2004. Scale dependence in the species richness - productivity relationship: the role of species turnover. Ecology85:2701-2708.

Chalcraft, D.R. and W.J. Resetarits, Jr. 2004. Metabolic rate models and the substitutability of predator populations. Journal of AnimalEcology73:323-332.

Courses Taught:

BIOL 2250. Ecology

BIOL 4200, 4201.Population and Community Ecology

BIOL 6800. Population Ecology

BIOL 6850.Advances in Ecology (Topics discussed in different semesters include ecological statistics, the biological niche, and patterns in species diversity and abundance)

BIOL 7900.Ecological Statistics

Laboratory Personnel


Suelen Calado-Tullio 
Doctoral Student, (IDPBS)


AJ Kitchen

Masters Student



Casey Nolan 
Doctoral Student (CRM)