Claudia L. Jolls

Title: Associate Professor
Area of Study: Plant Ecology
Phone: 252-328-6295
Fax: 252-328-4178
Office: Howell S107a
Address: Department of Biology
East Carolina University
Greenville, NC 27858


Postdoctoral scholar, University of Michigan Biological Station, 1981-1984

Ph.D., Dept. of Environmental, Population and Organismic Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, 1980

B.S. in Botany, with highest honors, magna cum laude, University of Michigan, 1975

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Research Interests:

Plant ecology and conservation: Our work is focused on how abiotic and biotic factors shape growth and patterns of vascular plant distribution and abundance, and how this scientific knowledge can be applied to preservation and restoration of plant species. Of particularly interest are population biology, including long-term demographic monitoring, population viability analysis and plant reproductive ecology (variation in seed mass and germination, heterocarpy, breeding systems, pollination biology). Model systems include weedy as well as rare taxa of coastal systems, such as federally listed seabeach amaranth of beaches of the Atlantic coast and Pitcher's thistle, Houghton's goldenrod, Lake Huron tansy (Asteraceae) along the freshwater dunes of the upper Great Lakes with colleagues at USGS, Chicago State University, Morton Arboretum and Chicago Botanic Gardens. Collaboration with other ECU Biology faculty asks how biodiversity of communities is structured by disturbance and nutrients, including the response of plants and their herbivores to mowing and fertilization at ECU West Research Campus. Past research includes GIS applications to rare species management, fatty acid analysis, nectar chemistry, nutrient analyses, seed germination ecology, resource allocation along elevational gradients and forest succession.

My other interests include teaching and STEM education reform as well as recruitment and retention in science, particularly of women and under-represented groups.


Leverett*, L.D., and C.L. Jolls. 2012. Cryptic seed heteromorphism in Packera tomentosa (Asteraceae): differences in seed mass characteristics and germination. Plant Species Biology. in review.

Havens-Young, K., C.L. Jolls, J. E. Marik*, A.K. McEachern and P. Vitt. 2012. Threats from an introduced biocontrol, Larinus planus, to populations of the federally threatened Pitcher's thistle, Cirsium pitcheri. Biological Conservation 115: 202-211.

Goodwillie, C., and C.L. Jolls. 2013. Mating systems and floral biology of the herb layer: a survey of two communities and the state of our knowledge. pp. XXX-XXX in Gilliam, F.S. and M.R. Roberts. The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA. in press.

Jolls, C.L., and D.S. Whigham. 2013. Populations of and threats to rare plants of the herb layer: still more challenges and opportunities for conservation biologists. pp. XXX-XXX in Gilliam, F.S. and M.R. Roberts. The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America, 2nd ed. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA. in press.

Jolls, C.L, J.E. Marik*, S.I. Hamzé*, and W. Loope. 2011. Population viability analysis and the effects of light availability and litter on populations of Cirsium pitcheri (Asteraceae), a rare, monocarpic perennial. in review. Botany (formerly Canadian Journal of Botany).

Sellars*, J.D. and C. L. Jolls. 2007. Habitat modeling for Amaranthus pumilus: an application of light detection and ranging (LIDAR) data. Journal of Coastal Resources 23: 1193-1202.

Jolls, C.L. 2006. Ethics in science: cardinal sins and heavenly virtues. Southeastern Biology 53: 383-389.

Jolls, C.L., J.D. Sellars*, S.E. Johnson*, and C.A. Wigent*. 2004. Restore Seabeach Amaranth; A Federally Threatened Species, Habitat Assessment and Restoration of Amaranthus pumilus, (Amaranthaceae) Using Remote Sensing Data. 2001 Natural Resource Presentation Program, RMP Project Statement CAHA-N-018.000, National Park Service, Final Report. 116 pp.

Jolls, C.L. 2003. Populations of and threats to rare plants of the herb layer: More challenges and opportunities for conservation biologists. pp. 105-151 in Gilliam, F. S. and M. R. Roberts. The Herbaceous Layer in Forests of Eastern North America. Oxford University Press, New York, New York, USA.

Hamzé*, S.I., and C.L. Jolls. 2000. Germination ecology of a federally threatened endemic thistle of the Great Lakes, Cirsium pitcheri. American Midland Naturalist 143: 141-153.

Bock, J.H., C.L. Jolls, and A. Cundiff-Lewis. 1995. Alpine vegetation in the central Rocky Mountains and the central Caucasus. Arctic and Alpine Research 25: 130-136

Jolls, C.L., T.C. Chenier, and C.L. Hatley. 1994. Spectrophotometric analysis of nectar production in Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke (Caryophyllaceae). American Journal of Botany 81: 60-64. (First author's photography of plant also appears on cover.)

Jolls, C.L., and T.C. Chenier. 1989. Gynodioecy in Silene vulgaris (Moench) Garcke (Caryophyllaceae): Progeny success, experimental design, and maternal effects. American Journal of Botany 76: 1360-1367.

Jolls, C.L., and P.A. Werner. 1989. Seed biomass allocation patterns among five co-occurring species of goldenrods (Solidago: Compositae). American Midland Naturalist 121: 256-264.

Sakai, A.S., M.R. Roberts, and C.L. Jolls. 1985. Successional changes in a mature aspen forest in northern lower Michigan: 1974-1981. American Midland Naturalist 113: 271-282.

Jolls, C.L. 1984. Contrasting resource allocation patterns in Sedum lanceolatum Torr.: Biomass versus energy estimates. Oecologia 63: 57-62.

Jolls, C.L., and J.H. Bock. 1983. Seedling densities and mortality patterns among elevations in Sedum lanceolatum. Arctic and Alpine Research 15: 119-126.

Jolls, C.L. 1982. Plant population biology above timberline: Biotic selective pressures and plant reproductive success. pp. 83-85 in J.C. Halfpenny ed. Ecological Studies in the Colorado Alpine, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research Occasional Paper No. 37.

Talented, hardworking students with interest in plant ecology, conservation biology, statistics and quantitative analyses and GIS applications in ecology and conservation are encouraged to contact me about research opportunities and graduate study.

Courses Taught:

BIOL 2250. General Ecology

BIOL 3150. Plant Biology

BIOL 3230/3231. Field Botany

BIOL 4200/4201. Population and Community Ecology

BIOL 7920. Conservation Biology

Laboratory Personnel



Lindsay D. Leverett
M.S. in Biology program, May 2010
Ph.D. Program in Ecology,
Duke University, August 2012-present


Julie E. Marik
M.S. in Biology 2007
Research Specialist
ECU Department of Biology


Sarah E. Johnson
M.S. in Biology 2004
Ph.D., University of Wisconsin, 2011
Assistant Professor, Northland College, WI


Cass A. Wigent
M.S. in Biology 2006
R.N. Greenville, NC


Jon D. Sellars
M.S. in Biology 2001
Remote Sensing Engineer
NOAA, Silver Spring, MD


Samara I. Hamzé
M.S. in Biology 1998
Adjunct Instructor of Environmental Studies, Ripon College, WI


Lisa G. Poole
M.S. in Biology 1991, BSN, MSN
Certified Nurse Midwife Craven County Health Department



Chelsea Barbour
B.S. in Biology, May 2012
Summer Research Assistant, Dr. David Chalcraft


Monica Burton
B.S. in Chemistry/Biology minor anticipated May 2013


Angelica Chico
B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry, June 2011
ECU Dental School, August 2011-present


Courtney Koch
B.S. in Biology and B.A. in Chemistry May 2012
Dr. Robert C. Lamb Scholastic Award, May 2012
Quality Assurance Technician, Hospira, Rocky Mount, NC


Jason Paxton
B.S. in Biology
anticipated December 2012


Kelli Magaw
B.S. in Biology December 2010
Adkin Arboretum, Ridgely, MD


Meaghan D. Cutchin
BS in Biology 2010


Dr. Arielle Cooley
Ph.D., Duke University, 2008
Postdoctoral Fellow, University of Michigan, 2009


Anna T. Williams
Ph.D., University of Michigan


Dr. Jonathan Vogel
Ph.D., Michigan State University


Dawn Trexel-Kroll
M.S. in Biology, Miami University, 2002


Dr. Jill E. Johnston
Science Writer, Utah