PhD (Stanford University)
Position: Senior Lecturer / Director of The Ecology Centre

Room: 263A Goddard Building 8
Phone: +61 7 3365 1685


Research Interests

My research broadly focuses on how plant and insect communities reassemble, persist and function following human land-use change. My research falls into three categories:

  1. Theoretical plant community ecology.

  2. Effects of agricultural production on native plants, insects and their interactions.

  3. Improving restoration approaches using ecological and evolutionary theory.

Within my first research area my work involves the development of community ecological theory, meta-analyses and field studies of plant functional diversity. These studies aim to improve understanding of community assembly following sudden, large-scale disturbances.

Work in my second research area focuses on agricultural landscapes in New South Wales and Victoria. Here we are studying how the structure of agricultural landscapes impacts crop pollination and native bio-pest control agents.

Within my third research area, I am working to advance ecological and evolutionary knowledge of direct use for plant community restoration. Currently, I am running a fully replicated experiment to test the importance of tree diversity and tree density for the rapid recovery of rainforest biodiversity while making a profit on the carbon market. In Western Australia, Richard Hobbs, Robert Holt, John Dwyer and I are studying the ecological and evolutionary processes involved in the reassembly of annual plant communities following major land use change in remnant wheat-belt woodlands.

Selected Publications

Mayfield, M. M. and Levine, J. 2010. Opposing effects of competitive exclusion on the phylogenetic structure of communities. Ecology Letters. 13: 1085-1093.

Mayfield, M. M., Bonser, S. P., Morgan, J. W., Aubin, I., McNamara, S., Vesk, P. A. 2010 What does species richness tell us about functional diversity? Predictions and evidence for responses of species and trait diversity to land use change. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 19: 423-431.

Laliberte, E., Wells, J., DeClerck, F., Metcalfe, D. Catterall, C., Queiroz, C., Aubin, I., Bonser, S., Ding, Y., Fraterrigo, J. M., McNamara, S, Morgan, J.,Sánchez Merlos, D. Vesk, P., and Mayfield, M. M. 2010. Land use intensification reduces redundancy and response diversity in plant communities. Ecology Letters 13: 76-86.

Mayfield, M. M., Boni, M. F., and Ackerly, D. 2009. Traits, habitats and clades: Identifying traits of potential importance to environmental filtering. American Naturalist 174 (1): E1-E22.

Flynn, D., Gogol-Prokurat, M., Lin, B., Molinari, N., Nogeire, T., Trautman Richers, B., Simpson, N., Mayfield, M. M., DeClerck, F. 2009. Loss of functional diversity under land use intensification across multiple taxa. Ecology Letters. 12(1): 22-33.

Funded Projects

Novel plant communities in SW Australia - impacts of climate change and land use change on plant community assembly
Grant Body: ARC
Grant Period: 2010-2013

Rainforest restoration for biodiversity conservation and the carbon market
Grant Body: ARC

Conservation of Trioncinia retroflexa funded by Rio Tinto

Professional Associations

  • Ecological Society of America

  • Ecological Society of Australia

  • American Society of Naturalists

  • Association for Tropical Biology and Conservation

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