Plant Functional Ecology

ariseandgo-9367I am a broadly trained plant scientist and ecologist from Atlantic Canada working at the interface of plant ecophysiology, evolutionary ecology, ecosystem science, and applied ecology. My research addresses the underlying mechanisms structuring patterns of biodiversity and ecosystem function. A common goal throughout my work is understanding how variation in plant traits scale up to impact species distributions and nutrient cycling, with a focus on carbon and water exchange. I am particularly interested in how we can apply this information to solve environmental problems such as restoring degraded ecosystems.

To date, my work has fallen under two broad themes: 

1) Ecology and evolution of plant functional diversity 

2) Ecophysiological responses to environmental change, and how plant-environment interactions influence species distributions, ecosystem function, and ecological restoration outcomes. 

I integrate a diversity of approaches including physiology, stable isotopes, comparative phylogenetics, and manipulative experiments. Study systems have included peatlands, successional plant communities, the Ericaceae and Asteraceae families, and the genus Asclepias (milkweeds).

I am currently a Postdoctoral Research Fellow in the lab of Dr. Maria Strack at the University of Waterloo, Department of Geography & Environmental Management, where I am addressing challenges in wetland restoration (e.g., salt contamination).  I hold a Ph.D in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology from Cornell University, and obtained both an M.Sc. in Geography and a B.Sc. in Botany from McGill University. 



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Goud, E.M., Agrawal, A.A., and Sparks, J.P. (in review) A direct comparison of plant strategy theories for predicting the relationship between plant traits and growth. Preprint available at Research Square.

Goud, E.M., Touchette, S., Strachan, I.B., and Strack, M. (in review) Graminoids vary in functional traits, carbon dioxide and methane fluxes in a restored peatland: implications for modeling carbon storage. Preprint available at bioRxiv.

Goud, E.M. and Roddy, M.J. (submitted) Species-specific variation in leaf dry matter content, leaf thickness, and specific leaf area among and within dominant shrubs of contrasting Pine Barrens habitats.

Goud, E.M., Prehmus, S.A., and Sparks, J.P. (in press) Is variation in inter-annual precipitation a mechanism for maintaining plant metabolic diversity? Oecologia.

Davidson, S. J., Goud, E.M., Malhotra, A., Estey, C.O., Korsah, , and Strack, M. (2021) Linear disturbances shift boreal peatland plant communities toward earlier peak greenness. Journal of Geophysical Research Biogeosciences. doi: 10.1029/2021JG006403

Davidson, S. J., Goud, E.M., Franklin, C., Nielsen, S.E., and Strack, M. (2020) Seismic line disturbance alters soil physical and chemical properties across boreal forest and peatland soils. Frontiers in Earth Science. doi: 10.3389/feart.2020.00281

Genova, L., Johnson, B., Castelli, F., Arcila Hernández, L., Chang van Oordt, D., Demery, A., Fletcher, N., Goud, E.M., Holmes, K., Houtz, J., Howard, M., Hughes, J., Jensen, K., Kunerth, H., Law, E., Lombardi, E., Mazo-Vargas, A., McDonald, C., Mittan, C., Ryan, T., Tracy, A., Uehling, J., Weiss, A., and Smith, M. (2020) What is speciation, how does it occur, and why is it important for conservation? CourseSource. doi: 10.24918/cs.2020.28

Goud, E.M., Sparks, J. P., Fishbein, M., and Agrawal, A. A (2019) Integrated metabolic strategy: a framework for predicting the evolution of carbon-water tradeoffs within plant clades. Journal of Ecology. doi: 10.1111/1365‐2745.13204

Goud, E.M. and Sparks, J. P. (2018) Leaf stable isotopes suggest shared ancestry is an important driver of functional diversity. Oecologia. doi: 10.1007/s00442-018-4186-3

* part of a special issue in Oecologia honoring the career of Dr. Jim Ehleringer – a leader in isotope ecology and all around wonderful person and mentor!

Goud, E.M., Watt, C., and Moore, T.R. (2018) Plant community composition along a peatland margin follows alternate successional pathways after hydrologic disturbance. Acta Oecologica. doi: 10.1016/j.actao.2018.06.006

Goud, E.M., Moore, T.R., and Roulet, N.T. (2017) Predicting peatland carbon fluxes from non-destructive plant traits. Functional Ecology. doi:10.1111/1365-2435.12891

* featured on the Functional Ecologists blog in June 2017.

Goud, E.M. (2017) Diversity and abundance of litter-dwelling Arthropods increase with time-since-burn in a Florida scrub ecosystem. Biodiversity. doi:10.1080/14888386.2017.1407671