Updated Nov. 18, 2015

Current position

Assistant Professor in Biology. August 2014-present, Radford University, Radford, VA.

Previous Positions and Training.

Research Assistant Faculty in Biology and Biochemistry. 2012-2014, University of Houston, Houston, TX.

Postdoc in Biology and Biochemistry, May 2011-December 2012. Adviser: Steve Pennings.

Postdoc in Biology, History and Philosophy. August 2010-May 2011. Research Adviser: Tom Miller (Biology).  Training grant advisers: Nora Underwood (Biology), Brian Inouye (Biology), Fritz Davis (History), Michael Ruse (Philosophy). Integrative Training in Biology and the Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL.

Ph.D. in Biology, 2010. Adviser: Gary, E. Belovsky. University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN.

B.S. cum laude in Biology, 2003. Adviser: James Krupa. University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY.



Prather, CM. 2015. Are micronutrients important in structuring plant and herbivore communities? A test in coastal tallgrass prairie. NSF DEB Grant ($546,599).

Laws, AN, CM Prather, M Strickland, J Jonas, D Bransen, A Joern, S Pennings. 2015. Is a diverse grasshopper community beneficial to the health and functioning of rangeland ecosystems? (USDA, $150,000).

Prather, CM. 2012. The effect of land management on food web structure in rare prairies. Prairie Biotic Research ($1000; offered, but money declined).Laws, AN, CM Prather, SG Pelini. 2009. Invertebrate impacts on ecosystem services under climate change: A synthesis using insights from the LTER network. NSF LTER Cross-Site Synthesis Grant ($7,250).

Prather, CM. 2008. The effect of invertebrate herbivores and detritivores on decomposition, microbial communities, nutrient cycling and primary productivity in tropical forests. Bayer Fellowship ($8,000).

Kominoski J, W Mahaney, H Adams, B Ball, C Crenshaw, H Dalgleish, H Guo, S Jones, E Kane, T Kuhman, T Loecke, C Prather, T Robinson, D Sobota, C Solomon. 2006. The influence of changes in terrestrial plant community structure on aquatic ecosystem function across the LTER network. NSF LTER Cross-Site Synthesis Grant ($7,500).



Prather, CM. 2015. Divergent responses of understory herbivory to simulated hurricane effects in a subtropical Puerto Rican rainforest. Forest Ecology and Management 332: 87-92.

Gornish, E, and CM Prather. 2014. Do foliar functional traits predict how plants respond to warming? A meta-analysis. Journal of Vegetation Science, DOI: 10.1111/jvs.12150.

Pastore A, CM Prather, W. Ryan, E Gornish, RD Ellis, and TE Miller. 2014. Testing mechanisms of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis using long-term data of saxicolous lichens. Ecology 95: 306-315.

Prather, CM, S Pelini, A Laws, M Woltz, E Rivest, I del Torro, CK Ho, J Kominoski, TAS Newbold, S Parsons, A Joern. 2013. Invertebrates, ecosystem services, and climate change. Biological Reviews 88: 327-348.

Choate, DM*, CM Prather*, MJ Michel, AK Baldridge, MA Barnes, D Hoekman, CJ Patrick, J Rüegg, TA Crowl. 2012. Integrating Theory: a Graphical Model for Graduate Students and Researchers. Bioscience 62: 594-602. (*authors contributed equally to manuscript).


Prather, CM and AK Hardison. 2010. The Role of Student Research in Long-Term Studies: Insights into Climate Change and Disturbance Theory. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 91:455–457.

Ball, BA, JS Kominoski, HE Adams, SE Jones, ES Kane, TD Loeke, WM Mahaney, JP Martina, CM Prather, TMP Robinson, CT Solomon. 2010. Direct and Terrestrial Vegetation-mediated Effects of Environmental Change on Aquatic Ecosystem Processes. Bioscience 60: 590-601.

Prather, CM, DM Choate, MJ Michel. 2009. Putting the Ph. back in PhD: framing graduate research in a theoretical context. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment. 7: 389-390.

In review / revision

Prather, CM, GE Belovsky. Consumers alter plant production in a rainforest understory. (In revision at Ecology).

Schellinger, J and CM Prather. Harnessing the power of a faceless organism: the history of using bivalves as biological indicators. (In revision at the Journal of History in Biology).

In prep.

Prather, CM, GE Belovsky, TA Crowl. Synthesizing consumer influences on ecosystem processes: A trophic interaction model. (In prep for Biotropica).

AN Laws, CM Prather, D Branson. An experimental test of grasshopper diversity effects on plant biomass across three North American grasslands. (In prep for Ecology)

Prather, CM, and AM Laws. It happens: the relative importance of factors regulating animal excrement effects on plants. (In prep for Oikos).

Prather, CM and S Pennings. The role of micronutrients in structuring grasshopper communities. (In preparation for the Journal of Ecology).

Prather, CM and A Huynh. Woody encroachment facilitates the dispersal of invasive species in rare coastal tallgrass prairies. (In preparation for Restoration Ecology).


Invited Seminars

Grasshoppers in prairies: Do they matter? What affects their communities? 2015. CM Prather. Southern Plains and Prairies Conference. Houston, TX.

A food web approach to ecosystems: how do consumers and their diversity affect ecosystem functioning? 2014. CM Prather. Virginia Tech University, Blacksburg, VA.

Using arthropod food webs to look at the consequences of declines in global biodiversity. 2013. CM Prather. Invited Symposium Speaker at the Entomological Society of America Meeting, Austin, TX.

A food web approach to ecosystems: how do consumers and their diversity affect ecosystem functioning? 2013. CM Prather. Oregon State University, Corvalis, OR.

The rise and fall of philosophy in ecology: Why and how to put the Ph back in your PhD 2013. CM Prather, Corvalis, OR.

Invertebrates and their diversity in a coastal tallgrass prairie. 2013. CM Prather. State of the Prairie Conference, Kingswood, TX.

Keep bugging me! Invertebrates and their diversity in a coastal tallgrass prairie. 2012. CM Prather. Native Prairies Association of Texas-Houston Chapter, Houston, TX.

A food web approach to ecosystems: how do consumers affect rainforest processes? 2011. CM Prather. Rice University, Ecology and Evolution Seminar, Houston, TX.

With or without them: Invertebrate effects on ecosystem services. 2011. Florida State University, Ecology and Evolution Seminar, Tallahassee, FL.

Rainforest herbivore and detritivore effects on understory processes. 2010. CM Prather. Michigan State University, Hanover Seminar, Forestry Department, East Lansing, MI.

The Trophic Interaction Model and resource-mediated effects of invertebrate consumers in the understory of the rainforest. 2009. CM Prather and TA Crowl.

Herbivore and detritivore effects on rainforest ecosystem processes. 2009. CM. Prather. University of Kentucky, EcoLunch Series, Lexington, KY.

Herbivore and detritivore effects on rainforest ecosystem processes. 2009. CM. Prather. Harvard Forest, Seminar Series, Petersham, MA.

Herbivore and detritivore effects on rainforest ecosystem processes. 2008. CM. Prather. Universidad del Turabo, Department of Microbiology, Gurabo, PR.

Professional Meeting Presentations: I have presented 13 talks at international meetings in the past 8 years.


2012: Honorable Mention, Graduate Women in Science Fellowship program

2009: Pollard Fellowship, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame ($15,000).

2007-2010: University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center fellowship ($10,000).




  • Radford University: Grassland Ecology (Spring ’16), Insects and Society (Spring ’16), Introductory Biology Seminar, (Fall ’15); Ecology and Adaptation (Fall ‘14 & Spring ’15); Ecosystem Ecology (Spring ’15).
  • Florida State University: Biogeochemistry and Ecosystem Ecology (Spring ’11); The value of philosophy for ecology and evolution (Fall ’10).

Co-Instructor: Environmental Field Methods, University of Houston (Summer ’11).



Mentor of Postdoctoral Researcher: Angela Laws (present), University of Houston.

Mentor of PhD students:

  • Florida State University: Abe Gibson (History), Christina Kwapich (Biology), Martha Lang (Philosophy), Jennifer Schellinger (Biology). ‘10-‘11.

Mentor of Undergraduate research students:

  • Radford University: Jalynn Best (present); Megan Collier (present); Marisa Dameron (present); Annie Rudasill (present), Zach Pillis (present)
  • University of Houston: Vilma Burwick (‘14), Andrew Huynh (‘12), Jennifer Mahmud-Blake (‘11)
  • Luquillo LTER: Daniel Dlugos (‘08); Erik Jansen (‘05)
  • University of Notre Dame: Trevor Smith (‘04).

Academic Adviser of 7 undergraduate students (Fall ‘14-‘15), and 52 undergraduate students (Fall ‘15-‘16) at Radford University.


2013: Organized Ignite Session with Tom Miller at ESA, “The value of philosophy to ecology”, Minneapolis, MN.

2013-2014: Organized several Citizen Science Work Days for Galveston Bay Foundation.

2012—now: Developed blog and twitter to highlight the role of insects in society for the public.

2012-2013: Planned and led sessions for Galveston Bay Foundation’s restoration ecology project with several elementary classes.

2010: Organized an ESA Organized Oral Session with Amber Hardison at ESA, “The Role of Student Research in Long-Term Studies:  Insights into Climate Change and Disturbance Theory”, Pittsburg, PA.

2009-2010: Organized workshops, “Invertebrate Impacts on Ecosystem Services under Climate Change”, Harvard Forest, Petersham, MA and “Invertebrate effects on ecosystem services under climate change” at LTER All Scientist Meeting, Estes Park, CO.

2008-2010: LTER Graduate student Co-Chair with Amber Hardison, Sally Koerner.

2008-2010Member of the LTER Science Council.

2009: Symposium organizer, LTER Graduate Student Symposium, Estes Park, CO.

2008-2009: Planning committee, LTER All Scientists Meeting, Estes Park, CO.


Belovsky, Gary (University of Notre Dame); Branson, David (USDA); Cantrell, Sharon (University of Turabo, Puerto Rico); Choate, David (University of Nevada Las Vegas); Gonzalez, Grizelle (USFS); Gornish, Elise (University of California-Davis); Joern, Tony (Kansas State University); Laws, Angela (University of Houston); Michel, Matthew (Saint Louis University); Miller, Tom (Florida State University); Pastore, Abigail (Florida State University); Pennings, Steve (University of Houston); Sarkar, Sahotra (University of Texas-Austin).

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