Education:

  • PhD, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, 2008
  • BA, Biology and Music, Carleton College, 2000

Courses taught:

Before COA

  • Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Purchase College (SUNY). 2011-2017
  • Resident Professor, Organization for Tropical Studies, 2009-2011
  • Coordinator, Organization for Tropical Studies Research Experience for Undergraduates at La Selva Biological Station, Puerto Viejo de Sarapiquí, 2007-2008

Honors and Awards

  • 2nd degree black belt and international instructor certification in Tae Kwon Do. 2012
  • Honorable mention, OTS Student Paper Award, 2009
  • Wallace Stevens Poetry Prize, University of Connecticut, 2008
  • NSF Graduate Fellowship, 2005
  • Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Fellowshi, 2004
  • Honorable Mention, NSF Graduate Fellowship, 2003
  • University of Connecticut Oustanding Scholar Fellowship, 2003
  • Phi Beta Kappa membership, 2000
  • Sigma Xi membership, 2000
  • 1st degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do, 2000
  • Sigrid and Erling Larson Award in the Creative and Performing Arts (for music composition), 2000

Publications

Hudson, L.N., et al. [515 authors]. 2017. The database of the PREDICTS (Projecting Responses of Ecological Diversity In Changing Terrestrial Systems) project. Ecology and Evolution 7: 145-188.

 

Gilman, A.C., S.G. Letcher, R.M. Fincher, A.I. Perez, T.W. Madell, A.L. Finkelstein, and F. Corrales-Araya. 2016. Recovery of floristic diversity and basal area in natural forest regeneration and planted plots in a Costa Rican wet forest. Biotropica 48: 798–808.

 

Chazdon, R.L., E.N. Broadbent, D.M. Rozendaal, F. Bongers, A.M. Almeyda Zambrano, T.M. Aide, P. Balvanera, J.M. Becknell, V. Boukili, P.H.S. Brancalion, D. Craven, J.S. Almeida-Cortez, G.A.L. Cabral, B. de Jong, J.S. Denslow, D.H. Dent, S.J. DeWalt, J.M. Dupuy, S.M. Durán, M.M. Espírito-Santo, M.C. Fandino, R.G. César, J.S. Hall, J.L. Hernández-Stefanoni, C.C. Jakovac, A.B. Junqueira, D. Kennard, S.G. Letcher, M. Lohbeck, M. Martínez-Ramos, P. Massoca, J.A. Meave, R. Mesquita, F. Mora, R. Muñoz, R. Muscarella, Y.R.F. Nunes, S. Ochoa-Gaona, E. Orihuela-Belmonte, M. Peña-Claros, E. Pérez-García, D. Piotto, J.S. Powers, J. Rodríguez-Velazquez, I.E. Romero-Pérez, J. Ruíz, J.G. Saldarriaga, A. Sanchez-Azofeifa, N.B. Schwartz, M.K. Steininger, N.G. Swenson, M. Uriarte, M. van Breugel, H. van der Wal, M.D.M. Veloso, H. Vester, I.C.G. Vieira, T. Vizcarra Bentos, G.B. Williamson, and L. Poorter. 2016. Carbon sequestration potential of second-growth forest regeneration in the Latin American tropics. Science Advances 2: e1501639; DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.1501639.

 

Poorter, L. F. Bongers, T. M. Aide, A.M. Almeyda Zambrano, P. Balvanera, J.M. Becknell, V. Boukili, P.H.S. Brancalion, E.N. Broadbent, R.L. Chazdon, D. Craven, J.S. de Almeida-Cortez, G.A.L Cabral, B.H.J. de Jong, J.S. Denslow, D.H. Dent, S.J. DeWalt, J.M. Dupuy, S.M. Durán, M.M. Espírito-Santo, M.C. Fandino, R.G. César,J.S. Hall, J.L. Hernandez-Stefanoni, C.C. Jakovac, A.B. Junqueira, D. Kennard, S.G. Letcher, J.-C. Licona, M. Lohbeck,E. Marín-Spiotta, M. Martínez-Ramos, Paulo Massoca, J.A. Meave, R. Mesquita, F. Mora, R. Muñoz, R. Muscarella, Y.R.F. Nunes, S. Ochoa-Gaona, A.A. de Oliveira, E. Orihuela-Belmonte, M. Peña-Claros, E.A. Pérez-García, D. Piotto, J.S., Powers, J. Rodríguez-Velázquez, I.E. Romero-Pérez, J. Ruíz, J.G. Saldarriaga, A. Sanchez-Azofeifa, N.B. Schwartz, M.K. Steininger, N.G. Swenson, M. Toledo, M. Uriarte, M. van Breugel, H. van der Wal, M.D.M. Veloso, H.F.M. Vester, A. Vicentini, I.C.G. Vieira, T. Vizcarra Bentos, G.B. Williamson, and D.M.A. Rozendaal. 2016. Biomass resilience of Neotropical secondary forests. Nature 530: 211–214.

 

Ding, Y., R. Zang, S.G. Letcher, W. Liu, and X. Lu. 2016. Aboveground and belowground competition affect seedling performance and allometry in a tropical monsoon forest. New Forests 47: 529–540.

 

Jiang, Y., R. Zang, S.G. Letcher, Y. Ding, Y. Huang, X. Lu, J. Huang, W. Liu, and Z. Zhang. 2016. Associations between plant composition/diversity and the abiotic environment across six vegetation types in a biodiversity hotspot of Hainan Island, China. Plant and Soil 403: 21–35.

 

Letcher, S.G., J.R. Lasky, R.L. Chazdon, N. Norden, S.J. Wright, J.A. Meave, E.A. Pérez‐García, R. Muñoz, E. Romero‐Pérez, A. Andrade, J.L. Andrade, P. Balvanera, J.M. Becknell, T.V. Bentos, R. Bhaskar, F. Bongers, V. Boukili, P.H.S. Brancalion, R.G. César, D.A. Clark, D.B. Clark, D. Craven, A. DeFrancesco, J.M. Dupuy, B. Finegan, E. González‐Jiménez, J.S. Hall, K.E. Harms, J.L. Hernández‐Stefanoni, P. Hietz, D. Kennard, T.J. Killeen, S.G. Laurance, E.E. Lebrija‐Trejos, M. Lohbeck, M. Martínez‐Ramos, P.E.S. Massoca, R.C.G. Mesquita, F. Mora, R. Muscarella, H. Paz, F. Pineda‐García, J.S. Powers, R. Quesada‐Monge, R.R. Rodrigues, M.E. Sandor, L. Sanaphre‐Villanueva, E. Schüller, N.G. Swenson, A.Tauro, M. Uriarte, M. van Breugel, O. Vargas‐Ramírez, R.A.G. Viani, A.L. Wendt, and G.B. Williamson. 2015. Environmental gradients and the evolution of successional habitat specialization: a test case with 14 Neotropical forest sites. Journal of Ecology 103: 1276–1290.

 

Slik, J.W.F., V. Arroyo-Rodríguez, S.-I.Aiba, P. Alvarez-Loayza, L.F. Alves, P. Ashton, et al. 2015. An estimate of the number of tropical tree species. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 112: 7472-7477.

 

Letcher, S.G. 2015. Patterns of liana succession in tropical forests. Pp. 116-130 in S. A. Schnitzer, F. Bongers, R. Burnham, and F. Putz, eds. Ecology of Lianas. Wiley-Blackwell.

 

DeWalt, S.J., S.A. Schnitzer, L. Alves, F. Bongers, R.J. Burnham, Z. Cai, W.P. Carson, J. Chave, G. Chuyong, D.B. Clark, F.R.C. Costa, C.E.N. Ewango, R. Gallagher, J.J. Gerwing, E. Gortaire, T. Hart., G. Ibarra-Manríquez, K. Ickes, D. Kenfack, S.G. Letcher, M.J. Macía, J.-R. Makana, A. Malizia, M. Martínez-Ramos, J. Mascaro, S. Moses, H.C. Müller-Landau, S. Muthuramkumar, C. Muthmperumal, A. Nogueira, A. Padaki, M.P.E. Parren, N. Parthasarathy, D. Pérez-Salipcrup, F.E. Putz, H. Romero-Saltos, M.S. Reddy, and D. Thomas. 2015. Biogeographic patterns in liana abundance and diversity in tropical forests. Pp. 131-146 in S. A. Schnitzer, F. Bongers, R. Burnham, and F. Putz, eds. Ecology of Lianas. Wiley-Blackwell.

 

Lu, X., R. Zang, Y. Ding, S.G. Letcher, W. Long, and Y. Huang. 2015. Variations and trade-offs in functional traits of tree seedlings during secondary succession in a tropical lowland rain forest. Biotropica. 46: 404-414.

 

Hudson, L.N., T. Newbold, S. Contu, S.L.L. Hill, I. Lysenko, A. De Palma, H.R.P. Phillips, et al. 2014. The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts. Ecology and Evolution 4: 4701-4735.

 

Chazdon, R.L., B.Vilchez-Alvarado, S.G. Letcher, A. Wendt, and U.U. Sezen. 2014. Effects of human activities on successional pathways: case studies from lowland wet forests of northeastern Costa Rica. Pp. 129-139 in K.D. Morrison, S. Hecht, and C. Padoch, eds. The Social Lives of Forests: Past, Present, and Future of Woodland Resurgence. University of Chicago Press.

 

Yorke, S. R., S. A. Schnitzer, J. Mascaro, S. G. Letcher, and W. P. Carson. 2013. Increasing liana abundance and basal area in a tropical forest: the contribution of long-distance clonal colonization. Biotropica.45: 317-324.

 

Letcher, S.G., and R.L. Chazdon. 2012. Life history traits of lianas during tropical forest succession. Biotropica 44: 720-727.

 

Cayuela, L., L. Gálvez-Bravo, R. Pérez Pérez, F.S. de Albuquerque, D.J. Golicher, R.A. Zahawi, N. Ramírez-Marcial, C. Garibaldi, R. Field, J.M. Rey Benayas, M. González-Espinosa, P. Balvanera, M. Ángel Castillo, B.L. Figueroa-Rangel, D.M. Griffith, G.A. Islebe, D.L. Kelly, M. Olvera-Vargas, S.A. Schnitzer, E. Velázquez, G. Williams-Linera,

S.W. Brewer, A. Camacho-Cruz, I. Coronado, B. de Jong, R. del Castillo, Í. de la Cerda, J. Fernández, W. Fonseca, L. Galindo-Jaimes, T.W. Gillespie, B. González-Rivas, J.E. Gordon, J. Hurtado, J. Linares, S.G. Letcher, S. Mangan, J.A. Meave, E.V. Méndez, V. Meza, S. Ochoa-Gaona, C.J. Peterson, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, K.A. Snarr, F. Tun Dzul, M. Valdez-Hernández, K.M. Viergever, D.A. White, J.N. Williams, F.J. Bonet, and R. Zamora. 2012. The Tree Biodiversity Network (BIOTREE-NET): prospects for biodiversity research and conservation in the tropics. Biodiversity and Ecology 4: 211-224.

 

Cayuela, L., L. Gálvez-Bravo, F. S. de Albequerque, D. J. Golicher, M. González-Espinosa, N. Ramírez-Marcial, J. M. Rey Benayas, R. A. Zahawi, J. A. Meave, B. M. Benito, C. Garibaldi, I. Chan, R. Pérez-Pérez, R. Field, P. Balvanera, M. A. Castillo, B. L. Figueroa-Rangel, D. M. Griffith, G. A. Islebe, D. L. Kelly, M. Olvera-Vargas, S. A. Schnitzer, E. Velasquez, G. Williams-Linera, S. W. Brewer, A. Camacho-Cruz, I. Coronado, B. de Jong, R. del Castillo, I. Granzow-de la Cerda, J. Fernández, W. Fonseca, L. Galindo-Jaimes, T. W. Gillespie, B. Gonzáles-Rivas, J. E. Gordon, J. Hurtado, J. Linares, S. G. Letcher, S. A. Mangan, V. E. Méndez, V. Meza, S. Ochoa-Gaona, C. J. Peterson, V. Ruiz-Gutierrez, K. A. Snarr, F. Tun Dzul, M. Valdez-Hernández, K. M. Viergever, D. A. White, J. N. Williams, F. J. Bonet, and R. Zamora. 2012. La Red Internacional de Inventarios Forestales (BIOTREE-NET) en Mesoamérica: avances, retos y perspectivas futuras. Ecosistemas 21: 126-135. [Spanish version of Cayuela et al., above.]

 

Norden, N., S.G. Letcher, V. Boukili, N.G. Swenson, and R.L. Chazdon. 2012. Demographic drivers of successional changes in phylogenetic structure across life-history stages in tropical plant communities. Ecology 93:S70-S82.

 

Ding, Y., R. Zang, S.G. Letcher, S. Liu, and F. He. 2012. Disturbance regime changes the trait distribution, phylogenetic structure, and community assembly of tropical rain forests. Oikos 121: 1263-1270.

 

Ding, Y., R. Zang, F. He, and S.G. Letcher. 2012. Recovery of woody plant diversity in tropical rain forests in southern China after logging and shifting cultivation. Biological Conservation 145: 225-233.

 

Letcher, S.G., R.L. Chazdon, A.C.S. Andrade, F. Bongers, M. van Breugel, B. Finegan, S.G. Laurance, R.C.G. Mesquita, M. Martínez-Ramos, and G.B. Williamson. 2012. Phylogenetic community structure during succession: evidence from three Neotropical forest sites. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics 14: 79-87.

 

Chazdon, R.L., A. Chao, R.K. Colwell, S.-Y. Lin, N. Norden, S.G. Letcher, D.B. Clark, B. Finegan, and J.P. Arroyo. 2011. A novel statistical method for classifying habitat generalists and specialists. Ecology 92: 1332-1343.

 

Shumway, S.W., Letcher, S.G., Friberg, A., and DeMelo, D. 2010. RainforestPlants: a web-based teaching tool for students of tropical biology. Bulletin of the Ecological Society of America 91: 257-261.

 

Letcher, S.G. 2010. Phylogenetic overdispersion of angiosperm communities during tropical forest succession. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 277: 97-104.

 

Letcher, S.G., and R.L. Chazdon. 2009. Rapid recovery of biomass, species richness, and species composition in a forest chronosequence in northeastern Costa Rica. Biotropica 41: 608-617.

Letcher, S.G., and R.L. Chazdon. 2009. Lianas and self-supporting plants during tropical forest succession. Forest Ecology and Management 257: 2150-2156.

 

Chazdon, R.L., S.G. Letcher, M. van Breugel, M. Martínez-Ramos, F. Bongers, and B. Finegan. 2007. Rates of change in tree communities of secondary Neotropical forests following major disturbances. Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society Series B 362:273-289.

 

Palomaki, M.B., R.L. Chazdon, J.P. Arroyo, and S.G. Letcher. 2006. Juvenile tree growth in relation to light availability in second-growth tropical rain forests. Journal of Tropical Ecology. 22:223-226.

 

Letcher, S.G. 2005. Common Plant Families of La Selva Biological Station. Lulu Press, Morristown, N.C.

 

Miller, D.S., S. Letcher, and D.M. Barnes. 1996. Fluorescence imaging study of organic anion transport from renal proximal tubule cell to lumen. American Journal of Physiology-Renal Fluid and Electrolyte Physiology 40: F508-F520.

 

 

Other Publications

 

  • Letcher, S.G. 2016. Good news on rain forests: they bounce back strong, storing more carbon than thought. The Conversation, Feb. 3 2016.
  • Letcher, S.G. 2015. Metaphors and thresholds. Kinnickinnick, October 2015. Rachel Colwell (ed.) 

  • Letcher, S.G. 2014. Comment on “The Mammoth Cometh,” Reply All, New York Times Magazine, March 2, 2014. [online comment chosen for publication by the editor] 

  • Letcher, E.L. and S.G. Letcher. 2010. The Barefoot Sisters: Walking Home. Stackpole Books.

  • Letcher, E.L. and S.G. Letcher. 2009. The Barefoot Sisters: Southbound. Stackpole Books.