Headshot of Jennifer Hollander

Jennifer Hollander

Teaching Associate Professor


My primary research interests are in community and chemical ecology, specifically plant-animal interactions. I focus on the dispersal of seeds (piñon pine, Ephedra) by animals in the North American deserts. The 12 North American members of the genus Ephedra are dispersed by one of three mechanisms: wind, frugivorous birds, and/or seed-caching rodents. Although the genus is comprised of ~50 species worldwide and is found in arid regions on five continents, seed morphologies indicative of dispersal by seed-caching rodents have only evolved in North America. The presence of these different dispersal mechanisms within one genus in one geographical location makes Ephedra an ideal candidate for studying the evolutionary molding of dispersal adaptations. I am also interested in the role of olfaction in rodents locating cached seeds, and whether some seeds have evolved traits (such as secondary metabolites) to avoid either detection or predation by foragers once they have been cached.

Selected publications

  • Hollander, J. L., S. B. Vander Wall, and W. S. Longland.  Olfactory detection of caches containing wildland versus cultivated seeds by granivorous rodents.  Western North American Naturalist, in press.
  • Hollander, J. L., S. B. Vander Wall, and J. G. Baguley.  2010.  Evolution of seed dispersal in North American Ephedra.  Evolutionary Ecology 24:333-345.
  • Hollander, J. L., and S. B. Vander Wall.  2009.  Dispersal syndromes in North American Ephedra.  International Journal of Plant Sciences 170(3):323-330.
  • Hollander, J. L., and S. B. Vander Wall.  2004.  Effectiveness of six species of rodents as dispersers of singleleaf piñon pine (Pinus monophylla).  Oecologia 138:57-65.
  • Vander Wall, S. B., M. J. Beck, J. S. Briggs, J. K. Roth, T. C. Thayer, J. L. Hollander, and J. M. Armstrong.  2003.  Interspecific variation in the olfactory abilities of granivorous rodents.  Journal of Mammalogy 84:159-168.


  • Ph.D., Ecology, Evolution and Conservation Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2007
  • M.S., Biology, University of Nevada, Reno, 2002
  • B.S., Human Biology, University of Utah, 1996