Elizabeth G. Pringle

Associate Professor
Portrait of Elizabeth Pringle


My research focuses on the evolutionary ecology of multispecies mutualisms.

I am broadly interested in evolutionary ecology and my research uses chemical, molecular, and field approaches to study the dynamics of plant-animal-microbe interactions and their effects on communities and ecosystems. I study the effects of rainfall seasonality, the links between mutualisms and their broader ecological communities, and eco-evolutionary feedbacks by focusing on ant-plant-herbivore interactions. I also study how human-mediated disturbances, such as defaunation, deforestation, and invasive species, affect ecological communities by focusing on seed dispersal mutualisms.


  • Ph.D., Biology, Stanford University, 2011
  • A.B., Environmental Science and Public Policy, Harvard University, 2004

Selected publications

Google Scholar profile

  • Pringle, E.G., T. Ferreira dos Santos, M.S. Gonçalves, C.A. Peres, and F.B. Baccaro. 2019. Arboreal ant abundance tracks primary productivity in an Amazonian whitewater river system. Ecosphere 10: e02902.
  • Mundim, F.R. and E.G. Pringle. 2018. Whole-plant metabolic allocation under water stress. Front Plant Sci 9: 852. doi: 10.3389/fpls.2018.00852.
  • Pringle, E.G., I. Ableson, J. Kerber, R.L. Vannette, and L. Tao. 2017. Orthogonal fitness benefits of nitrogen and ants for nitrogen-limited plants in the presence of herbivores. Ecology 98:3003-3010.
  • Pringle, E.G. and C.S. Moreau. 2017. Community analysis of microbial sharing and specialization in a Costa Rican ant-plant-hemipteran symbiosis. P Roy Soc B 284: 20162770. Pringle, E.G. 2016. Orienting the interaction compass: resource availability as a major driver of context dependence. PLOS Biol 14(10): e2000891.
  • Pringle, E.G. 2016. Integrating plant carbon dynamics with mutualism ecology. New Phytol 210:71-75.
  • Pringle, E.G., A. Novo, I. Ableson, R.V. Barbehenn, and R.L. Vannette. 2014. Plant-derived differences in the composition of aphid honeydew and their effects on colonies of aphid-tending ants. Ecol Evol 4: 4065-4079.