Kevin Mueller, PhD

Cleveland State University - plant functional ecology and biogeochemistry

Community Ecology


  • Ph.D | 2011 | Pennsylvania State University, Ecology and Biogeochemistry
  • M.S | 2005 | University of Cincinatti, Biological Sciences
  • B.S. | 2002 | Xavier University, Biology, minors in Economics and Environmental Studies

Select Publications

  • Ocheltree, T.W., Mueller K.M., Chesus, K., LeCain, D., Kray J.A., and Blumenthal, D.M. 2019. Identification of suites of traits that explain drought resistance and phenological Kevin E. Mueller – CV 4 patterns of plants in a semi-arid grassland community. Oecologia, 192, 55-66
  • Schlanser, K, Diefendorf, A.F., Greenwood, D.R., Mueller, K.E., West, C.K., Lowe, A.J., Basinger, J.F., Currano, E.D., Flynn, A.G., Fricke, H.C., Geng, J., Meyer, H.W., and Peppe, D.J. 2019. On geologic timescales, plant carbon isotope fractionation responds to precipitation similarly to modern plants and has a small
  • Griffin-Nolan, R.J., Blumenthal, D.M., Collins, S.L., Farkas, T.E., Hoffman, A.M., Mueller, K.E., Ocheltree, T.W., Smith, M.D., Whitney, K.D., and Knapp, A. 2019. Shifting effects of plant functional composition with long-term drought in grasslands. Journal of Ecology, 107, 2133-2148
  • Griffin-Nolan, R.J., Ocheltree, T.W., Mueller, K.E., Blumenthal, D.M., Kray, J.A., and Knapp, A. 2019. Extending the osmometer method for assessing drought tolerance to herbaceous species. Oecologia, 89, 353-363
  • *Angst, G., *Mueller, K.E., Eissenstat, D.M., Freeman, K.H., Trumbore, S., Chorover, J., Hobbie, S.E., Oleksyn, J., Reich, P.B., and Mueller, C.W. 2019. Soil organic carbon stability in forests: distinct effects of tree species identity and traits. Global Change Biology, 25, 1529-1546
  • Córdova, S.C., Olk, D., Dietzel, R. Mueller, K.E., Archontouilis, S., and Castellano, M.J. 2018. Plant litter quality affects the accumulation rate, composition, and stability of mineralassociated soil organic matter. Soil Biology and Biochemistry, 125, 115-124

I’m an ecologist with expertise in functional plant ecology, plant-soil interactions, and biogeochemistry. I’m fascinated by plants and soils because they provide ‘ecosystem services’ that sustain life (including the economy) and shape the nature of the earth system (including climate). To better understand the role of plants and soils in the earth system, past and present, I often study the causes and consequences of variation in plant characteristics that are critical to plant function and ecosystem processes. What on earth does that mean? For example, I study roots, leaves, and the cycles of water, carbon and nitrogen in forests and grasslands. I’m particularly interested in how ecosystem properties and plant communities are shaped by environmental changes and land management. My research has addressed several facets of environmental change, including elevated carbon dioxide, rising air temperatures, altered precipitation patterns and fire regimes, nitrogen pollution and loss of biodiversity. I’m increasingly interested in the ecology and biogeochemistry of managed landscapes such as cities, rangelands, and tree plantations.

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