Amy Angert

Associate Professor

Research Interests

evolutionary ecology
population biology
biological responses to climate change
Conservation Biology

Relevant Degree Programs


Research Methodology

field experiments
plant growth in controlled environments
vegetation surveys
demographic modelling
species distribution modelling


Complete these steps before you reach out to a faculty member!

Check requirements
  • Familiarize yourself with program requirements. You want to learn as much as possible from the information available to you before you reach out to a faculty member. Be sure to visit the graduate degree program listing and program-specific websites.
  • Check whether the program requires you to seek commitment from a supervisor prior to submitting an application. For some programs this is an essential step while others match successful applicants with faculty members within the first year of study. This is either indicated in the program profile under "Requirements" or on the program website.
Focus your search
  • Identify specific faculty members who are conducting research in your specific area of interest.
  • Establish that your research interests align with the faculty member’s research interests.
    • Read up on the faculty members in the program and the research being conducted in the department.
    • Familiarize yourself with their work, read their recent publications and past theses/dissertations that they supervised. Be certain that their research is indeed what you are hoping to study.
Make a good impression
  • Compose an error-free and grammatically correct email addressed to your specifically targeted faculty member, and remember to use their correct titles.
    • Do not send non-specific, mass emails to everyone in the department hoping for a match.
    • Address the faculty members by name. Your contact should be genuine rather than generic.
  • Include a brief outline of your academic background, why you are interested in working with the faculty member, and what experience you could bring to the department. The supervision enquiry form guides you with targeted questions. Ensure to craft compelling answers to these questions.
  • Highlight your achievements and why you are a top student. Faculty members receive dozens of requests from prospective students and you may have less than 30 seconds to peek someone’s interest.
  • Demonstrate that you are familiar with their research:
    • Convey the specific ways you are a good fit for the program.
    • Convey the specific ways the program/lab/faculty member is a good fit for the research you are interested in/already conducting.
  • Be enthusiastic, but don’t overdo it.
Attend an information session

G+PS regularly provides virtual sessions that focus on admission requirements and procedures and tips how to improve your application.


Master's students
Doctoral students
Postdoctoral Fellows
I support public scholarship, e.g. through the Public Scholars Initiative, and am available to supervise students and Postdocs interested in collaborating with external partners as part of their research.
I support experiential learning experiences, such as internships and work placements, for my graduate students and Postdocs.
I am open to hosting Visiting International Research Students (non-degree, up to 12 months).

Graduate Student Supervision

Doctoral Student Supervision (Jan 2008 - Mar 2019)
Ecological niche divergence and evolution in western North American monkeyflowers (2018)

The ecological niche is an essential concept for studies in ecology, evolution and biogeography. Geographic distributions are largely determined by species’ ecological niches. In turn, niches evolve via selection stemming from where species occur, which has implications for coexistence and the breadth of environmental tolerance. With modern comparative methods, we can improve our understanding of interactions among niche, range and diversification across spatial scales. To select variables for quantifying niche properties, I first applied generalized linear models with occurrence data of 71 western North American monkeyflowers (Mimulus sensu lato). Then I evaluated the relative importance of four bioclimatic variables by ranking them based on the magnitudes of model-averaged regression coefficients. Thus three out of four bioclimatic variables were identified as important predictors in determining geographic distributions of Mimulus species, while one variables was negligible due to its small effect. To determine how geographic overlap affects niche divergence, I quantified niche divergence for 16 closely related Mimulus species pairs. I found that macrohabitat niche divergence decreased with increasing range overlap, consistent with environmental filtering operating in sympatry and divergent selection operating in allopatry. For species pairs with partially overlapping ranges, greater microhabitat niche divergence was found in sympatry, consistent with competition driving divergence where species interact. Phylogenetic distance was positively related to niche divergence for two macrohabitat axes but negatively related for one microhabitat axis. This suggests increasing coarse-scale niche similarity with increasing sympatry following allopatric speciation, while greater local-scale niche divergence accumulates through time. Given differences in evolutionarily lability of niche axes across spatial scales, I next examined evolutionary trends in niche breadth. For 82 Mimulus species, I converted niche breadths into binary states, generalist or specialist. Then I tested whether niche breadth affected diversification rate and explored evolutionary transitions. My results showed higher diversification rates for generalists and weak generalist-to-specialist trends for three bioclimatic variables, but higher diversification rates for specialists and weak specialist-to-generalist trends for two microhabitat variables. Together, these results suggest that ecology plays an essential role in diversification processes, but underlying mechanisms might differ across spatial scales.

View record

Pollination, genetic structure, and adaptation to climate across the geographic range of Clarkia pulchella (2018)

Every species experiences limits to its geographic distribution on the landscape. Sometimes the barriers that limit geographic ranges are obvious. For example, oceans and topographic features may prevent a species from colonizing the areas beyond them. However, species' distributions frequently end at places on the landscape where no obvious barrier or abrupt shift in the environment occurs, and this raises the question of what limits the range at these edges, both proximately and in evolutionary time. This thesis investigates the contributions of pollination, climate, and gene flow to limiting range edge populations of an annual wildflower, Clarkia pulchella. Pollinators may be important at range edges because many of the proposed characteristics of edge populations (small, isolated, or low density) are also features that might make pollination less reliable and in some cases favour the evolution of self-pollination. I found that climate influences floral morphology and that the capacity of plants to set seed in the absence of pollinators was slightly higher in northern range edge populations. All populations benefit from the service of pollinators. Another factor that may limit populations at geographic range edges is the influence of asymmetric gene flow from central populations, which could prevent local adaptation in range edge populations. Alternatively, edge populations might have low genetic variance and therefore might benefit from gene flow. I tested these competing predictions by simulating gene flow between populations from across the species' range in the greenhouse and planting the progeny into common gardens at the northern range edge. This experiment took place during an extremely warm year. As a result, gene flow from warmer provenances improved performance. I also found a small benefit of gene flow independent of climate. Finally, I found no evidence that environmental differences contribute to genetic differentiation of populations, though geographic distance is a strong predictor of genetic differentiation. Contrary to expectations, genetic variation was higher near the northern range edge. Together, these chapters shed light on important drivers of reproductive success and local adaptation in this species and allow for insights into what processes are likely (or unlikely) to generate range limits.

View record

Master's Student Supervision (2010-2017)
Translocations of Mimulus cardinalis beyond the northern range limit show that dispersal limitation can invalidate ecological niche models (2016)

Correlative ecological niche models, built with species’ occurrence records, have become the most widespread methods to forecast range shifts with climate change, but these models assume species’ range limits are driven by their niche limits. If a species range limit is instead the result of dispersal limitation, then these correlative based models will be poorly calibrated and largely inaccurate. I used experimental field transplants within and beyond the northern range limit of the scarlet monkeyflower (Mimulus cardinalis) to test for dispersal limitation and to see if climatic-based ecological niche models were able to accurately predict site-level suitability. I also compared predictions from the niche models to a previous study that transplanted the species beyond its upper elevational range limit, which is known to be fitness limited rather than dispersal limited. Predictions from the niche model closely matched observed fitness from the field transplant experiment across the species’ elevational range limit, but not across the species’ northern latitudinal range limit. Consistently high fitness was maintained within and beyond the northern range limit and even in sites of low predicted suitability, suggesting the northern range limit is dispersal limited. I then constructed an alternative ecological niche model for M. cardinalis with stream habitat variables, rather than climatic variables and controlled for the influence of climatic mechanistically, with a simple thermal envelope. This alternative model demonstrated a large amount of suitable habitat beyond the northern range limit, further supporting that this range limit is largely dispersal limited rather than fitness limited. Dispersal limitation presents a serious systemic challenge for the correlative niche modeling framework and its associated applications. By combining niche models with field experiments, I was able to show both the strengths and weaknesses of these methods and use existing theory of dispersal limitation as a framework to assess the accuracy of these models.

View record

Recent Tri-Agency Grants

The following is a selection of grants for which the faculty member was principal investigator or co-investigator. Currently, the list only covers Canadian Tri-Agency grants from years 2013/14-2016/17 and excludes grants from any other agencies.

  • Canada Research Chair in Conservation Ecology for Dr. Amy Angert - Canada Research Chairs - Canada Research Chair Tier II (NSERC) (2013/2014)
  • The evolutionary ecology of geographic ranges in western North American Mimulus - Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada (NSERC) - Discovery Grants Program - Individual (2013/2014)


  • Geographic and climatic drivers of reproductive assurance in Clarkia pulchella (2018)
    Megan Bontrager and Christopher D Muir and Amy Angert
  • Demographic compensation does not rescue populations at a trailing range edge (2018)
    Seema Nayan Sheth and Amy Lauren Angert
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 115 (10) 2413--2418
  • Floral trait variation and links to climate in the mixed-mating annual Clarkia pulchella (2018)
    Devin E. Gamble and Megan Bontrager and Amy L. Angert
    Botany 96 (7) 425--435
  • Gene flow improves fitness at a range edge under climate change (2018)
    Megan Bontrager and Amy Angert
  • Genetic differentiation is determined by geographic distance inClarkia pulchella (2018)
    Megan Bontrager and Amy L. Angert
  • Moving Character Displacement beyond Characters Using Contemporary Coexistence Theory (2018)
    Rachel M. Germain and Jennifer L. Williams and Dolph Schluter and Amy L. Angert
    Trends in Ecology & Evolution 33 (2) 74--84
  • Species Ranges (2018)
    Takuji Usui and Amy Angert
    Reference Module in Life Sciences
  • The effect of range overlap on ecological niche divergence depends on spatial scale in monkeyflowers (2018)
    Qin Li and Dena L. Grossenbacher and Amy L. Angert
    Evolution 72 (10) 2100--2113
  • Local Adaptation Interacts with Expansion Load during Range Expansion: Maladaptation Reduces Expansion Load (2017)
    Kimberly J. Gilbert and Nathaniel P. Sharp and Amy L. Angert and Gina L. Conte and Jeremy A. Draghi and Frederic Guillaume and Anna L. Hargreaves and Remi Matthey-Doret and Michael C. Whitlock
    The American Naturalist 189 (4) 368--380
  • When are species invasions useful for addressing fundamental questions in plant biology? (2017)
    Risa D. Sargent and Amy L. Angert and Jennifer L. Williams
    American Journal of Botany 104 (6) 797--799
  • A synthesis of transplant experiments and ecological niche models suggests that range limits are often niche limits (2016)

    Lee-Yaw, Julie A and Kharouba, Heather M and Bontrager, Megan and Mahony, Colin and Csergo, Anna Maria and Noreen, Annika ME and Li, Qin and Schuster, Richard and Angert, Amy L
    Ecology letters 19 (6) 710--722

  • Artificial selection reveals high genetic variation in phenology at the trailing edge of a species range (2016)

    Sheth, Seema Nayan and Angert, Amy Lauren and Vellend, Mark and Michalakis, Yannis
    The American Naturalist 187 (2) 182--193

  • Effects of range-wide variation in climate and isolation on floral traits and reproductive output of Clarkia pulchella (2016)

    Bontrager, Megan and Angert, Amy L
    American journal of botany 103 (1) 10--21

  • Grow with the flow: a latitudinal cline in physiology is associated with more variable precipitation inErythranthe cardinalis (2016)
    Christopher D. Muir and Amy L. Angert
  • The scale of local adaptation in Mimulus guttatus: comparing life history races, ecotypes, and populations (2016)

    Peterson, Megan L and Kay, Kathleen M and Angert, Amy L
    New Phytologist 211 (1) 345--356

  • Assessing the potential for maladaptation during active management of limber pine populations: a common garden study detects genetic differentiation in response to soil moisture in the Southern Rocky Mountains (2015)

    Borgman, Erin M and Schoettle, Anna W and Angert, Amy L
    Canadian Journal of Forest Research 45 (4) 496--505

  • Where and when do species interactions set range limits? (2015)

    Louthan, Allison M and Doak, Daniel F and Angert, Amy L
    Trends in ecology & evolution 30 (12) 780--792

  • Disentangling the drivers of context-dependent plant--animal interactions (2014)

    Maron, John L and Baer, Kathryn C and Angert, Amy L
    Journal of Ecology 102 (6) 1485--1496

  • High water-use efficiency and growth contribute to success of non-native Erodium cicutarium in a Sonoran Desert winter annual community (2014)

    Kimball, Sarah and Gremer, Jennifer R and Barron-Gafford, Greg A and Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Lawrence
    Conservation Physiology 2 (1) cou006

  • Identifying the paths leading to variation in geographical range size in western North American monkeyflowers (2014)

    Sheth, Seema N and Jimenez, Ivan and Angert, Amy L
    Journal of Biogeography 41 (12) 2344--2356

  • Phenotypic constraints and community structure: Linking trade-offs within and among species (2014)

    Angert, Amy L and Kimball, Sarah and Peterson, Megan and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, David L
    Evolution 68 (11) 3149--3165

  • The evolution of environmental tolerance and range size: a comparison of geographically restricted and widespread Mimulus (2014)

    Sheth, Seema N and Angert, Amy L
    Evolution 68 (10) 2917--2931

  • Using among-year variation to assess maternal effects in Pinus aristata and Pinus flexilis (2014)

    Borgman, Erin M and Schoettle, Anna W and Angert, Amy L
    Botany 92 (11) 805--814

  • Climate change and species interactions: ways forward (2013)

    Angert, Amy L and LaDeau, Shannon L and Ostfeld, Richard S
    Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1297 (1) 1--7

  • Phenotypic selection favors missing trait combinations in coexisting annual plants (2013)

    Kimball, Sarah and Gremer, Jennifer R and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Lawrence and Angert, Amy L
    The American Naturalist 182 (2) 191--207

  • Photosynthetic temperature responses of co-occurring desert winter annuals with contrasting resource-use efficiencies and different temporal patterns of resource utilization may allow for species coexistence (2013)

    Barron-Gafford, Greg A and Angert, AL and Venable, David L and Tyler, AP and Gerst, KL and Huxman, TE
    Journal of arid environments 91 95--103

  • Understanding past, contemporary, and future dynamics of plants, populations, and communities using Sonoran Desert winter annuals (2013)

    Huxman, Travis E and Kimball, Sarah and Angert, Amy L and Gremer, Jennifer R and Barron-Gafford, Greg A and Venable, D Lawrence
    American journal of botany 100 (7) 1369--1380

  • Water-use efficiency and relative growth rate mediate competitive interactions in Sonoran Desert winter annual plants (2013)

    Gremer, Jennifer R and Kimball, Sarah and Keck, Katie R and Huxman, Travis E and Angert, Amy L and Venable, D Lawrence
    American journal of botany 100 (10) 2009--2015

  • Fitness and physiology in a variable environment (2012)
    Kimball, Sarah and Gremer, Jennifer R and Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Lawrence
    Oecologia 169 (2) 319--329
  • Range-wide patterns of genetic population structure and potential geographical range shifts of Pinus contorta (ssp. latifolia, murrayana, contorta, and bolanderi) (2012)

    Bisbing, Sarah and Cooper, David J and Angert, Amy L and Cushman, Samuel A and Shirk, Andrew and Landguth, Erin L and Dudaniec, Rachael and Rhodes, Jonathan and Worthington-Wilmer, Jessica and others
    97th ESA Annual Meeting

  • Variation in photosynthetic response to temperature in a guild of winter annual plants (2012)
    Gremer, Jennifer R and Kimball, Sarah and Angert, Amy L and Venable, D Lawrence and Huxman, Travis E
    Ecology 93 (12) 2693--2704
  • Differences in the timing of germination and reproduction relate to growth physiology and population dynamics of Sonoran Desert winter annuals (2011)

    Kimball, Sarah and Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Lawrence
    American Journal of Botany 98 (11) 1773--1781

  • Do species’ traits predict recent shifts at expanding range edges? (2011)

    Angert, Amy L and Crozier, Lisa G and Rissler, Leslie J and Gilman, Sarah E and Tewksbury, Josh J and Chunco, Amanda J
    Ecology Letters 14 (7) 677--689

  • Incorporating population variation in thermal niche properties into geographic range shift predictions (2011)

    Angert, AL and Sheth, SN
    Integrative and Comparative Biology 51 E3--E3

  • Incorporating population-level variation in thermal performance into predictions of geographic range shifts (2011)

    Angert, Amy L and Sheth, Seema N and Paul, John R
    Integrative and comparative biology icr048

  • Quantifying the impact of gene flow on phenotype-environment mismatch: a demonstration with the scarlet monkeyflower Mimulus cardinalis (2011)

    Paul, John R and Sheth, Seema N and Angert, Amy L
    The American Naturalist 178 (S1) S62--S79

  • The effect of geographic range position on demographic variability in annual plants (2011)

    Gerst, Katharine L and Angert, Amy L and Venable, D Lawrence
    Journal of Ecology 99 (2) 591--599

  • Contemporary climate change in the Sonoran Desert favors cold-adapted species (2010)

    Kimball, Sarah and Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Lawrence
    Global Change Biology 16 (5) 1555--1565

  • Phenotypic plasticity and precipitation response in Sonoran Desert winter annuals (2010)

    Angert, Amy L and Horst, Jonathan L and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Lawrence
    American Journal of Botany 97 (3) 405--411

  • SYMP 7-4: Can species' traits predict recent range shifts? (2010)

    Angert, Amy L
    The 95th ESA Annual Meeting

  • Time scales of biogeochemical and organismal responses to individual precipitation events (2010)

    von Fischer, JC and Angert, AL and Augustine, DJ and Brown, C and Dijkstra, FA and Derner, JD and Hufbauer, RA and Fierer, N and Milchunas, DG and Moore, JC and others
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1 02

  • COS 53-1: Climate induced changes in plant community composition in the Sonoran Desert (2009)

    Kimball, Sarah and Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Venable, D Larry
    The 94th ESA Annual Meeting

  • Evolution and ecology of species range limits (2009)

    Sexton, Jason P and McIntyre, Patrick J and Angert, Amy L and Rice, Kevin J

  • Functional tradeoffs determine species coexistence via the storage effect (2009)

    Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Chesson, Peter and Venable, D Lawrence
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (28) 11641--11645

  • OOS 28-2: Population dynamics across species' ranges: Comparative demography of central and marginal populations of Mimulus cardinalis and M. lewisii (2009)

    Angert, Amy L
    The 94th ESA Annual Meeting

  • Phenology, stochasticity, and the demography of plant populations (2009)

    Caswell, Hal and Angert, Amy L and Burns, Jean H and Knight, Tiffany and Jongejans, Eelke and de Kroon, Hans and Tuljapurkar, Shripad and Shea, Katriona and Salguero-Gomez, Roberto and Casper, Brenda B and others
    94th ESA Annual Meeting

  • The niche, limits to species' distributions, and spatiotemporal variation in demography across the elevation ranges of two monkeyflowers (2009)

    Angert, Amy L
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 106 (Suppl) 19693--19698

  • COS 108-4: Functional tradeoffs promote species coexistence via the storage effect (2008)

    Angert, Amy L and Huxman, Travis E and Chesson, Peter and Venable, D Lawrence
    The 93rd ESA Annual Meeting

  • COS 29-6: Phenological differences promote coexistence in Sonoran Desert winter annuals (2008)

    Kimball, Sarah and Angert, Amy L and Venable, D Larry and Huxman, Travis E
    The 93rd ESA Annual Meeting

  • Phenological Differences Promote Coexistence in Sonoran Desert Winter Annuals (2008)

    Kimball, S and Angert, A and Huxman, T and Venable, L
    AGU Fall Meeting Abstracts 1 0384

  • Photosynthetic resource-use efficiency and demographic variability in desert winter annual plants (2008)

    Huxman, Travis E and Barron-Gafford, Greg and Gerst, Katharine L and Angert, Amy L and Tyler, Anna P and Venable, D Lawrence
    Ecology 89 (6) 1554--1563

  • Using experimental evolution to investigate geographic range limits in monkeyflowers (2008)

    Angert, Amy L and Bradshaw Jr, HD and Schemske, Douglas W
    Evolution 62 (10) 2660--2675

  • Linking growth strategies to long-term population dynamics in a guild of desert annuals (2007)

    Angert, AL and Huxman, TE and BARRON-GAFFORD, Greg A and Gerst, KL and Venable, David L
    Journal of Ecology 95 (2) 321--331

  • Long-term ecological research on Colorado shortgrass steppe (2007)

    Milchunas, Daniel G and Lauenroth, William K and Knapp, Alan K and Klein, Julia A and Conant, Richard T and Burke, Ingrid C and Brown, Cynthia S and Webb, Colleen T and Augustine, David J and Angert, Amy L and others

  • Demography of central and marginal populations of monkeyflowers (Mimulus cardinalis and M. lewisii) (2006)

    Angert, Amy Lauren
    Ecology 87 (8) 2014--2025

  • Growth and leaf physiology of monkeyflowers with different altitude ranges (2006)
    Amy Lauren Angert
    Oecologia 148 (2) 183--194
  • Growth and leaf physiology of monkeyflowers with different altitude ranges (2006)

    Angert, Amy Lauren
    Oecologia 148 (2) 183--194

  • The Ecology and Evolution of Elevation Range Limits in Monkeyflowers (mimulus Cardinalis and M. Lewisii) (2005)

    Angert, Amy Lauren

  • The evolution of species' distributions: reciprocal transplants across the elevation ranges of Mimulus cardinalis and M. lewisii (2005)

    Angert, AL and Schemske, DW
    Evolution 59 (8) 1671--1684

  • Trade-offs and the evolution of altitude range limits in monkeyflowers (2004)

    Angert, AL and Schemske, DW

  • Microhabitat use and thermal biology of the collared lizard (Crotaphytus collaris collaris) and the fence lizard (Sceloporus undulatus hyacinthinus) in Missouri glades (2002)

    Angert, Amy L and Hutchison, Delbert and Glossip, Danielle and Losos, Jonathan B
    Journal of Herpetology 36 (1) 23--29


If this is your researcher profile you can log in to the Faculty & Staff portal to update your details and provide recruitment preferences.