Dr. Elser's research involves the integrative field of biological stoichiometry, the study of balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in living systems. While this work is primarily ecological in focus and includes studies of both aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems and biota, the approach uses an evolutionary perspective to integrate levels of organization from the molecule and cell to the ecosystem. Specific studies involve observational and experimental studies at various scales, including laboratory cultures, short-term field experiments and sustained whole-ecosystem manipulations. Over the years, field sites have included the Experimental Lakes Area in Ontario, Canada; lakes of the Arctic, Colorado and Norway; lakes, forests, and grasslands of the upper Midwest; desert springs in Mexico's Chihuahuan Desert; hot springs in Yellowstone National Park, and the surrounding Sonoran Desert. In addition, Dr. Elser collaborates extensively with mathematicians in developing quantitative theoretical approaches to these questions. In more recent work he has extended the work to investigate the connections among C:N:P stoichiometry, growth rate, rRNA physiology and genetics, and ecological dynamics in diverse biota and ecosystems and to evaluate the application of these ideas to tumor dynamics. Dr. Elser has received numerous awards for his innovative research and teaching, including election as a Fellow to the American Association for the Advancement of Sciences (AAAS). Currently, he is an active member of the ASU's NASA-funded Astrobiology project "Follow the Elements" and a co-organizer of ASU's Sustainable Phosphorus Initiative.
Ph.D., Ecology, University of California-Davis, 1990
M.S., Ecology, University of Tennessee, 1983
B.S., Biology, summa cum laude, University of Notre Dame, 1981
Gaxiola, R. A., C. A. Sanchez, J. Paez-Valencia, B. G. Ayre and J. J. Elser. 2012. Genetic manipulation of a "vacuolar" H+-PPase: From salt tolerance to yield enhancement under phosphorus-deficient soils. Plant Physiology 159(1):3-11. 10.1104/pp.112.195701 (link)
Childers, D. L., J. Corman, M. Edwards and J. J. Elser. 2011. Sustainability challenges of phosphorus and food: Solutions from closing the human phosphorus cycle. BioScience 61(2):117-124. http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/bio.2011.61.2.6 (link)
Gaxiola, R. A., M. Edwards and J. J. Elser. 2011. A transgenic approach to enhance phosphorus use efficiency in crops as part of a comprehensive strategy for sustainable agriculture. Chemosphere 84(6):840-845. 10.1016/j.chemosphere.2011.01.062 (link)
Carpenter, S. R., E. V. Armbrust, P. W. Arzberger, F. S. Chapin III, J. J. Elser, E. J. Hackett, P. M. Kareiva, M. A. Leibold, P. Lundberg, M. Mangel, N. Merchant, W. W. Murdoch, M. A. Palmer, D. P. Peters, S. T. Pickett, K. K. Smith, D. H. Wall and A. S. Zimmerman. 2009. Accelerate synthesis in ecology and environmental sciences. BioScience 59(8):699-701. (link)
Chrzanowski, T. H., R. W. Sterner and K. M. Mills. 1998. Stoichiometric constraints on food web dynamics: a whole-lake experiment on the Canadian Shield.. Ecosystems
Dobberfuhl, D. R., N. A. MacKay and J. H. Schampel. 1996. Organism size, life history, and N:P stoichiometry: towards a unified view of cellular and ecosystem processes. BioScience 674-684.
Brett, M. T. and C. R. Goldman. 1995. Effects of food web compensation after manipulation of rainbow trout in an oligotrophic lake.. Ecology 52-69.
Foster, D. K. and R. E. Hecky. 1995. Effects of zooplankton on sedimentation in pelagic ecosystems: theory and test in two lakes of the Canadian Shield. Biogeochemistry 143-170.
Hassett, R. P. 1994. A stoichiometric analysis of the zooplankton-phytoplankton interaction in marine and freshwater ecosystems.. Nature 211-213.
Childers, D. L., C. Carlille-Marquet, D. Cordell, V. Gerhart, D. Iwaniec and S. D. White. Future scenarios for the global sustainable use of phosphorus. In: Wyant, K. A., J. Corman and J. J. Elser eds., Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future. Oxford Press.
Riskin, S. H., G. G. Small, R. Mikkelsen, G. Metson, H. L. Bateman, J. Cooper, O. S. Hanserud, C. Laspoumadres, M. McCrackin and S. M. Remington. Phosphorus in urban and agricultural landscapes. In: Wyant, K. A., J. R. Corman and J. J. Elser eds., Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future. Oxford University Press.
Childers, D. L., Z. Caple, C. Carlielle-Marquet, D. Cordell, V. Gerhart, D. Iwaniec and S. D. White. 2013. Future scenarios for the global sustainable use of P. In: Elser, J. J. and K. A. Wyant eds., Phosphorus, Food Our Futures. Oxford Press.
Metson, G. S., K. A. Wyant and D. L. Childers. 2013. Introduction to P sustainability. Pp. 1-19 In: Wyant, K. A., J. Corman and J. J. Elser eds., Phosphorus, Food, and Our Future. Oxford University Press.
Wyant, K. A., J. Corman, D. Iwaniec and R. Hale. 2012. Sustainable phosphorus. In: Elser, J. J., K. A. Wyant and J. Corman eds., Phosphorus, Food Our Futures. Oxford Press.
Montes de Oca, M., S. Waters and J. J. Elser. 2013. Effective engagements at the Rio Salado Habitat Restoration Area. Poster presented on May 1, 2013 at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Wittig, A., J. Adamson, J. J. Elser and L. Guevara. 2013. Effectiveness of the modified field trip curriculum: Teaching the importance of good conservation habits. Poster presented on May 1, 2013 at the Decision Center for a Desert City Annual Poster Symposium, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ.
Elser, J. J. 1999. CAP LTER K-12 education program. Poster presented at the 22 January 1999, CAP LTER First Annual Poster Symposium, Center for Environmental Studies, Arizona State University, Tempe.
Elser, J. J. and L. Randall. 2009. Urban Heat Island: Introduction and activities. Presented Saturday, Dec 5, 2009 at the National Science Teachers Association Area Conference on Science Education, Phoenix, AZ.
Wu, J. G., S. Naeem, J. J. Elser, Y. Bai, J. Huang, L. Kang, C. F. Clark, Q. Wang, Q. Pan and X. Han. 2009. Testing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Albuquerque, NM. Presentation at the August 2-7, 2009 94th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.
Schwartz, K. and J. J. Elser. 2007. Using survey instruments to design more effective workshops. November 14, 2007 Research Symposium at the North American Association for Environmental Education Annual Conference, Virginia Beach, VA. (link)
Elser, J. J. and C. Saltz. 2002. Linking scientists, teachers and children in scientific research. Presented at March 2002, Microcomputers in Education Conference, Arizona State University, Tempe.