School of Life Sciences
Arizona State University
PO Box 874501
Tempe, AZ 85287
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.
Carpenter, S., 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 59:699-701. (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 61:117-124. (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 84:840-845. (link)
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 159:3-11. (link)
Wu, J., S. Naeem, J. Elser, Y. Bai, J. Huang, L. Kang, C. Clark, Q. Wang, Q. Pan and X. Han. 2009. Testing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning relationships. Presentation at the August 2-7, 2009 94th Annual Meeting of the Ecological Society of America.