Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America

About the PNAS Member Editor
Name Agrawal, Anurag
Location Cornell University
Primary Field Evolutionary Biology
Secondary Field Environmental Sciences and Ecology
 Research Interests
Anurag Agrawal works on species adaptation and community interactions. He has championed the integration of natural history and ecological analysis into evolutionary biology, with research foci that span topics in convergent evolution, chemical coevolution, biological trade-offs, and community ecology. The sessile nature of plants and their many chemical toxins has served as the basis for much of Agrawal's research. Research for his doctoral dissertation focused on the adaptive nature of phenotypic plasticity. This classic work revealed not only costs and benefits of inducible defense, but also ecological drivers and consequences. He also pioneered the study of transgenerational induction of defenses. Agrawal later linked evolution and ecology by demonstrating that heritable variation in organismal traits can be as influential on ecological outcomes as traditionally considered factors such as competition and predation. Over the past decade, his research program has combined comparative biology"including phylogenetic approaches"with experimentation to build bridges between the study of biological mechanisms, processes, and patterns. In addition to original research, Agrawal's career is characterized by a love for teaching and proclivity for conceptualization, which has included highly influential and provocative synthesis articles and the popular book Monarchs and Milkweed.

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