• Associate Professor
  • Ecology and Integrative Biology
  • Ph.D. University of California, Davis 2005
  • Department of Biology
  • Temple University

Research in the Freestone laboratory bridges classic community ecology with macroecology. We focus on understanding feedbacks among processes that operate at the community scale and across regional to continental scales. Using experimental approaches in benthic marine systems, we explore the impact of species interactions on community assembly and ecosystem function, particularly resistance to invasion by non-native species, and how these processes structure patterns of species diversity in space and time. One of our principal interests lies in understanding how these dynamics change across the primary global biogeographic gradient, latitude. Therefore, our field studies and collaborative projects span the subarctic to the tropics.

Dr. Freestone completed her PhD in Ecology at the University of California, Davis, exploring local and regional drivers of terrestrial plant species diversity. As a postdoctoral fellow at the Smithsonian Institution, she expanded the geographic scope of her research to a continental scale, and shifted her primary study system to the nearshore marine environment. She maintains active research in both marine and terrestrial ecosystems.

Dr. Freestone conducts field work in nearshore marine ecosystems on both the Atlantic and Pacific Coasts of North and Central America, and has collaborative projects that span other continents. She is a community ecologist by training, but she uses comparative approaches to understand natural systems across continental and global scales. Her research directions are driven strongly by an intellectual curiosity in the biodiversity of nature and a personal commitment to informing conservation science. Her research has been funded by the National Science Foundation and the Smithsonian Institution.

Selected Publications:

Freestone, A.L. and Inouye, B.D. 2015. Non-random community assembly and high temporal turnover promote regional coexistence in tropics but not temperate zone. Ecology 96(1): 264-273.

Freestone, A.L., Ruiz, G.M., Torchin, M.E. 2013. Stronger biotic resistance in tropics relative to temperate zone: effects of predation on marine invasion dynamics. Ecology 94(6): 1370-1377.

Freestone, A.L., Osman, R.W., Ruiz, G.M., Torchin, M.E. 2011. Stronger predation in tropics shapes species richness patterns in marine communities. Ecology 92(4): 983-993.