David Medvigy Associate Professor

Terrestrial Ecosystems and Environmental Change
David Medvigy

Research Interests:

I seek to understand the structure, composition, and functioning of terrestrial ecosystems. My specific interests are linked together by the idea of “scaling”, or the discovery of relationships between small-scale spatiotemporal ecosystem variability and large-scale ecosystem properties. The context of my research is that of environmental change: how do changes in climate or other exogenous forcings affect terrestrial ecosystems? My approach is to develop state-of-the-science numerical models that are capable of predicting ecosystem responses to environmental change.



  • Associate Professor, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame
  • Concurrent in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences
  • Assistant Professor, Department of Geosciences, Princeton University
  • Postdoctoral Research Fellow, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Duke University
  • Ph.D., Harvard University
  • B.S., Rutgers University


Recent Papers:

  • Xu, X., D. Medvigy, J. Powers, J. Becknell, and K. Guan (2016) Diversity in plant hydraulic traits explains seasonal and inter-annual variations of vegetation dynamics in seasonally dry tropical forests. New Phytologist, doi:10.1111/nph.14009.
  • Oh, Y., B. Stackhouse, M. C. Y. Lau, X. Xu, A. T. Trugman, J. Moch, T. C. Onstott, C. J. Jørgensen, L. D’Imperio, B. Elberling, C. A. Emmerton, V. L. St. Louis, and D. Medvigy (2016) A scalable model for methane consumption in arctic mineral soils. Geophysical Research Letters. 43, 5143-5150, 10.1002/2016GL069049.
  • Trugman, A.T., N.J. Fenton, Y. Bergeron, X. Xu, L.R. Whelp, and D. Medvigy (2016) Climate, soil organic layer, and nitrogen jointly drive forest development after fire in the North American boreal zone. Journal of Advances in Modeling Earth Systems, 8, doi:10.1002/2015MS000576.
  • Xu, X., D. Medvigy, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2015) Relation between rainfall intensity and savanna tree abundance explained by water use strategies. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA, 112, 12992-12996, doi:10.1073/pnas.1517382112.
  • Khanna, J., and D. Medvigy (2014) Surface roughness variations control the regional atmospheric response to contemporary deforestation in Rondonia, Brazil. Journal of Geophysical Research – Atmospheres, 119, 13067-13078, doi:10.1002/2014JD022278.