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, Cambridge, MA
  • B.S., Rutgers University, Camden, NJ


Recent Papers:

  • Xu, X., D. Medvigy, A.T. Trugman, K. Guan, S.P. Good, I. Rodriguez-Iturbe (2018) Tree cover shows strong sensitivity to precipitation variability across the global tropics. Global Ecology and Biogeography, 27, 450-460, doi:10.1111/geb.12707.
  • Trugman, A.T., D. Medvigy, W.R.L. Anderegg, S.W. Pacala (2018) Differential declines in Alaskan boreal forest vitality related to climate and competition. Global Change Biology, 24, 1097-1107, doi:10.1111/gcb.13952.
  • Xu, X., D. Medvigy, S.J. Wright, K. Kitajima, J. Wu, L.P. Albert, G.A. Martins, S.R. Saleska, and S.W. Pacala (2017) Variations of leaf longevity in tropical moist forests predicted by a trait-driven carbon optimality model. Ecology Letters, 20, 1097-1106, doi:10.1111/ele12804.
  • Khanna, J., D. Medvigy, S. Fueglistaler, and R. Walko (2017) Regional dry-season climate changes due to three decades of Amazonian deforestation. Nature Climate Change, 7, 200-204, doi:10.1038/nclimate3226.
  • Xu, X., D. Medvigy, J.S. Powers, J.M. 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, 212, 80-95, doi:10.1111/nph14009.