Research in the Flory Lab at the University of Florida covers a variety of topics in community, ecosystem, and global change ecology with a primary focus on the ecology of non-native plant invasions and how they interact with other drivers of global change, including climate change, emerging pathogens, urbanization, and shifting fire regimes. We also conduct some research on agroecology, such as how climate change is altering the production, quality, and ecosystem effects of crops.

Study Systems

Lab members have conducted basic and applied ecology research in diverse systems using a wide variety of methods from field observations and experiments to common garden, greenhouse, and growth chamber experiments to literature syntheses and modeling. We’ve worked in many ecosystems globally, including the Everglades, remnant native forests in Kenya, urban settings in Florida and Croatia, coffee agroecosystems in Costa Rica and Guatemala, silvopastures in the Colombian Andes, managed grassland systems in South Florida, invaded forests in the Galapagos, and deciduous forests throughout the eastern US.

Invasion Risk Assessment

Luke oversees the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas, the statewide risk assessment program for non-native plant species currently in Florida, species proposed for introduction or for new uses in the state, or new cultivars proposed for release by UF.

Study Abroad

Luke was on sabbatical in Zagreb, Croatia in 2022 and is a Fulbright U.S. Scholar in Croatia in 2023. He is developing a study abroad course with Rick Stepp (UF Anthropology Department) in Croatia on global change threats to food, with the goal of the course first being offered for in 2024. Previously (2016-2020), he co-taught the study abroad course UF in Cuba: Tropical Marine and Island Ecology with Don Behringer (UF FFGS).

2019 gathering of current and former lab members.
2019 gathering of current and former lab members.