Claire Wainwright

Claire E. Wainwright

Scientist
Ecological & Biological Sciences
Seattle

Dr. Wainwright is a biologist with 10 years of experience in terrestrial ecology and ecosystem management, including expertise in vegetation and plant ecology, ecological restoration, invasive species, biodiversity assessments, and wildland fire ecology. In support of these skills, she uses a variety of analytical techniques to assess the status of ecological communities and species of management concern over a variety of spatial and temporal scales in response to disturbance and stressors. Dr. Wainwright is proficient in experimental design for the collection of complex laboratory and field data and synthesizing long-term environmental monitoring data to assess drivers of ecological change. She has led several field vegetation assessments in two different countries, has conducted habitat restoration projects, and has carried out experiments in laboratory and field settings. She has developed management recommendations for damaged plant communities on military installations, ranchland, and public natural lands. She has worked in many ecosystems assessing land use activities and their overall impacts including California, the Pacific Northwest, and Australia.

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia, 2015
  • M.S., Biology, University of California, San Diego, 2011
  • B.S., Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, University of California, San Diego, 2009

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) 40-hour certification

Publications

Wainwright CE, Holt RD, Mayfield MM (2019) Looks can be deceiving: ecologically similar exotics have different impacts on a native competitor. Oecologia 190(4): 927-940.

Wainwright CE, HilleRisLambers J, Lai HR, Loy X, Mayfield MM (2019) Distinct responses of niche and fitness differences to water availability underlie variable coexistence outcomes in semi-arid annual plant communities. Journal of Ecology 107: 293 – 306.

Staples TL, Dwyer JM, Wainwright CE, Mayfield MM (2019) Applied ecology research is on the rise but connectivity barriers persist between four major subfields. Journal of Applied Ecology https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2664.13373

Wainwright CE, Mitchell RM, Bakker, JD (2018) Leveraging Land Condition Trend Analysis (LCTA) data to understand vegetation change on military installations: Phase II report. Projects 14-623 and 15623. Department of Defense, Legacy Program.

Stouffer DB, Wainwright CE, Flanagan TC, Mayfield MM (2018) Cyclic population dynamics and density-dependent intransitivity as pathways to coexistence between co-occurring annual plants. Journal of Ecology 106: 838-851.

Wainwright CE, Staples T, Charles L, Flanagan T, Lai H, Loy X, Reynolds V, Mayfield M (2018) Links between community ecology and ecological restoration on the rise. Journal of Applied Ecology 55: 570 – 581.

Wainwright CE, Dwyer JM, Mayfield MM (2017) Effects of exotic annual grass litter and local environmental gradients on annual plant community structure. Biological Invasions 19: 479-491.

Wainwright CE, Dwyer JM, Hobbs RJ, Mayfield MM (2017) Diverse outcomes of species interactions in an invaded annual plant community. Journal of Plant Ecology 10: 918 – 926.

Wainwright CE (2017) Putting ecology theory to work: trends and opportunities in ecological restoration. Invited article for the Journal of Applied Ecology blog. https://appliedecologistsblog.com/2017/09/28/putting-ecology-theory-to-work/

Loy X, Wainwright CE, Mayfield MM (2015) Asteraceae invaders have limited impacts on the pollination of common native annual species in SW Western Australia’s open woodland wildflower communities. Plant Ecology 216: 1103 – 1105

Dwyer JM, Hobbs RJ, Wainwright CE, Mayfield MM (2015) Climate moderates release from nutrient limitation in natural annual plant communities. Global Ecology and Biogeography 24: 549 – 561.

Wainwright CE & Cleland EE (2013) Exotic species display greater germination plasticity and higher germination rates than native species across multiple cues. Biological Invasions 15: 2253-2264.

Wainwright CE, Wolkovich EM & Cleland EE (2012) Seasonal priority effects: implications for invasion and restoration in a semi-arid system. Journal of Applied Ecology 49: 234-241.

Presentations

Wainwright CE, Davies GM, Bakker JD. Vegetation dynamics in the Columbia Basin sagebrush-steppe following wildfire: insights from long-term monitoring. Fire continuum conference, Missoula, MT, 2018.

Wainwright CE. Succession and ecosystem dynamics in the sagebrush-steppe. Washington Botanical Symposium, Seattle, WA, 2018.

Mayfield MM, Bimler M, HilleRisLambers J, Stouffer D, Wainwright CE. Climate effects on coexistence outcomes. The American Society of Naturalists Conference, Asilomar, CA, 2018.

Wainwright CE and Bakker JD. Monitoring vegetation dynamics: you get what you sample for. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, 2017.

Bakker JD, Wainwright CE, and the Nutrient Network. Spatial and temporal variation in composition confound detection of fertilizer effects. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Portland, OR, 2017.

Wainwright CE, Davies GM, Bakker JD. Succession and ecosystem dynamics in the sagebrush steppe following wildfires. Poster, Washington Botanical Symposium, Seattle, WA, 2017.

Wainwright CE and Bakker JD. Responses of sagebrush communities to multiple drivers of change Society for Range Management Annual Meeting, St George, UT, 2017.

Wainwright CE, HilleRislambers J, Mayfield MM. Complex species interactions across local environmental gradients in a novel annual plant community. Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting. Ft Lauderdale, FL, 2016.

Wainwright CE. How has community ecology influenced restoration? A review of the experimental restoration literature. Ecology and Management of Alien Plant Invasions Conference, Waikoloa, HI, 2015.

Wainwright CE. How has community ecology influenced restoration? A review of the experimental restoration literature. Ecological Society of Australia Annual Meeting, Adelaide, Australia, 2015.

Wainwright CE, Dwyer JM, Hobb RJ, Mayfield MM. Positive interactions in a novel annual plant community. Joint Conference of the Ecological Society of Australia & New Zealand Ecological Society, Auckland, New Zealand, 2013.

Wainwright CE, Dwyer JM, Hobb RJ, Mayfield MM. Biotic interactions among annual plant species in a novel ecosystem. Ecological Society of Australia Annual Meeting, Melbourne, Australia, 2012.

Wainwright CE. Coastal cactus wren habitat restoration: adventures in adaptive management. San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservation Research, Escondido, CA, 2010.

Wainwright CE and Cleland EE. Seasonal priority effects: implications for invasion and restoration in California coastal sage scrub. PS 50-19: Poster, Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA, 2010.

Dentith P, Sagastume L, Wainwright CE, Cleland EE. Soil nutrient availability and herbivore exclusion influence plant community composition and diversity. Poster, UC San Diego Undergraduate Research Symposium, San Diego, CA, 2009.

Prior Experience

Postdoctoral Research Associate, University of Washington, Seattle, WA (2016 – 2019)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow, The University of Queensland, Australia (2015 – 2016)

Research Assistant, San Diego Zoo’s Institute for Conservations Research, Escondido, CA (2010 – 2011)

Research Assistant, Global Change Ecology Lab, UC San Diego (2009 – 2011)

Professional Affiliations

Women in Environment (current)

British Ecological Society (current)

FabFems (program for K-12 girls in STEM) (current)

Women in Technology, Inc.

Ecological Society of Australia

Ecological Society of America

Association for Women in Science

Project Experience

Provided logistic and analytical support for the wildfire remediation activities of a major utility.

Performed environmental hazard assessments of raw materials and ingredients for a household product company.

Compiled and analyzed data on the presence of organochlorine chemicals in surface waters, sediments, and animal tissues in multiple water bodies in support of ecological risk assessment.

Analyzed multi-year vegetation change in response to fugitive dust control efforts from a mining operation.

Researched trends in key plant and animal populations for causal analyses in oil spill litigation support and contamination litigation support.

Conducted vegetation surveys and synthesized long-term vegetation and environmental monitoring data to assess rangeland ecosystem responses to wildfire, military activities, invasive species, livestock grazing, restoration treatments, and environmental variability in the Columbia Basin.

Produced a technical transfer plan for DOD land managers to QA/QC and analyze historic ecosystem monitoring data.

Assessed the impacts of land-use change and agricultural intensification on vegetation dynamics in a eucalyptus woodland ecosystem in Australia. Specifically, assessed a variety of invasive plant species impacts on native species, and assessed the contingency of responses to soil eutrophication on climate conditions. Assessed the resilience of plant-pollinator interactions to invasion and modelled plant population dynamics under environmental stress.

Led a large-scale literature review and analysis of global trends in ecological restoration publications and contributed to a related bibliometric analysis of publication trends across sub-disciplines of applied ecology.

Conducted a post-fire habitat restoration study in southern California shrublands. Monitored restoration sites for target plant establishment and mammal, avian, reptile, and invertebrate diversity.

Conducted a vegetation restoration study in a degraded southern California shrubland. Devised and tested restoration techniques to control invasive grasses and weeds while improving native species establishment.

Additional Information

Editorships and Editorial Review Boards

Editorial Board member, Journal of Applied Ecology (2019-2021)

Freelance science editor (2018-present)

Peer Reviewer

Ecology

Journal of Ecology

Oecologia

Journal of Applied Ecology

Ecological Applications

Biological Invasions

Restoration Ecology

Ecosphere

Plant Ecology

Applied Vegetation Science

American Journal of Botany

Functional Ecology

Axios Reviews

Plant Ecology and Diversity

CREDENTIALS & PROFESSIONAL HONORS

  • Ph.D., School of Biological Sciences, University of Queensland, Australia, 2015
  • M.S., Biology, University of California, San Diego, 2011
  • B.S., Ecology, Behavior, and Evolution, University of California, San Diego, 2009

LICENSES & CERTIFICATIONS

OSHA Hazardous Waste Operations and Emergency Response (HAZWOPER) 40-hour certification