Amy Trowbridge

Prof. Trowbridge

Amy Trowbridge

Assistant Professor

646 Russell Laboratories
1630 Linden Drive
Madison, WI 53706

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Ph.D. Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO
B.S. Integrative Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, IL

Research in my lab focuses on understanding the interactive effects of environmental change and biotic agents in shaping plant defensive strategies and the consequences for ecosystem function, outbreak events, and regional climate. Many of our questions center around identifying how various climate factors shift a plant’s metabolic priorities and alter tree resistance to pests and pathogens. To this end, our research takes an interdisciplinary approach to elucidate these mechanisms from the molecular to the ecosystem scale and employs a range of analytical techniques including stable isotopes to “-omic” tools to track climate-induced changes in plant gene expression and carbon allocation to chemical defenses. We integrate field and lab-based experiments to disentangle the complex feedback mechanisms involved in plant chemical defense under various stresses and to assess the physiological and ecological responses of insects to chemical variation. Other specific research topics of interest in my lab include: i) quantifying drought-induced shifts in primary and secondary metabolism and their effects on the associated insect community and bark beetle success ii) assessing potential trade-offs between tree traits and defense metrics under environmental stress and different management practices, iii) understanding the impacts of competition and the soil microbiome on plant chemical defense against insects.

Learn more about our research program here:

Professional Societies:

Entomological Society of America
Ecological Society of America
American Geophysical Union


  • Stephens R, Trowbridge AM, Ouimette A, Knighton WB, Hobbie E, Stoy PC, Rowe R (In Press) Signaling from below: rodents select for deeper fruiting truffles with stronger volatile emissions. Ecology.
  • Trowbridge AM, Stoy PC, Phillips RP (In Revision) soil biogenic volatile organic compound flux in a mixed hardwood forest: Net uptake at warmer temperatures and the importance of mycorrhizal associations. Journal of Geophysical Research – Biogeosciences.
  • Huang J, Kautz M, Trowbridge AM, Hammerbacher A, Raffa KF, Adams H, Goodsman D, Chonggang X, Meddens A, Gershenzon J, Seidl R, Hartmann H. (2019) Tree defense and bark beetles in a changing climate: carbon allocation, defence function and vegetation modeling New Phytologist.
  • Trowbridge AM, Stoy PC, Adams HD, Law D, Breshears DD, Daly RW, Helmig D, Monson RK (2019) Drought supersedes warming in determining volatile and tissue defenses of piñon pine (Pinus edulis). Environmental Research Letters 14: 065006
  • Wei D, Fuentes JD, Gerken T, Trowbridge AM, Stoy PC, Chamecki M (2019) Influences of nitrogen oxides and isoprene on ozone-temperature relationships in the Amazon rain forest. Atmospheric Environment 206: 280-292.
  • Bode E, Lawrence R, Powell S, Savage S, Trowbridge AM (2018) A time-series approach for mapping mountain pine beetle infestation extent and severity in the U.S. Central Rocky Mountains. Journal of Applied Remote Sensing 12: 046030.
  • Wei D, Fuentes JD, Gerken T, Chamecki M, Trowbridge AM, Stoy PC, Katul GG, Fisch G, Acevedo O, Manzi A, von Randow V, Nascimento dos Santos RM (2018) Environmental and biological controls on seasonal patterns of isoprene above a rainforest in Amazonia. Agricultural and Forest Meteorology 256: 391-406.
  • Trowbridge AM, Keefover-Ring K (2017) Home on the (expanding) range: evaluating the effectiveness of a novel host’s induced defenses against the mountain pine beetle-fungal complex. Tree Physiology 37: 1593-1596.
  • Jamieson MA, Runyon JB, Manson J, Zientek J, Burkle L, Trowbridge AM (2017) Global change effects on plant-insect interactions: the role of phytochemistry. Current Opinion in Insect Science 23: 70-80.
  • Trowbridge AM, Bowers MD, Monson RK (2016) Conifer monoterpene chemistry during an outbreak enhances consumption and immune response of an eruptive folivore. Journal of Chemical Ecology 42:1281-1292.
  • Gerken T, Wei D, Chase RJ, Fuentes JS, Schumacher C, Machado L, Chamecki M, Freire LS, Jardine AB, Manzi AO, Nascimento dos Santos RM, von Randow C, Stoy PC, Tota J, Trowbridge AM (2016) Downward transport of ozone rich air and implications for atmospheric chemistry in the Amazon rainforest. Atmospheric Environment 124:64-76.
  • Fuentes JD, Chamecki M, Gerken T, Freire LS, Ruiz-Plancarte J, Katul G, Trowbridge AM, Stoy PC et al. (2016) Linking meteorology, turbulence, and air chemistry in the Amazon rainforest. Bulletin of American Meteorological Society 97: 2329-2342.
  • Keefover-Ring K, Trowbridge AM, Mason CJ, Raffa KF (2016) Rapid induction of multiple terpenoid groups by ponderosa pine in response to bark beetle-associated fungi. Journal of Chemical Ecology 1: 1-12.
  • Eller ASD, Young L, Trowbridge AM, Monson RK (2016) Differential effects of early- and late season drought on the emission rates of biogenic volatile organic compounds from mature pine trees in a semi-arid forest. Oecologia 180: 345-358.
  • Trowbridge AM, Daly RW, Helmig D, Stoy PC, Monson RK (2014) Herbivory and climate interact serially to control monoterpene emissions from pinyon pine forests. Ecology 95: 1591-1603.
  • Stoy PC, Trowbridge AM, Bauerle WL (2013) Controls on seasonal patterns of maximum ecosystem carbon uptake and canopy-scale photosynthetic light response: contributions from both temperature and photoperiod. Photosynthesis Research 119: 49-64.
  • Jamieson MA, Trowbridge AM, Raffa KF, Lindroth RL (2012) Consequences of climate warming for plant-insect and multi-trophic interactions. Plant Physiology 160: 1719-1727.
  • Trowbridge AM, Asensio D, Eller ASD, Way DA, Wilkinson MJ, Schnitzler JP, Jackson RB, Monson RK (2012) Contribution of various carbon sources toward isoprene biosynthesis is poplar leaves mediated by altered atmospheric CO2 PLoS ONE 7(2): e32387.
  • Adams WW III, Trowbridge AM, Mueh KE, Amiard V, Turgeon R, Logan BA, Combs AF, Demmig-Adams B. (2007) Photosynthetic acclimation in the context of structural constraints to carbon export from leaves. Photosynthesis Research 94: 455-466.

Program Info

Learn more about our research program here: