Cory Cleveland

Regents Professor of Ecology


(406) 243-6018

Personal Summary

I joined the faculty at the University of Montana in 2007. I am currently a Regents Professor of Ecology in the Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences in the W.A. Franke College of Forestry and Conservation. I received my Ph.D. in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Colorado in 2001, and did my post-doctoral research at the Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR), a multi-disciplinary research institute in Boulder, CO. I also have an M.S. in Natural Resources (Forest Science) from Cornell University, and a B.A. in Physical Geography from the University of Colorado. My expertise is in terrestrial ecosystem ecology and biogeochemistry, and I teach courses in soil science, ecosystem ecology, biogeochemistry, and climate change science at UM. My research focuses on understanding the biotic and abiotic controls on ecosystem processes and how ecosystems respond to global environmental change.


Postdoctoral: Institute of Arctic & Alpine Research (INSTAAR), Boulder, CO (2001 - 2004)

Ph.D.: Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (2001)

M.S.: Natural Resources (Forest Science), Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (1997)

B.A.: Geography (Environmental Conservation), University of Colorado, Boulder, CO (1992)

Courses Taught

BIOS 532 (Graduate) - Fundamental of Ecosystems Science (Fall - odd years)

NRSM 211/212N (Undergraduate) - Soils & Water (Fall)

NRSM 408 (Undergraduate/Graduate) - Global Cycles and Climate (Spring)

NRSM 415 (Undergraduate/Graduate) - Environmental Soil Science (intermittent)

Research Interests

My research intersects several major disciplines, including microbial ecology, biogeochemistry, and ecosystem ecology. The overall goal of my research is to understand how biotic and abiotic factors regulate element cycling in terrestrial ecosystems, the implications of those processes for ecosystem function, and how ecosystems respond to global environmental change. My current work focuses on understanding carbon and nutrient cycling in terrestrial ecosystems. However, I am also involved in a number of research projects, ranging from understanding the links between biological diversity and ecosystem function, the effects of soil nutrient availability on a range of critical ecosystem processes, and the effects of environmental change on tropical, temperate and high latitude ecosystems.

Please Visit the Terrestrial Ecosystem Ecology Lab

Selected Publications

Cleveland, C.C., C.R.G. Reis, S.S. Perakis, K.A. Dynarski, S.A. Batterman, T.E. Crews, M. Gei, M.J. Gundale, D.N.L. Menge, M.B. Peoples, S.C. Reed,  V.G. Salmon, F.M. Soper, B.N. Taylor, M.G. Turner, N. Wurzburger. 2022. Cryptic nitrogen fixers: An important frontier in terrestrial N cycling research. Ecosystems 25:1653-1669. 

Dynarski, K., Soper, F., Reed, S., Wieder, W., Cleveland, C. 2022. Patterns and controls of foliar stoichiometry and flexibility across United States forests. Ecology 

Wieder, W.R., C.C. Cleveland, W. Kolby Smith and K. Todd-Brown. 2015. Nutrient availability strongly constrains future terrestrial productivity and carbon storage. Nature Geoscience DOI: 10.1038/NGEO2413

Cleveland, C.C., B.Z. Houlton, W.K. Smith, A.R. Marklein, S.C. Reed, W. Parton, S. Del Grosso, S.W. Running. 2013. Patterns of new versus recycled primary production in the terrestrial biosphere. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the USA 110: 12733-12737

Cleveland, C. C. and D. Liptzin. 2007. C:N:P stoichiometry in soil: Is there a "Redfield ratio" for the microbial biomass? Biogeochemistry 85: 235-252 / DOI 10.1007/s10533-007-9132-0

Galloway, J. N., G. Asner, E. W. Boyer, D. G. Capone, C. C. Cleveland, F. J. Dentener, P. Greene, E. Holland, R. W. Howarth, D. M. Karl, A. F. Michaels, S. P. Seitzinger, A. R. Townsend and C. Vorosmarty. 2004. Global and regional nitrogen cycles: Past, present and future. Biogeochemistry 70: 153-226.

Cleveland, C. C., A.R. Townsend, D. S. Schimel, H. Fisher, R. W. Howarth, L. O. Hedin, S. S. Perakis, E. F. Latty, J. C. Von Fischer, A. Elseroad, and M. F. Wasson. 1999. Global patterns of terrestrial biological nitrogen (N2) fixation in natural ecosystems. Global Biogeochemical Cycles 13: 623-645.