Jonathan Newman

Jonathan Newman
Adjunct Faculty

As an undergraduate, I dithered between English and biology as major subjects of study.  It was touch and go as to which degree I would finish, until my last year when I got interested in doing research in behavioural ecology.  I completed a PhD in ecology, evolution, and behaviour, under the supervision of Tom Caraco, from the State University of New York at Albany in 1990.  My research, at that time, focused on problems in theoretical behavioural ecology and particularly on how animals ought to trade-off avoidance of predation risk against other fitness-enhancing activities.  After completing my PhD in the spring of 1990, I moved to the Zoology Department of Oxford University, as a postdoc with John Krebs.  At Oxford I worked on large grazing mammals and their interactions with the plant community.  Much of this work I did in collaboration with Peter Penning and Tony Parsons at the British BBSRC Institute of Grasslands and Environmental Research.  I left Oxford in 1994 to take up a faculty position in the Department of Zoology at Southern Illinois University, in Carbondale Illinois (town motto: "it's not as bleak as it sounds!").  In Illinois, I started working on both biological impacts of climate change, and on the ecological impacts of endophytic fungi, in collaboration with David Gibson.  In January 1999, I returned to Oxford as a faculty member in the Zoology Department and as a Fellow of St. Peter's College.  I continued my research on endophytic fungi and the biological impacts of climate change.  In the autumn of 2004, I moved to the University of Guelph when my partner, Georgia Mason, took up her post as Canada Research Chair in Animal Welfare, in the Department of Animal Biosciences. We live in a funky 1960s house with two young cats and four chickens.  I am an avid cigar smoker.  I love Manhattan cocktails and contemporary art.

  • 2000, Post-Graduate Diploma (with distinction), University of Oxford, Subject area: Learning and Teaching in Higher Education
  • 1999, Master of Arts, University of Oxford, Honorary Degree
  • 1990, Doctor of Philosophy, State University of New York at Albany, Subject area: Ecology, Evolution and Behavior
  • 1985, Bachelor of Arts, State University of New York at Albany, Major: Biology, Minor: English

Research in my lab focuses on three, partially overlapping, research themes: (1) the biology of cool season grass – Epichloë fungal endophyte symbioses; (2) the biological impacts of climatic change; and (3) the ecology of invasive species. We use a blend of traditional experimental field and greenhouse work, molecular tools, and mathematical modeling.


Presentation at the British Ecological Society Annual Meeting in December 2016 (30 minutes, starts at about 2.49)




  1. Gibson, G.J. & J.A. Newman (eds.).  2019.  Grasslands and Climate Change.  British Ecological Society: Ecological Reviews Series.  Cambridge University Press.  346 pages.
  2. Newman, J.A., S. Linquist & G. Varner.  2017.  Defending Biodiversity: Environmental Science & Ethics.  Cambridge University Press, 441 pages.
  3. Newman, J.A., M. Anand, H.A.L. Henry, S. Hunt & Z. Gedalof. 2011. Climate Change Biology. CAB International, 289 pages.

Recent journal articles

My Postdoc and Graduate student co-authors in bold.  My Undergraduate student co-authors are underlined.

  1. Bastías, DA, MA Martínez-Ghersa, JA Newman, SD Card, WJ Mace, PE Gundel. 2018. Jasmonic acid regulation of the anti-herbivory mechanism conferred by fungal endophytes in grasses.  Journal of Ecology, DOI:10.1111/1365-2745.12990.

  2. Bastías, DA, MA Martínez-Ghersa, JA Newman, SD Card, WJ Mace, PE Gundel. 2018. The plant hormone salicylic acid interacts with the mechanism of anti-herbivory conferred by fungal endophytes in grasses. Plant, Cell & Environment, DOI:10.1111/pce.13102.

  3. Minigan, JN, HA Hager, A Peregrine, JA Newman.  2018.  Potential for northward expansion of the American dog tick (Dermacentor variabilis, Say) range under climate change in North America.  Ticks and Tick-Borne Diseases,  DOI:10.1016/j.ttbdis.2017.11.012.

  4. Seahra, S, KA Yurkonis, JA Newman. Structured perennial grassland seeding promotes species establishment and invasion resistance. Restoration Ecology, DOI:10.1111.rec.12715.

  5. Langille, A.B.E.M. Arteca & J.A. Newman.  2017.  The impacts of climate change on the abundance and distribution of the spotted wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii) in the United States and Canada. PeerJ, 5:e3192

  6. Emiljanowicz, L.M., H.A. Hager & J.A. Newman.  2017.  Trait related biological invasion: a comparative analysis of plants and insects. Neobiota, DOI:10.3897/neobiota.32.9664, 32: 31-64. 

  7. Berzitis, E.A., H.A. Hager, K.A. Hunter, B.J. Sinclair, R.H. Hallett & J.A. Newman. 2016. Winter warming effects on overwinter survival, energy use, and spring emergence of Cerotoma trifurcata (Coleoptera: Chrysomelidae).  Agricultural & Forest Entomology. DOI: 10.1111/afe.12196

  8. Allstadt, A., J.A. Newman, J. Walter, G. Korniss, & T. Caraco. 2016. Dispersal limitation and roughening of the ecological interface. Scientific Reports, 6:29908. DOI: 10.1038/srep29908.

  9. Garcia, R.K. & J.A. Newman. 2016. Is it possible to care for ecosystems? Policy paralysis and ecosystem management. Ethics, Policy & Environment, DOI:10.1080/21550085.2016.1204054.

  10. H.A. Hager, Ryan, G.D., H. Kovacs & J.A. Newman.  2016. Effects of elevated CO2 on photosynthetic traits of native and invasive C3 and C4 grasses. BMC Ecology, 16:28. DOI: 10.1186/s12898-016-0082-z.

  11. Langille, A.BE.M. ArtecaG.D. Ryan, L.M. Emiljanowicz & J.A. Newman. 2016. North American invasion of spotted-wing drosophila (Drosophila suzukii): a mechanistic model of population dynamics. Ecological Modelling, 336: 70-81.

  12. Ryan, G.D., L.M. EmiljanowiczF. Wilkinson, M. Kornya, & J.A. Newman. 2016. Thermal tolerances of the spotted wing drosophila Drosophila suzukiiJournal of Economic Entomology. 109 (2): 746-752.  DOI: 10.1093/jee/tow006.

  13. Seehra, S., Yurkonis, K.A., & Newman, J.A. 2016. Grassland biodiversity-ecosystem function responds to the spatial scale of species interactions. Journal of Ecology, 104: 479-486.

  14. Walker, M., C Fureix, R. Palme, J.A. Newman, J. Ahloy Dallaire & G. Mason.  2016. Mixed-strain housing for female C57BL/6, DBA/2, and BALB/c mice: validating a split-plot design that promotes refinement and reduction. BMC Medical Research Methodology, 16:11.