Faculty/Staff Directory

Robert Hollister

Photo of Robert Hollister


Associate Professor


Office Address
3390K Kindschi Hall of Science

Office Phone

Areas of Expertise
Ecology, Botany, Polar Systems, Wetland Ecology, Global Change Biology

Professional Societies

American Association for the Advancement of Science
American Geophysical Union
Ecological Society of America

Courses Taught at GVSU

BIO 105 Environmental Science
BIO 109 Plants in the world
BIO 120 General Biology I
BIO 215 General Ecology
BIO 243 Plant Identification & Natural History
BIO 323 Aquatic & Wetland Plants
BIO 573 Plants of the Great Lakes Region

Research Interests

My research and teaching interests are broad. I am an ecologist interested in the interactions between humans and natural ecosystems. While my area or expertise is vegetation change, I am always interested in taking on new student led projects. Locally I am interested in Michigan Wetlands. Most of my research is in northern Alaska examining the influence of climate change and land use change on tundra ecosystems. I also have experience working with Tropical Dry Forests of Puerto Rico and Water Quality Monitoring in Indiana.

My research in Michigan Wetlands involves collaborations and student led activities sampling vegetation. My research in Alaska is funded by the National Science Foundation. This long-term project uses small chambers to experimentally warm plots of vegetation in an attempt to simulate future climate change. We monitor the response of the plant species and a few ecosystem parameters. The research takes place in Barrow and Atqasuk, Alaska. This work is in close collaboration with the International Tundra Experiment (ITEX). The results from this work are being used to better forecast vegetation change in the Arctic.

For more details see my research webpage: http://faculty.gvsu.edu/hollistr/


Ph.D. Plant Biology / Ecology, Evolutionary Biology & Behavior, Michigan State University, 2003.
M.S. Botany and Plant Pathology, Michigan State University, 1998.
B.S. Lyman Briggs Zoology with Honor, Michigan State University, 1994.

Select Publications

Note: GVSU students in bold italics.

May, J.L., N.C. Healey, H.E. Ahrends, R.D. Hollister, C.E. Tweedie, J.M. Welker, W.A. Gould, S.F. Oberbauer.  2017.  Short-term impacts of the air temperature on greening and senescence in Alaskan Arctic plant tundra habitats.  Remote Sensing 2017, 9(12), 1338; doi:10.3390/rs9121338.

Prevéy, J., M. Vellend, N. Ruger, R.D. Hollister, A. Bjorkman, I. Meyers-Smith, S. Elmendorf, K. Clark, E. Cooper, B. Elberling, A.M. Fosaa, G. Henry, T. Høye, I. Jónsdóttir, K. Klanderud, E. Lévesque, M. Mauritz, U. Molau, S. Natali, S. Oberbauer, Z. Panchen, E. Post, S. Rumpf, N. Schmidt, E. Schuur, P. Semenchuk, T. Troxler, J. Welker, C. Rixen.  2017.  Greater temperature sensitivity of plant phenology at colder sites: implications for convergence across northern latitude.  Global Change Biology 23(7) 2660-2671.

Lara, M.J., D.R. Johnson, C. Andresen, R.D. Hollister, C.E. Tweedie.  2017.  Peak season carbon exchange shifts from a sink to a source following 50+ years of herbivore exclusion in an Arctic tundra ecosystem.  Journal of Ecology 105(1) 122-131.

Walker, D.A., A.L. Breen, L.A. Druckenmiller, L.W. Wirth, W. Fisher, M.K. Raynolds, J. Šibík, M.D. Walker, S. Hennekens, K. Boggs, T. Boucher, M. Buchhorn, H. Bültmann, D.J. Cooper, F.J.A. Daniëls, S.J. Davidson, J.J. Ebersole, S.C. Elmendorf, H.E. Epstein, W.A. Gould, R.D. Hollister, M.T. Jorgenson, A. Kade, M.T. Lee, W.H. MacKenzie, R.K. Peet, J.L. Peirce, U. Schickhoff, V.L. Sloan, S.S. Talbot, C.E. Tweedie, S. Villarreal, P.J. Webber, D. Zona.  2016.  The Alaska Arctic Vegetation Archive (AK-AVA).  Phytocoenologia 46(2) 221-229.

Barrett, R.T.S., and R.D. Hollister.  2016.  Arctic plants are capable of sustained responses to long-term warming.  Polar Research 35: 25405 doi:10.3402/polar.v35.25405 1-9.

Healey, N.C., S.F. Oberbauer, and R.D. Hollister.  2016.  Examination of surface temperature modification by Open-Top Chambers along moisture and latitudinal gradients in arctic Alaska using thermal infrared photography.  Remote Sensing 8(1): 54 doi:10.3390/rs8010054 1-19.

Barrett, R.T.S.R.D. Hollister, S.F. Oberbauer, and C.E. Tweedie.  2015.  Arctic plant responses to changing abiotic factors in northern Alaska.  American Journal of Botany 102(12): 2020-2031.

Hollister, R.D., J.L. May, K.S. Kremers, C.E. Tweedie, S.F. Oberbauer, J.A. Liebig, T.F. Botting, R.T. Barrett, and J.L. Gregory.  2015.  Warming experiments elucidate the drivers of observed directional changes in tundra vegetation.  Ecology and Evolution 5(9): 1881-1895.

Kremers, K.S., R.D. Hollister, and S.F. Oberbauer.  2015.  Diminished response of arctic plants to warming over time.  Plos One 10(3): e0116586 1-13.

Recent Presentations

Audia, E. (Presenter & Author), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Student Scholarship Day, Grand Valley State University, "Arctic plant response to abiotic factors in Northern Alaska", Academic, Accepted. (April 12, 2017).

Mannard, K. (Presenter & Author), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Student Scholarship Day, Grand Valley State University, "Reproductive changes in the sedge Carex aquatilis in northern Alaska in response to experimental and climatic warming", Academic, Accepted. (April 12, 2017).

Betway, K. R. (Presenter & Author), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Student Scholarship Day, Grand Valley State University, "The Effects of Climate Change on Eriophorum triste; An Arctic Graminoid Species", Academic, Accepted. (April 12, 2017).

Rumschlag, J. H. (Presenter & Author), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Student Scholarship Day, Grand Valley State University, "Changes in arctic vegetation growth: Using GIS to spatially distribute variances over time to help understand the effects of climate change", Academic, Local, Accepted. (April 13, 2016).

Walker, D. A. (Presenter & Author), Bha, U. S. (Author Only), Breen, A. L. (Author Only), Druckenmiller, L. A. (Author Only), Kade, A. (Author Only), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Murray, D. F. (Author Only), Peirce, J. L. (Author Only), Raynolds, M. K. (Author Only), Wirth, L. M. (Author Only), Daniels, F. J. (Author Only), AGU Fall Meeting, American Geophysical Union, San Francisco, CA, "A hierarchic approach for examining pan-arctic vegetation with a focus on the linkages between remote-sensing and plot-based studies: A prototype example from Toolik Lake, Alaska", Academic, National, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. (December 16, 2015).

Wald, S. (Presenter (Poster)), Hollister, R. (Author Only), West Michigan Regional Undergraduate Science Research Conference, Grand Rapids, Michigan, "A site comparison in the phenological response of Arctic White Heather (Cassiope tetragona) to climate change", Academic, State, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. (November 21, 2015).

Hollister, R. (Presenter & Author), Oberbauer, S. F. (Author Only), Tweedie, C. E. (Author Only), 2015 Arctic Observing Open Science Meeting, ARCUS, Seattle, Washington, "Understanding documented vegetation change in Northern Alaska", Academic, National, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. (November 18, 2015).

Hollister, R. (Author Only), Integrating Arctic Plant and Microbial Ecology - 21st ITEX meeting, ITEX Network, Uppsala, Sweden, "Making sense of two decades of vegetation change at Barrow and Atqasuk", Academic, International, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. (September 17, 2015).

Brecken, A. E. (Presenter & Author), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Integrating Arctic Plant and Microbial Ecology - 21st ITEX meeting, ITEX Network, Uppsala, Sweden, "The long term response of Salix rotundifolia to experimental warming", Academic, International, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. (September 17, 2015).

Botting, T. F. (Presenter & Author), Hollister, R. (Author Only), Michigan Academy of Science, Arts, and Letters, Berrien Springs, Michigan, "Documenting Vegetation Cover Changes in Northern Alaska", Academic, State, peer-reviewed/refereed, Accepted. (March 13, 2015).

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