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Carla E Cáceres

Profile picture for Carla E Cáceres

Contact Information

515 Morrill Hall
505 S. Goodwin Ave
Urbana, IL 61801

On Sabbatical; Director, School of Integrative Biology and Professor, Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior

Research Description

Population, community and evolutionary ecology; life-history evolution; disease ecology; limnology

We focus on questions at the interface of population, community and evolutionary ecology. At its core, our research focuses on how biodiversity arises, how is it maintained, and what is its functional significance from the scale of organismal traits to ecosystems. Our lab focuses on three related areas of inquiry:

  • How do ecological and evolutionary processes interact to shape life-history variation?
  • How do feedbacks between genetic and species diversity influence metacommunity dynamics?
  • How do ecological and evolutionary processes interact to shape the distribution and abundance of disease?


1997 Ph.D. in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University
1991 BS in Biology, with High Honors, University of Michigan

Additional Training

2010 Short Course in Environmental Genomics, Mount Desert Island Biological Laboratory
2009 The National Academies/HHMI Summer Institute on Undergraduate Education in Biology

Awards and Honors

2018-2020 Lynn M. Martin Professorial Scholar
2017 Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science
2016 Fellow, Ecological Society of America
2015 Sustaining Fellow, Association for the Sciences of Limnology & Oceanography
2015-2018 University Scholar, University of Illinois
2014-2015 Committee on Institutional Cooperation Academic Leadership Program
2009-2010 National Academies Education Fellow in the Life Sciences
2009 Campus award for Excellence in Undergraduate Teaching
2009 Lynn M. Martin Award for Distinguished Women Teachers
2006-2007 Helen Corley Petit Scholar
2003 Presidential Early Career Award for Scientists and Engineers (PECASE)
2002-2003 James A. Hagan Teaching Fellow, LAS, University of Illinois
Various List of teachers ranked as excellent by their students, UIUC
(2002, 2004, 2006, 2007, 2011, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018)
1999 R. L. Lindeman Award for the outstanding paper written by a young aquatic scientist, American Society of Limnology and Oceanography

Additional Campus Affiliations

Professor, Evolution, Ecology, and Behavior
Professor, Carl R. Woese Institute for Genomic Biology
Professor, Prairie Research Institute
Professor, Institute for Sustainability, Energy, and Environment

Recent Publications

Cáceres, C. E., & Stewart Merrill, T. E. (2023). The role of varying resources on Daphnia dentifera immune responses. Fundamental and Applied Limnology, 196(3-4), 217-228.

Lopez, L. K., Cortez, M. H., DeBlieux, T. S., Menel, I. A., O'Brien, B., Cáceres, C. E., Hall, S. R., & Duffy, M. A. (2023). A healthy but depleted herd: Predators decrease prey disease and density. Ecology, 104(7), Article e4063.

Terrill Sondag, E. E., Stewart Merrill, T. E., Drnevich, J., Holmes, J. R., Fischer, E. K., Cáceres, C. E., & Strickland, L. R. (2023). Differential gene expression in response to fungal pathogen exposure in the aquatic invertebrate, Daphnia dentifera. Ecology and Evolution, 13(8), Article e10354.

Trujillo, J., Schwing, C. D., Muturi, E. J., & Cáceres, C. E. (2023). Heterocypris incongruens maintains an egg bank in stormwater habitats and influences the development of larval mosquito, Culex restuans. Ecology and Evolution, 13(8), Article e10445.

Walsman, J. C., Duffy, M. A., Cáceres, C. E., & Hall, S. R. (2023). “Resistance Is Futile”: Weaker Selection for Resistance by Abundant Parasites Increases Prevalence and Depresses Host Density. American Naturalist, 201(6), 864-879.

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