Elizabeth P. Lacey

Elizabeth P. Lacey

Elizabeth Lacey

Professor Emerita

(336) 334-4955
417 Eberhart Building


Evolutionary plant ecology, reproductive biology, thermal acclimation of plants, maternal effects, responses to global warming.


Ph.D., University of Michigan


As an evolutionary ecologist, I am interested in how organisms have evolved in response to past environmental pressures and how organisms are evolving in response to ongoing climate change. Research projects are currently focusing on thermal acclimation in plants, in particular, environmentally induced changes in the morphology, physiology, and phenology of flowers and developing fruits. The goal is to understand better how plants partially thermoregulate their reproduction and how such ability, and the lack thereof, affect fitness and long-term survival. For more information, see my home page (link below).

Recent Publications:

Marshall MM, Remington DL, Lacey EP. Two reproductive traits show contrasting genetic architectures in Plantago lanceolata. Mol Ecol. 2019;00:1–20. https://doi.org/10.1111/mec.15320

Marshall MM, Batten LC, Remington DL, Lacey EP. 2019. Natural selection contributes to the geographical patterns of thermal plasticity in Plantago lanceolata. Eco Evol. 2019;00:1-19. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4977

Anderson, E.R., Lovin, M.B., Richter, S.J. and Lacey, E.P. 2013. Multiple Plantago Species (Plantaginaceae) Modify Floral Reflectance and Color in Response to Thermal Change. Americal Journal of Botany 100(12): 1-9.

Lacey, E.P., M.E. Lovin, S.J. Richter. 2012. Fitness Effects of Floral Plasticity and Thermoregulation in a Thermally Changing Environment. American Naturalist 180(3): 342-353.

Lacey, E.P., M.B. Lovin, S.J. Richter, and D.A. Herington 2010. Floral reflectance, color, and thermoregulation: What really explains geographic variation in thermal acclimation ability of ectotherms? American Naturalist 175: 335-349.

Moore, J.E. and E. P. Lacey. 2009. A comparison of germination and early growth of four early successional tree species of the southeastern United States in different soil and water regimes. American Midland Naturalist 16:2: 388-394.

Umbach, A.L., E.P. Lacey, and S.J. Richter. 2009. Temperature-sensitive alternative oxidase protein content and its relationship to floral reflectance in natural Plantago lanceolata populations. New Phytologist 181:662-671.

Royo, A.A., R. Bates, and E.P. Lacey. 2008. Demographic constraints in three populations of Lobelia boykinii: a rare wetland endemic. Journal of Torrey Botanical Society 135(2):189-199.

Stiles, E.A., N. Cech, S. Dee, and E.P. Lacey.  2007. The relationship between anthocyanins and thermoregulation of reproduction in Plantago lanceolata. Physiologia Plantarum 129:756-765.

Lacey, E.P. and D. Herr. 2005. Phenotypic plasticity, parental effects, and parental care in plants: An examination of spike reflectance in Plantago lanceolata. American Journal of Botany 92: 920-930.

Lacey, E. P., D. Roach, D. Herr, S. Kincaid, and R. Perrott. 2003. Multigenerational effects of flowering and fruiting phenology in Plantago lanceolata. Ecology 84: 2462-2475.

Lacey, E. P., Royo, A., M. Bates, D. Herr. 2001. The role of population dynamic models in biogeographic studies: illustrations from a study of Lobelia boykinii, a rare species endemic to the Carolina Bays. Castanea 66:115-125.


Principles of Biology II (BIO 112)
Principles of Ecology (BIO 301)
Introductory Ecology Lab (BIO 302)
Plant Systematics (BIO 354)
Biological Evolution (BIO 430)
Advanced Topics in Plant Ecology (BIO 510)
Conservation Biology (BIO 526)
Terrestrial Plant Ecology (BIO 527)