Stanley H. Faeth

Stanley Faeth

Professor and Associate Dean of Research

(336) 334-5391
312 Eberhart Building


Ecology and evolution of plant-microbe-herbivore interactions; urban ecology.


Ph.D., Florida State University


Dr. Faeth’s research focuses on terrestrial and urban ecology.

His research in terrestrial ecology studies the ecology and evolution of plant-fungi-herbivore-natural enemy interactions. Specifically, he studies how these interactions vary from parasitic to mutualistic over time and in different environments, and based upon host and symbiont genotypes and environmental variation. Through field, laboratory and greenhouse experiments, and molecular methods, he examines the role of endophytic fungi (asymptomatic fungal infections within plants) in mediating interactions among host plants and their invertebrate and vertebrate herbivores, plant competitors, and seed predators. The research group tests how ecological selective pressures, such as drought and nutrients, and migration maintains or disrupts mutualistic interactions between endophytic fungi and plants and how endophytic fungi influence plant and arthropod community structure.

As of 2008, more than half of the world’s population now resides in cities or their suburbs.  Urbanization and suburbanization are well known for altering biodiversity, but the mechanisms for changes in diversity, food web structure, relative abundances of species, and trophic dynamics are poorly understood in urban areas, even though urban areas are the most rapidly expanding habitat type on earth.  Dr. Faeth’s research group studies how urbanization influences arthropod diversity and how trophic structure of plant-herbivore-natural enemy communities changes in human-dominated environments. They use observational and experimental methods to determine the underlying causes for changing in biological populations and communities in an urbanizing world.

Recent Publications:

Plant-Microbial-Herbivore Interactions:

Bashyal, B. P., Wellensiek, B. P., Ramakrishnan, R., Faeth, S. H., Ahmad, N., Gunatilaka, A. A. L. 2014. Altertoxins with potent anti-HIV activity from Alternaria tenuissima QUE1Se, a fungal endophyte of Quercus emoryi. Bioorganic & Medicinal Chemistryz, 22: 6112-6116.

El-Elimat, T., Raja, H. A., Graf, T. N., Faeth, S. H., Cech, N. B., and Oberlies, N. H. 2014. Flavonolignans from Aspergillus iizukae, a Fungal Endophyte of Milk Thistle (Silybum marianum). Journal of Natural Products, 77, 193-199.

Saari, S., Richter, S., Robbins, M., and Faeth, S. H. 2014. Bottom – up regulates top – down: the effects of hybridization of grass endophytes on an aphid herbivore and its generalist predator. Oikos 123: 545-552.

Shymanovich, T., Saari, S., Lovin, M. E., Jarmusch, A. K., Jarmusch, S. A., Musso, A. M., Charlton, N. D., Young, C. A., Cech, N. B., and Faeth, S. H. 2014. Alkaloid Variation Among Epichloid Endophytes of Sleepygrass (Achnatherum robustum) and Consequences for Resistance to Insect Herbivores. J Chem Ecol, DOI 10.1007/s10886-014-0534-x

Saari, S., Richter, S., Robbins, M., and Faeth, S.H. 2014. Bottom–up regulates top–down: the effects of hybridization of grass endophytes on an aphid herbivore and its generalist predator. Oikos.

Saari, S. and S.H. Faeth. Hybridization of Neotyphodium endophytes enhances competitive ability of the host grass. New Phytologist 195(1):231-236.

Faeth, S.H. and S. Saari. 2012. Fungal endophytes of grasses and arthropod communities: lessons from plant-herbivore interactions. Fungal Ecology (invited review) 5(3): 364-371.

Faeth, S.H., Saari, S. 2012. Fungal Grass Endophytes And Arthropod Communities: Lessons From Plant Defence Theory And Multitrophic Interactions. Fungal Ecology 5:364-371.

Faeth, S.H., C. Hayes and D.R. Gardner. 2010. Asexual endophytes in a native grass: tradeoffs in mortality, growth, reproduction and alkaloid production. Microbial Ecology 60:496-504.

Saari, S., M. Helander, S. H. Faeth and K. Saikkonen. The effects of endophytes on seed production and seed predation of tall fescue and meadow fescue. Microbial Ecology 60(4): 928-934.

Faeth, S.H., Hayes, C.J., and Gardner, D.R. 2010. Asexual Endophytes in a Native Grass: Tradeoffs in Mortality, Growth, Reproduction, and Alkaloid Production. Microbial Ecology 60(3):496-504.

Faeth, S.H. and E. Shochat. 2010. Inherited microbial symbionts increase herbivore abundances and alter arthropod diversity on a native grass. Ecology 91:1329-1343.

Jani, A., S.H. Faeth and D.R. Gardner. 2010. Asexual endophytes and associated alkaloids alter community structure and increase herbivore abundances on a native grass. Ecology Letters 13:106-117.

Hamilton, C.E., S.H. Faeth and T.E. Dowling. 2010. Hybridization in endophytic symbionts alters host response to moisture and nutrient treatments. Microbial Ecology 59:768-775.

Faeth, S.H. 2010. Occam’s razor cuts both ways: endophytes, resource allocation and mutualism. A reply to Rudgers et al. The American Naturalist 176:104-110.

Jani, A., S.H. Faeth and D.R. Gardner. 2010. Asexual endophytes and associated alkaloids alter community structure and increase herbivore abundances on a native grass. Ecology Letters 13:106-117.

Urban Ecology:

Jennings, A. J. B., and Faeth, S. H. 2014. Preformed Scour Holes Associated with Road Building May Maintain Anuran Diversity in Urbanizing Areas. Urban Naturalist, 1:1-15.

Neil, K., J. Wu, C. Bang, and S.H. Faeth. 2014. Urbanization affects plant flowering phenology and pollinator community: effects of water availability and land cover. Ecological Processes 3:17-29 doi:10.1186/s13717-014-0017-6

Faeth, S. H; Saari, S. and C. Bang. 2012. Urban Biodiversity: Patterns, Processes and Implications for Conservation. In: eLS 2012, John Wiley & Sons Ltd: Chichester. doi: 10.1002/9780470015902.a0023572

Bang, C., S.H. Faeth, Sabo, J.L. 2012. Control of arthropod abundance, richness, and composition in a heterogeneous desert city. Ecological Monographs 82(1): 85-100.

Bang, C. and Faeth, S.H. 2011. Variation in arthropod communities in response to urbanization: Seven years of arthropod monitoring in a desert city. Landscape and Urban Planning 103:383-399.

Faeth, S.H., C. Bang and S. Saari. 2011. Urban biodiversity: patterns and mechanisms. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences 1223: 69-81.

Shohcat et al. 2010. Invasion, Competition, and Biodiversity Loss in Urban Ecosystems. Bioscience Mar;60(3):199-208.

Grimm, N.B, S.H. Faeth ,C.L. Redman, J. Wu, X. Bai, J. Briggs and N.E. Golubiewski. 2008. Global change and the ecology of cities. Science 319:756-760.

Faeth, S.H., E. Shochat and W.A. Marussich. 2005. Urban trophic dynamics. BioScience 55(5): 399-407.