Christopher Lortie

PhD (UBC), MSc (Queen's U), BEd (Queen's U), BSc Honours (Queen's U) lortie

Research website:

Research areas: Community ecology, seedbanks, invasive species, meta-analysis, social ecology,  theory development.

Research Focus:

I am an integrative scientist with expertise in community theory, sociology, and quantitative methods.  Empirical research involves biogeographical comparisons of many forms of community dynamics (plants, animals, & people). Research within the lab is primarily focused now on positive interactions between plants and animals in deserts.


Community ecology
Integrative ecology
Plant-animal interactions
Positive Interactions


Braun, J. and C.J. Lortie. 2018. Finding the bees knees: a conceptual framework and systematic review of the mechanisms of pollinator-mediated facilitation. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution and Systematics: in press.

Langley, A. S. Chapman, M. Avolio, W. Bowman, D. Johnson, K. La Pierre, K. Wilcox, B. Foster, M. Hovenden, A. Knapp, S. Koerner, C.J. Lortie, P. Megonigal, P. Netwon, P. Reich, M. Smith, B. Suttle, and D. Tilman. 2018. Ambient changes exceed treatment effects on plant species abundance in global change experiments. Global Change Biology: in press. DOI: 10.1111/gcb.14442.

Lortie, C.J., A. Filazzola, R. Kelsey, A. Hart, and S. Butterfield. 2018. Better late than never: a synthesis of strategic retirement and restoration of agricultural land for endangered species in the San Joaquin Desert of California. Ecosphere 9: e02367. DOI: 10.1002/ecs2.2367

Westphal, M., T. Noble, S. Butterfield, and C.J. Lortie. 2018. A test of desert shrub facilitation via radiotelemetric monitoring of a diurnal lizard. Ecology and Evolution: in press.

Dangles, O., M. Herrera, C. Carpio, and C.J. Lortie. 2018. Facilitation costs and benefits function simultaneously on stress gradients for animals. Proceedings of The Royal Society B 285. DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2018.0983.

Lortie, C.J. E. Gruber, A. Filazzola, T. Noble, and M. Westphal. 2018. The Groot Effect: plant facilitation and desert shrub regrowth following extensive damage. Ecology and Evolution 8: 706-715. DOI: 10.1002/ece3.3671

Filazzola, A., A. Liczner, M. Westphal, and C.J. Lortie. 2017. The effect of consumer pressure and abiotic stress on positive plant interactions are mediated by extreme climatic events. New Phytologist. DOI: 10.1111/nph.14778

Miguel, M., C.J. Lortie, R. Callaway, and J. Hierro. 2017. Increased competition does not come at the expense of decreased colonization in seed morphs with increased size and dispersal. American Journal of Botany 104: 1323-1333.

Irimina, R., D. Montesinos, O. Eren, C.J. Lortie, K. French, L. Cavieres, G. Sotes, J. Hierro, A. Jorge, and J. Loureiro. 2017. Extensive analysis of native and non-native Centaurea solstitialis L. populations across the world shows no traces of polyploidization. PeerJ: e3531. DOI: 10.7717/peerj.3531

Filazzola, A., D. Sotomayor, and C.J. Lortie. 2017. Modelling the niche space of desert annuals needs to include positive interactions. Oikos. DOI: 10.1111/oik.04688

Filazzola, A., M. Westphal, M. Powers, A. Liczner, B. Johnson, C.J. Lortie. 2017. Non-trophic interactions in deserts: facilitation, interference, and an endangered lizard species. Basic and Applied Ecology.  DOI: 10.1016/j.baae.2017.01.002

Fraser, L, J. Cahill, and C.J. Lortie. 2016. Roy Turkington and his legacy to the science of plant ecology. Plant Ecology 217: 1291-1295. DOI 10.1007/s11258-016-0661-2
Noble, T., C.J. Lortie, M. Westphal, and S. Butterfield. 2016. A trail camera imagery dataset of contrasting shrub and open microsites within the Carrizo Plain National Monument, San Luis Obispo County, California.  GigaScience 5: 40. DOI 10.1186/s13742-016-0145-2
Lortie, C.J., A. Filazzola, C. Welham, and R. Turkington. 2016. A cost-benefit model for plant-plant interactions: a density series tool to detect facilitation. Plant Ecology 217: 1315-1329. DOI: 10.1007/s11258-016-0604-y
Ruttan, A., A. Filazzola, and C.J. Lortie. 2016. Shrub-annual facilitation complexes mediate insect community structure in arid environments. Journal of Arid Environments 134: 1-9. DOI:
Lortie, C.J., A. Filazzola, and D. Sotomayor. 2016. Functional assessment of animal interactions with shrub- facilitation complexes: a formal synthesis and conceptual framework. Functional Ecology 30: 41-51
Bråthen, K.A., and C. Lortie. 2016. A portfolio effect of a benefactor trait: shrub canopy height increases species richness in stressful and competitive environments. Functional Ecology 30: 61-69.
Lortie, C.J., and D. Bonte. 2016. Zen and the art of ecological synthesis. Oikos 125. 285-287
Liczner, A., D. Sotomayor, A. Filazzola, and C.J. Lortie. 2016. Germination response of desert annuals to shrub facilitation is species specific but not ecotypic. Journal of Plant Ecology. DOI:10.1093/jpe/rtw030