Phone Number
Email Address
Heiser Natural Sciences Complex E254
Heiser E172C


Ph.D., Washington University in St. Louis
B.A., Kenyon College

Professor Oberle is broadly interested in the environmental biology of plants and fungi. His research centers on how species’ traits influence the carbon cycle and responses to climate change. His approach combines lab experiments, field surveys, museum research and statistical models.

In collaboration with students, policy makers and other researchers, works towards improving natural resource management in the local community and beyond. He enjoys teaching biology by doing science with students and emphasizes accurate analysis, effective communication and appreciation of diversity in nature.

Recent Courses

Foundations of Biology I&II
Plants and People
Introduction to Botany and Lab
Research Methods in Biology
Forest Ecology
Biology of Urbanization


Recent News

Professor’s climate change work goes global
Tidying up to restore Tidy Island

Watch: Tidy Island Restoration 

Recent Publications

  • Meyer, Elena M.*, Joel F. Swift, Burgund Bassüner, Stacy A. Smith, Eric S. Menges, Brad Oberle, and Christine E. Edwards. “Understanding how an amphicarpic species with a mixed mating system responds to fire: a population genetic approach.” AoB Plants 13, no. 6 (2021): plab067.
  • Oberle, Brad, Joshua Breithaupt, Angela M. McTigue*, Race Stryker*, Misty Cladas, Gary Raulerson, and Darcy F. Young. “Restoration objectives create surface carbon cycle trade‐offs in coastal habitats.” Restoration Ecology (2021): e13563.
  • Jabaily, Rachel S., Brad Oberle, Emma W. Fetterly*, M. Shane Heschel, Brian J. Sidoti, and Erin N. Bodine. “Refining iteroparity with comparative morphometric data in Bromeliaceae.” (2021).
  • Joseph, Ross*, Brad Oberle, Joel Thurmond, and Amy Clore. “Diverse Fungal Endophytes in the Leaves of a Widespread Epiphytic Bromeliad, Tillandsia Recurvata (L.) L.” Selbyana 33, no. 2 (2020): 16-31.
  • Lee, Marissa R., Brad Oberle, Wendy Olivas, Darcy F. Young, and Amy E. Zanne. “Wood construction more strongly shapes deadwood microbial communities than spatial location over 5 years of decay.” Environmental Microbiology 22, no. 11 (2020): 4702-4717.
  • Lustenhouwer, Nicky, Daniel S. Maynard, Mark A. Bradford, Daniel L. Lindner, Brad Oberle, Amy E. Zanne, and Thomas W. Crowther. “A trait-based understanding of wood decomposition by fungi.” Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 117, no. 21 (2020): 11551-11558.
  • Oberle, Brad, Marissa R. Lee, Jonathan A. Myers, Oyomoare L. Osazuwa‐Peters, Marko J. Spasojevic, Maranda L. Walton, Darcy F. Young, and Amy E. Zanne. “Accurate forest projections require long‐term wood decay experiments because plant trait effects change through time.” Global change biology 26, no. 2 (2020): 864-875.
  • Oberle, Brad, Kiona Ogle, Amy E. Zanne, and Christopher W. Woodall. “When a tree falls: Controls on wood decay predict standing dead tree fall and new risks in changing forests.” PloS one 13, no. 5 (2018): e0196712.
  • Oberle, Brad, Kristofer R. Covey, Kevin M. Dunham*, Edgar J. Hernandez, Maranda L. Walton, Darcy F. Young, and Amy E. Zanne. “Dissecting the effects of diameter on wood decay emphasizes the importance of cross-stem conductivity in Fraxinus americana.” Ecosystems 21, no. 1 (2018): 85-97.
  • Maherali, Hafiz, Brad Oberle, Peter F. Stevens, William K. Cornwell, and Daniel J. McGlinn. “Mutualism persistence and abandonment during the evolution of the mycorrhizal symbiosis.” The American Naturalist 188, no. 5 (2016): E113-E125.

*Undergraduate coauthor