Steven E. Travis



Southern Oregon University



Northern Arizona University



Northern Arizona University


Post-Doctoral Training


Northern Arizona University


Post-Doctoral Training

Forest Sciences

University of British Columbia



Molecular ecology

Community Genetics

conservation genetics

Invasive Species Biology

Global Change Ecology

Plant Clonal Dynamics


Animal Social Systems

Non-invasive Population Estimation


Current Research

I study population- and community-level processes involving both plants and animals, with my primary research focus being the population ecology of foundational wetland and coastal plant species.  The wetland species I have studied most extensively is the intertidal salt marsh grass, Spartina alterniflora, which is widely used for habitat restoration owing to its ability to create marsh conditions conducive to colonization by other endemic marsh organisms.  Historically, the principal theme of my S. alterniflora research has related to genetic mechanisms underlying long-term population and community viability.  More recently, I have begun to investigate the importance of interactions between S. alterniflora and invasive plants like common reed (Phragmites australis), as well as microbial decomposers and invertebrate herbivores, in determining the capacity of salt marshes to remain viable in the face of climate change. 

Selected Publications

Simon, M.R., G.P. Zogg, and S.E. Travis. 2017. Effect of Sea Level Rise on Sediment Microbial Decomposition in Salt Marshes along the United States Atlantic Coast. Journal of Soils and Sediments doi: 10.1007/s11368-017-1710-8

Slater, M.A., P.A. Morgan, C. Tilburg, and S.E. Travis. 2017. Environmental variables, not Allee effects, drive patch vigor in exotic Phragmites australis stands invading the Saco River Estuary, Maine, USA. Aquatic Botany 136:220-229.

Cava, J., N.G. Perlut, and S.E. Travis. 2016. Why come back home?  Investigating the proximate factors that influence natal philopatry in migratory passerines. Animal Behaviour 118:39-46.

Travis, S. E., and C. E. Proffitt. 2016. Genotypic interactions limit growth and stimulate flowering in a salt marsh foundation plant species. Perspectives in Plant Ecology, Evolution, and Systematics 18:33-44.

Proffitt, C. E. and S. E. Travis. 2014. Red mangrove fitness and climate change:  Roles of stress, outcrossing and mutation rate. Ecology and Evolution doi: 10.1002/ece.

Perlut, N. G., S. E. Travis, *C. Dunbar, A. M. Strong, and *D. Wright. 2014. Nestling sex ratios do not support long-term parity in two species with different life-history strategies.  The Auk 131:224-234.

Klima, K. and S. E. Travis. 2012. Genetic population structure of invasive nutria (Myocastor coypus) in Louisiana, USA:  Is It Sufficient for the Development of Eradication Units? Biological Invasions 14:1909-1918. 

Travis, S. E., J. E. Marburger,S. Windels,and B. Kubátová. 2011. Clonal structure of invasive cattail (Typhaceae) stands in the Upper Midwest Region of North America. Wetlands 31:221-228.

Snow, A. A., S. E. Travis, R. Wildová, T. Fér, P. M. Sweeney, J. E. Marburger, S. Windels, B. Kubátová, and D. E. Goldberg. 2011. Species-specific SSR markers for studies of hybrid cattails (Typha latifolia x T. angustifolia, Typhaceae) in North America. American Journal of Botany 97:2061-2067.

Proffitt, C. E. and S. E. Travis. 2010. Red mangrove seedling survival, growth, and reproduction: effects of environment and maternal genotype. Estuaries and Coasts 33:890-901.

Travis, S. E., and J. B. Grace. 2010. Predicting performance for ecological restoration: A case study using Spartina alterniflora. Ecological Applications 20:192-204.

Travis, S. E., J. E. Marburger,S. Windels,and B. Kubátová. 2010. Hybridization dynamics of invasive cattail (Typhaceae) stands in the Western Great Lakes Region of North America: a molecular analysis. Journal of Ecology 98:7-16.

Perkins, M., S. L. King, S. E. Travis, and J. Linscombe. 2009. Use of morphometric measurements to differentiate between species and sex of king and clapper Rails. Waterbirds 32:579-584.

Travis, S. E., J. E. Baggs, and J. Maschinski. 2008. Disentangling the role of hybridization in the evolution of the endangered Arizona cliffrose (Purshia X subintegra; Rosaceae): a molecular and morphological analysis. Conservation Genetics 9:1183-1194.

Howard, J. H., S. E. Travis, and B. A. Sikes. 2008. Rapid growth of a Eurasian haplotype of Phragmites australis in a restored brackish marsh in Louisiana, USA. Biological Invasions 10:369-379.

Proffitt, C. E., E. Milbrandt, and S. E. Travis. 2006. Red mangrove (Rhizophora mangle) reproduction and seedling colonization after Hurricane Charley: comparisons of Charlotte Harbor and Tampa Bay.  Estuaries and Coasts 29:972-978.

Travis, S. E., and P. Sheridan. 2006. A comparative analysis of genetic population structure among natural and restored shoalgrass (Halodule wrightii) populations along the northwest Gulf of Mexico Coast. Marine Ecology Progress Series 322:117-127.

Edwards, K. R., S. E. Travis, and C. E. Proffitt.  2005. Genetic effects of a large-scale Spartina alterniflora (smooth cordgrass) dieback and recovery in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Estuaries 28:204-214.

Proffitt, C. E. and S. E. Travis. 2005. Fine-Scale Mutational and Breeding System Effects of Environmental Contaminants on Red Mangroves in Tampa Bay, Florida.  Wetlands 25:326-334.

Travis, S. E., and M. H. Hester. 2005. A space-for time substitution reveals the long-term decline in genotypic diversity of a widespread salt marsh plant, Spartina alterniflora, over a span of 1,500 years. Journal of Ecology 93:417-430.

Proffitt, C. E., R. L. Chiasson, A. B. Owens, K. R. Edwards, and S. E. Travis. 2005. Spartina alterniflora genotype influences facilitation and suppression of high marsh species colonizing an early successional salt marsh. Journal of Ecology 93:404-416.

Ritland, K. and S. E. Travis. 2004. Inferences involving pairwise relatedness and individual inbreeding coefficients in natural populations: overview, and a comparative study of two British Columbia Abies species. Forest Ecology and Management 197:171-180.

Travis, S. E., C. E. Proffitt, and K. Ritland. 2004. Population structure and inbreeding vary with successional stage in created Spartina alterniflora marshes. Ecological Applications 14:1189-1202.

Egerova, J., C. E. Proffitt, and S. E. Travis. 2003. Facilitation of survival and growth of Baccharis halimifolia L. by Spartina alterniflora Loisel. in a created Louisiana salt marsh. Wetlands 23:250-256.

Proffitt, C. E., S.E. Travis, and K. R. Edwards. 2003. Genotype and elevation influence Spartina alterniflora colonization and growth in a created salt marsh. Ecological Applications 13:180-192.

Travis, S. E., C. E. Proffitt, R. C. Lowenfeld, and T. W. Mitchell. 2002. A comparative assessment of genetic diversity among differently-aged populations of Spartina alterniflora on restored versus natural wetlands. Restoration Ecology 10:37-42.

 Travis, S. E., K. Ritland, T. G. Whitham, and P. Keim. 1998. A genetic linkage map of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) based on amplified fragment length polymorphisms. Theoretical and Applied Genetics 97:871-880.

Travis, S. E., C. N. Slobodchikoff, and P. Keim. 1997. DNA fingerprinting reveals low genetic diversity in Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni). Journal of Mammalogy 78:725-732.

Keim, P., A. Kalif, J. Schupp, K. Hill, S. E. Travis, K. Richmond, D. M. Adair, M. Hugh-Jones, C. Kuske, and P. Jackson. 1997. Molecular evolution and diversity in Bacillus anthracis as detected by AFLP markers. Journal of Bacteriology 179:818-824.

Keim, P., J. Schupp, S. Travis, C. Clayton, and D. Webb. 1997. A high-density soybean genetic map based primarily upon AFLP markers. Crop Science 37:537-543.

Travis, S. E., J. Maschinski, and P. Keim. 1996. An analysis of genetic variation in Astragalus cremnophylax var. cremnophylax, a critically-endangered plant, using AFLP markers. Molecular Ecology 5:735-745.

Travis, S. E., C. N. Slobodchikoff, and P. Keim. 1996. Social assemblages and mating relationships in prairie dogs:  A DNA fingerprinting analysis. Behavioral Ecology 7:95-100.

Travis, S. E., and P. Keim. 1995. Differentiating individuals and populations of mule deer using DNA. Journal of Wildlife Management 59:824-831. 

Travis, S. E., C. N. Slobodchikoff, and P. Keim. 1995. Ecological and demographic effects on intraspecific variation in the social system of prairie dogs. Ecology 76:1794-1803.

Schupp, J. M., S. E. Travis, R. F. Shand, L. B. Price, and P. Keim. 1995. A rapid bacterial permeabilization reagent that is useful for enzyme assays. Biotechniques 19:18-20.

Travis, S. E., and C. N. Slobodchikoff. 1993. Effects of food resource distribution on the social system of Gunnison's prairie dog (Cynomys gunnisoni). Canadian Journal of Zoology 71:1186-1192.

Steven E. Travis

Steven E. Travis





Morgane Hall

(207) 602-2715

On Campus