Larry Venable studies plant population and community dynamics and plant reproductive ecology. He works on the population dynamics of desert winter annual plants. This demographic work, with special emphasis on seed banks, is aimed at answering questions about bet hedging and species coexistence mechanisms. He conducts field studies of competitive interactions and carbon 14 studies of seed bank age structure with this system. His theoretical work on plant reproductive ecology deals with aspects of dormancy, dispersal, sex allocation, pollen evolution, seed size, hierarchical packaging of reproduction, and the evolution of inflorescence design. He is investigating the evolution of sexual systems in a speciose Mexican tree genus. He alsow works on seed morphometrics and adaptive geographic differentiation in a seed heteromorphic Mexican annual plant.