Brian Enquist


Office Location: BSW 330
Lab Location: BSW 221


Positions and Education: 

  • Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2009-present
  • Associate Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2005-2009
  • Assistant Professor, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, 2001-2005
  • National Science Foundation Postdoctoral Fellowship 1998-2000; The Santa Fe Institute and National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis
  • Ph.D. Biology 1998, University of New Mexico. Albuquerque, NM.
  • M.S. Biology, 1995. University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM.
  • B.A. Biology, (with Distinction), 1991. The Colorado College Colorado Springs, CO.

Honors and Awards: 

  • NSF Young Investigators CAREER Award
  • Ecological Society of America, Young Investigator Mercer Award 2001
  • Fulbright Fellow, Costa Rica, 1995-1996.

Research Interests: 

Brian Enquist's lab investigates how functional constraints at the level of the individual (anatomical and physiological) influence larger scale ecological and evolutionary patterns. He is broadly trained plant ecologist. His lab uses both theoretical, computational, biophysical and physiological approaches to address integrative questions related to (1) the evolution of form and functional diversity; (2) the origin of allometric relationships (how characteristics of organisms change with their size) and the scaling of biological processes - 'from cells to ecosystems'; (3) the evolution of life-history and allocation strategies; and (4) community ecology and macroecology. His research also includes the monitoring of long-term dynamics of growth and change within a tropical forest in the Area de Conservation, Guanacaste, Costa Rica.

Selected Publications: 

PubMed list of publications for Brian Enquist 

  1. Enquist, B.J., Haskell, J.P., and Tiffney, B.H. (In press). General patterns of taxonomic diversity and biomass partitioning across tree dominated communities. Nature.
  2. K.J. Niklas and B.J. Enquist (2002). On the vegetative biomass partitioning of seed plant leaves, stems, and roots. American Naturlist 159:482-497.
  3. Enquist, B.J. and K.J. Niklas (2002). Global allocation rules for biomass partitioning in seed plants. Science 295:1517-1520.
  4. Leffler, A.J. and B.J. Enquist (2002). Carbon isotope composition of tree leaves from dry tropical forests of Guancaste, Costa Rica: Comparison across tropical ecosystems and tree life history. Journal of Tropical Ecology 18:151-159.
  5. Enquist, B.J. and K.J. Niklas (2001). Invariant scaling relations across tree-dominated communities. Nature 410:655-660.
  6. Niklas, K. J. and B. J. Enquist (2001). Invariant scaling relationships for interspecific plant biomass production rates and body size. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (USA): 98:2922-2927.
  7. Enquist, B.J. & A. J. Leffler (2001). Long-term tree ring chronologies from sympatric tropical dry-forest trees: individualistic responses to climate variation. Journal of Tropical Ecology 17:41-60.
  8. Enquist, B.J., Haskell, J., Niklas, K.J., & B. H. Tiffney (2001). The evolution of plant communities: biodiversity and community structure through time. In: Encyclopedia of Biodiversity. S. Levin (ed.). Academic Press.
  9. Kiflawi, M., Enquist, B.J. & M.A. Jordan (2000). Developmental instability and relative position within the geographic range: an analysis of sympatric populations within Pleistocene and Contemporary Local Communities. Ecography 23, 539-546.
  10. West, G.B., Brown, J.H. & B.J. Enquist. (1999) The fourth dimension of life: Fractal geometry and allometric scaling of organisms. Science 284:1677-1679.
  11. Enquist, B.J., West, G.B., Charnov, E.L., & J.H. Brown (1999) Allometric scaling of production and life history variation in vascular plants. Nature 401: 907-911.
  12. West, G.B., Brown, J.H. & B.J. Enquist. (1999) A general model for the structure, and allometry of plant vascular systems. Nature 400: 664-667.
  13. Enquist, B.J., Brown, J.H. & G.B. West. (1998) Allometric scaling of plant energetics and population density. Nature 395:163-166.
  14. Stevens, G.C., & B.J. Enquist (1998) Macroecological limits to the abundance and distribution of Pinus. In: Ecology and Biogeography of the genus Pinus. D.M. Richardson (ed.), pp. 183-190. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, U.K.
  15. Guo, Q, Brown, J.H. & B.J. Enquist. (1998) Using constraint lines to characterize plant performance. Oikos 83:237-245.
  16. West, G.B., Brown, J.H. & B.J.Enquist (1997) A general model for the origin of allometric scaling laws in biology. Science 276:122-126.
  17. Enquist, B.J., Jordan, M.A. & J.H. Brown (1995). Connections between ecology, biogeography and paleobiology: relationship between local abundance and geographic distribution in fossil and recent organisms. Evolutionary Ecology 9:586-604.
  18. Enquist, B.J. & J. J. Ebersole (1994) Effects of added water on photosynthesis of Bistorta vivipara: The importance of water relations and leaf nitrogen in two alpine communities, Pikes Peak, Colorado, USA. Arctic and Alpine Research 26:29-34.