Daijiang Li

Assistant Professor

Area of Interest 
My research is motivated by the need for a better predictive understanding of causes and consequences of biodiversity in a rapidly changing world for conservation. To achieve this goal, my work integrates community ecology, functional ecology, phylogenies, and statistical modeling to study how plant communities are structured in space and time, and how they respond to global change. This includes collecting and analyzing long-term plant community datasets using advanced statistical methods; answering large-scale ecological questions with big data and bioinformatics; developing statistical methods to investigate community assembly mechanisms; and building open source software to facilitate the application of methods. 


Selected Publications
Daijiang Li, Brian Stucky, John Deck, Benjamin Baiser, and Robert Guralnick. 2019. The effect of urbanization on plant phenology depends on regional temperature. Nature Ecology and Evolution. 3:1661-1667.

Daijiang Li, Jesse Miller, and Susan Harrison. 2019. Climate drives loss of phylogenetic diversity in a grassland community. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. 116:19989-19994.

Daijiang Li, Lauren Trotta, Hannah Marx, Julie Allen, Miao Sun, Douglas Soltis, Pamela Soltis, Robert Guralnick, and Benjamin Baiser. 2019. For common community phylogenetic analyses, go ahead and use synthesis phylogenies. Ecology. 100:e02788.

Daijiang Li, Timothée Poisot, Donald Waller, and Benjamin Baiser. 2018. Homogenization of species composition and species association networks are decoupled. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 27(12), 1481-1491.

Daijiang Li and Anthony Ives. 2017. The statistical need to include phylogeny in trait-based analyses of community composition. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. 8: 1192–1199.

Daijiang Li, Anthony Ives, and Donald Waller. 2017. Can functional traits account for phylogenetic signal in community composition? New Phytologist. 214: 607-618.

Daijiang Li and Donald Waller. 2016. Long-term shifts in the patterns and underlying processes of plant associations in Wisconsin forests. Global Ecology and Biogeography. 25: 516–526.


  • 2016 - 2020, Postdoc researcher and Assistant Scientist, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
  • 2011 – 2016, Ph.D., Department of Botany, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2013 – 2016, M.S., Biometry, Department of Statistics, University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • 2008 – 2011, M.S., School of Life Science, Sun Yat-sen University, China
  • 2004 – 2008, B.A., School of Life Science, Yunnan University, China