Professor Agrawal is the James A. Perkins Professor of Environmental Studies at Cornell University. His research program addresses questions in the ecology and evolution of interactions between plants and animals. His focus is on the generally antagonistic interactions between plants and insect herbivores and ultimately seeks to understand the complexity of community-wide interactions. What ecological factors allow the coexistence of similar species? What evolutionary factors led to the diversification of species?

His approach to science in general involves 1) rigorous, manipulative field experiments to test for the importance of conceptually or theoretically developed interactions, 2) the search for novel interactions which may be pervasive in nature but have escaped our attention, and 3) a keen interest in teaching and mentoring students at all levels of education.

A more complete and current listing of Prof. Agrawal's work and scholarly output can be found via his EEB Department web page, his Phytophagy Lab web site, or ORCID ID:

Recent Submissions

  • Transgenerational Consequences of Plant Responses to Herbivory: An Adaptive Maternal Effect 

    Agrawal, Anurag A. (University of Chicago Press, 2000-12-21)
    Herbivory has many effects on plants, ranging from shifts in primary processes such as photosynthesis, growth, and phenology to effects on defense against subsequent herbivores and other species interactions. In this study, ...
  • The raison d'etre of chemical ecology 

    Raguso, Robert A.; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Douglas, Angela E.; Jander, Georg; Kessler, Andre; Poveda, Katja; Thaler, Jennifer S. (Ecological Society of America, 2015-03-01)
    Chemical ecology is a mechanistic approach to understanding the causes and consequences of species interactions, distribution, abundance, and diversity. The promise of chemical ecology stems from its potential to provide ...
  • Toward a Predictive Framework for Convergent Evolution: Integrating Natural History, Genetic Mechanisms, and Consequences for the Diversity of Life 

    Agrawal, Anurag A. (University of Chicago Press, 2017-08)
    A charm of biology as a scientific discipline is the diversity of life. Although this diversity can make laws of biology challenging to discover, several repeated patterns and general principles govern evolutionary ...
  • The importance of plant genotype and contemporary evolution for terrestrial ecosystem processes 

    Fitzpatrick, C. R.; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Basiliko, N.; Hastings, Amy P.; Isaac, M. E.; Preston, M.; Johnson, Mark T. (Ecological Society of America, 2015-10-01)
    Plant genetic variation and evolutionary dynamics are predicted to impact ecosystem processes but these effects are poorly understood. Here we test the hypothesis that plant genotype and contemporary evolution influence ...
  • The Benefits of Induced Defenses Against Herbivores 

    Karban, Richard; Agrawal, Anurag A.; Mangel, Marc (Ecological Society of America, 1997-07-01)
    Previous explanations for the evolution of induced resistance of plants to herbivory emphasized arguments based on saving costs when allocations to defense were not needed; these models met with limited empirical support. ...

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