Cris Hochwender

Dr. Cris Hochwender



Room 218, Koch Center for Engineering and Science


  • Evolutionary Ecologist: Community Ecology
  • Plant-Herbivore Interactions
  • Restoration Ecology


  • PhD in Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1998
  • M.S. in Biology, University of Missouri-St. Louis, 1992
  • B.A. in Biology, Cornell College, 1988

Current Course Offerings

  • BIOL 118 Modern Biology: Environmental Perspectives
  • BIOL 320 Evolution and Ecology
  • BIOL 415 Biostatistics
  • BIOL 423 Ecology
  • BIOL 460 Special Problems
  • BIOL 498 Internship in Biology
  • ES 360 Environmental Pollutants
  • ES 495 Environmental Studies Internship
  • ES 499 Advanced Special Topics in Environmental Studies
  • CHNG 310 ChangeLab

Research Interests

Cris Hochwender with student in gardenHochwender has carried out ecological research and educational experiences for more than 25 years, publishing those findings in journals that include American Naturalist, Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics, Oecologia, Evolutionary Ecology, and Evolution. Much of his research effort has focused on exploring ecological questions that include plant defense against herbivores, plant tolerance to damage, local adaptation of plants, and structuring forces of arthropod herbivore communities. As noted in publications listed below, he has engaged 20+ undergraduate student researchers, who have been coauthors as part of that research. Most recently, his foundational ecological approaches have been used to explore questions that center on: (1) restoration ecology strategies that enhance diversity and provide refuges for native insect communities in urban settings, (2) the challenges of forest regeneration in the presence of deer & recalcitrant plants, and (3) the role of parasitic plants in structuring communities. Some of his later research efforts have led to outreach efforts that have been tied to community-based educational opportunities.

Selected Peer-reviewed Publications (UE students are in Bold) 

  • Hochwender, CG, AJ Stratman. Making Your Garden Native and Natural. In: Hemminger W (ed.) Growing good: A beginner’s guide to cultivating caring communities. Indiana University Press: Bloomington, IN.
  • Hochwender, CG, A Nunn, M Sonnenberger, M Roberts. Tree regeneration in a southwestern Indiana forest: implications of long-term browsing by deer. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Sciences 125:103-13.
  • Snyder, DT, MC Schilling, CG Hochwender, AD Kaufman. 2015. Profiling phenolic glycosides in Populus deltoides and Populus grandidentat by leaf spray ionization tandem mass spectrometry. Analytical Methods 7:870-876.
  • Hochwender, CG, ME Czesak, C Harmon, B Mock. 2013. Genetic architecture of tolerance to foliar damage in a Salix hybrid system. International Journal of Modern Botany 3:26-33.
  • Stowe, KA, CG Hochwender, K Fleck, N Duvall, D Lewkiewicz, S Trimble, and S Peters. 2013 . Costs of glucosinolates in Brassica rapa: are they context dependent? Open Journal of Ecology 3:185-195.
  • Hochwender, CG, DH Cha, RS Fritz, ME Czesak, RR Smith, AD Kaufman, B Warren, and A Neuman. 2012. Protein storage and root:shoot reallocation strategies provide tolerance to damage in a hybrid willow system. Oecologia 169:49-60.
  • Lachowecki, J, CG Hochwender, K Nolting, E Maurer, and A Aldridge. 2011. Evaluating the quality of a disturbed wetland habitat in southwestern Indiana: a survey of native and exotic flora. Proceedings of the Indiana Academy of Science 120:18-30.
  • Cha, DH, CG Hochwender, EM Bosecker, RE Tucker, AD Kaufman, RS Fritz, and RR Smith. 2009. Do exotic generalist predators alter host plant preference of a native willow beetle? Agricultural and Forest Entomology 11:175-184.
  • Hochwender, CG, EM Janson, DH Cha, and RS Fritz. 2005. Community structure of insect herbivores in a hybrid system: examining the effects of browsing damage and plant genetic variation. Ecological Entomology 30:170-175.

Former Research Students

Former students table
Name and Highest Degree Current Profession
Samantha (Montgomery) Beaupre, MS Environmental Biologist at Lochmueller Group
Beth Bosecker, MS Management Analyst at US Fish and Wildlife Service
Julie (Rabe) Copley, BS Conservationist at Powell Gardens, Kansas City’s Botanical Garden
Krista Fleck, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate in Molecular, Cellular & Biomedicine
Christie (Hubbard) Guetling, MS Range Technician, USDA – Oregon Agricultural Research Center
Anna Jean (Stratman) Hallman, MS Grant Specialist at RiverEdge Nature Center
Nicole (Kreuzman) Hamilton, MS Physician Assistant
Jordon Lachawecki, MD Anesthesiologist
Kristen Nolting, PhD Postdoctoral Research Associate in Plant Ecophysiology & Evolution
Kayla Stilger, DVM Associate Veterinarian at Salem Veterinary Service
Stephanie Tran, MS-HSA Customer Success Manager
Spencer Willem, MS Survey/Drainage Coordinator, Tippecanoe County Surveyor’s Office
Kelsey Williams, BS Analytical Scientist at Mead Johnson Nutrition